At first, it happens so slowly that you barely notice it. On Limgrave’s rolling introductory field, every encounter, no matter how small, is a risk — something that must be carefully weighed and considered before throwing yourself into battle.
Every damp, reverberating cave you step into could be a harbinger of your doom, and every seemingly sleepy ruin or settlement you choose to walk through may harbor many twisted inhabitants looking for you to be cold and lonely ending. Not even under the vast, open skies of these lands between you. It’s true that your trusty steed Torrent might speed you out of some danger, but even he’s not agile enough to outrun a tornado of tornadoes or a billowing cloud of poison spewing from a corrupted sentient flower. In this world, you start with nothing.
But then, your strength will grow little by little. The lowly bandits, wolves, and soldiers you kill become runes that are channeled into strength, stabilizing your swordsmen, enhancing your spellcasting intelligence, and increasing your ability to withstand troll clubs. Bandits, wolves and soldiers turn to demons, witches and goblins, and your power grows again. You think you might be strong enough to travel south, to a battered peninsula, where beasts have taken over a castle by the sea; to the west, where lush swamps have devoured the once-great academic center; east, Where the desert is dyed red with blood and decay, or northward there is a great golden capital, or you may travel to many other far-flung destinations. As your power grows, so does the challenge and the wonder of the journey ahead of you. Before long, you’ll feel like you might be strong enough to challenge the demigods themselves.
This is the ebb and flow and rhythm that fans of From Software games are now familiar with. It’s a song about life, death, and a declining monster world, and every refrain is a challenge to get back on your feet, try to die, and try again. FromSoftware games – i.e. Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro – pride themselves on this particular type of melancholic, masochistic behavior and are beloved by fans for it – — but they’re not known for being so popular or accessible to new players. It’s been clear for some time now that the developers want to meet the challenges of core fans in a sprawling open world (the studio’s biggest ever) with Elden Ring, while attracting potential new players by promising tools to help relieve the pressure they’ve experienced Unbelievable – and increasingly – relentless encounters.
In this regard, Elden Ring has been astonishingly successful. Fans of the likes of veteran souls will find the stage set for epic duels to test their resolve, while new players have access to small and completely optional equipment, although a certain skill level will still be required before allowing you to continue traversing the world, But still keeping the excitement won’t make you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall repeatedly. Many enemy encounters and even boss fights have become more manageable, simply including a distraction to earn you a few seconds of breathing room, this part is played by the new mechanic Soul Summons, reusable items Creates an echo of creatures to fight by your side until they die or your enemy dies.
In general, their damage output will be ridiculous and can only be summoned in specific areas. So, they’re not exactly about holding your hand, they’re about buying you a few critical seconds. Similarly, the mechanic of replenishing your health and FP (your magical resource) after defeating a whole bunch of enemies can help you when things get dangerous, but relying on it isn’t without its inherent dangers.
Then there’s Marika’s Stake, which you can sometimes resurrect after death, instead of the Grace Ruins. It’ll remove the sometimes long and dangerous journey back to boss fights, but you won’t be able to change some of your settings and loadouts like you can in Land of Grace. And harnessing the great runes, a source of great power found in slashing some of the most powerful creatures in the world, can be a huge boon when you need it most, but again, it doesn’t come without a price. First, you need to activate the Great Rune, a separate obscure process, and then you have to choose to use extremely rare, limited consumables in order to harness this power while you’re alive. Well, in true FromSoftware fashion, the basic information is that nothing comes for free, even if it gives you the tools to traverse the world more easily. Everything has a price, or a trade-off.
For veteran fans, this is the experience you’ve come to expect from a Soulslike game, but with an open world that brings more excitement of discovery. Obviously, Miyazaki Hidetaka. Delighted to have the opportunity to create some truly stunning vistas – I gasped loudly at several very beautiful scenery displays – often showing From’s signature striking, hauntingly high fantasy, and incredible The base of subtle dark humor. They may be large and open, but the lands in between still feel carefully handcrafted; dark corners hide lonely secrets and forgotten stories that are told through ambient stories, item descriptions, or a seemingly one-off NPC dialogue , richly woven into the tapestry of the world itself. You still get the structural ingenuity of Miyazaki’s multi-layered world design in tighter, more thought-out and more dangerous so-called traditional dungeons – separate areas from the open world that hide their deadliest, most important enemies. There are also a few smaller dungeons in the world that serve as a warm-up to the main boss encounters, and are especially good practice for new players, and their rewards often include new weapons or Ashes of War to back up your arsenal.
The world of Elden Ring is also literally more accessible – for example, fast travel between discovered Grace Sites is unlocked early in the game and is almost always open to you unless you’re currently engaged in combat. At these sites you can level up, enhance your healing vials, set up your spells and great runes, and keep an eye out for those newly acquired Ashes of War – equippable weapon modifiers that grant your weapons bleed, magic, or Status effects like lightning damage, while also granting it special attacks or effects mapped to the left trigger button. This is another way the gameplay is subtly turned on. In previous From games, these effects were permanently set as a weapon, but by allowing them to switch freely when needed, From makes it easier for players to experiment and adapt in order to find bosses – if not a lot of time to polish And escalating, they may not be able to implement winning strategies.
You may have noticed that when describing the world, boss encounters, side quests, or the general story of Elden Ring, I mostly eschew details. And for good reason – it’s an experience that leaves you as unspoiled as possible. Fans can rest assured that if you know where to look, you’ll find the usual fake Shakespeare tragedies, endearingly eccentric characters, and devious double-crossovers, but Elden Ring’s world is deliberately more dynamic than other From software games. The Lands Between just wrapped up their prime, not in full-blown, apocalyptic chaos like Dark Souls’ Lordran. As a result, you’ll meet a slightly more lively group of characters in the world – many of them more than once if you choose to follow their questlines. To sum it up, I also avoided details because I know there’s still a lot to discover that will only become apparent after the release. Even dealing with late game areas at level 50 and above still feels like scratching the surface of what the world has to offer, and in From Software’s tradition, Elden Ring has multiple endings, some of which may require you to take some obscure Ending steps and even replaying the game to achieve them.
Whether Elden Ring will succeed in attracting new players remains to be seen. The new mechanics mentioned earlier do make the game easier for newbies to pick up, as does the tantalizing shift to a more open world structure, allowing you to simply get out of a tough fight, try your luck elsewhere, and get stronger and more powerful. Come back more prepared than before. Soulslike games can’t quite escape the challenging reputation they’ve built for themselves, which is both a blessing and a curse — fans see their dedication to these games as a badge of honor, while potential players watch and may Still uneasy about whether they’ll be up to par, or whether they’ll find fun in more torture from FromSoft’s special brand. But if there’s ever been a time and a specific game to join, it’s now, and it’s Elden Ring. These experiences aren’t for everyone, but it’s the best and brightest (often literally) the series has ever seen, and at launch, new players will also get the added bonus of busy servers, meaning there will be plenty Other experienced players should call in the multiplayer co-op element of the game if they have problems.
“Elden Ring is still a glorious game…”
There are some minor drawbacks. Elden Ring lacks a little polish here and there. On PS5, texture popups were frequent, and we experienced multiple hard crashes on the console home screen prior to launch. Gameplay-wise, not all new features are created equal. Torrents, for example, are a popular way to explore the landscape from relative safety, but horseback combat can sometimes feel more awkward than epic battles, as you and enemies circle each other in large areas, gliding through the air and everything No connection feels like an embarrassing pass count. Also, item crafting and resource gathering feel like something drawn from other games, rather than something that feels necessary here. Of course, mileage may vary and other character classes may benefit more than others, but due to the proliferation of cookbook recipes and ingredients I’ve found in the world, all my focus on crafting is on crafting, my The Spell Prisoner class has almost nothing to do but a few anti-poison pills. However, melee or ranger classes that need to use arrows or throw items at all times may feel differently.
And, to be honest, George RR Martin’s heavy involvement in game marketing is still puzzling. The exact nature of his contribution is unclear at best. Can only assume this is a collaboration aimed at raising the game’s profile in non-core circles, but if there’s one studio that doesn’t need help making a tantalizing dark fantasy game world it’s From Software, and George RR Martin The cultural currency of 2022 alone won’t be enough to change the trajectory of Elden Ring’s success.
Having said that, Elden Ring is still a glorious game, and veteran fans will be savoring it for some time to come, and may just welcome new fans to the FromSoft fold. Gorgeous visual design, dark and detailed lore, and a vast and complex open world are enough to let you venture into the “Land Between.” Combine that with FromSoftware’s relentless and unforgettable game loop, and it’s really special.