Elden Ring to Rule Them All?

Dying in Elden Ring

PHOTO | Jackson Toney

If you’ve been paying attention to the gaming industry as of late, you have likely heard of the title Elden Ring. In fact, you can’t stop hearing about it.

Elden Ring has been racking up near perfect scores from every major game reviewer since its release three weeks ago. This includes a 10/10 from IGN, 96% from MetaCritic, and 96% from OpenCritic. 

However, you may see some people who openly despise the game, claiming the combat is sluggish, there is nothing to do, and the storyline doesn’t exist. Understanding the disparity in these comments requires some insight into where the game comes from.

Elden Ring is the latest title in FromSoftware’s lineup; the same company that came out with famous games such as Sekiro, Demon Souls, and Dark Souls. 

The game takes many aspects from all of these previous titles and places them into one of the most ambitious open-world settings I have ever seen.

However, all of FromSoft’s games have some things in common that new players may find off-putting. When looking at Elden Ring, here are two of the most important things to know.

First, FromSoft games are hard–incredibly hard. In fact, after the release of Dark Souls III, it became an online joke to call any difficult games the ‘Dark Souls’ of their genre.

When playing Elden Ring, you should expect to fall in battle often while learning how to best approach each boss, and even underestimating common enemies can lead to a quick death. Each failure coalesces to make the eventual victory feel that much sweeter.

Second, FromSoft games never give you the whole picture from the start. Elden Ring’s story was written by the famous author George R. R. Martin, but this story won’t be spelled out for you. 

Instead, you are given the opportunity to discover it in clues scattered throughout the world in the form of NPC dialogue, environmental cues, and item descriptions. If you seek it out, you discover that the Shattered Isles of Elden Ring contains a trove of lore just waiting to be uncovered.

With this in mind, it becomes easier to understand the scattered reviews. The game is truly gorgeous, packed to the brim with innumerable content and secrets to uncover, with some of the most rewarding gameplay I have ever experienced. 

The experience will however take perseverance, and those who are prone to frustration may find themselves quitting before the game reveals its wonderful qualities to them.

I have personally played for eighty hours, and I estimate that I still have another forty to go before I reach the end of the game; not because the game is slow-paced, but because I can’t stop running across more interesting areas at every turn.

I am not exaggerating when I say Elden Ring is my favorite game ever. So, the question remains: Is Elden Ring the game for you?