March 30

Thoughts on Elden Ring, Part 1…?

From Software have really been on a streak, continuing to release critically aclaimed games. I haven’t even gotten around to play Sekiro yet but when I heard the impressions from reviewers with Elden Ring I felt I wanted to join the hype train at launch. I was not dissapointed, the game is probably one of the best I’ve played. You get nauseus about the amount of content is packed into the game.

I’ve banked around 70 hours into the game by now and it’s time to write something about it. I’ve hit some kind of rough patch when it comes to playing the game. I haven’t really touched the game for a week and last time I ended my session I had just lost a bunch of runes after dying a few times in one of the infamous Hero’s Graves dungeons which contains the worst enemies in the game.

In the end of the day though, I love Elden Ring. It really lived up to the hype. It’s as close to perfect you could get within reasonable boundaries with a huge game like that. From Software have learned their lessons from previous titles and really sharpened their loops, mechanics and progression systems to something that feels really good. Elden Ring borrows HEAVILY from previous Soulsborne games (Sekiro included) and the novelty it takes on from Breath of the Wild. A pitch that would sound ridicolous but that makes so much sense when you see the results.

First Hour

The “first” first impression was that Elden Ring has used most about everything from previous games. Fonts, UI, animations, game systems, etc. So much that during the secret tutorial I was sort of dissapointed, I was a bit worried that it might “just” be another souls game, but my frown was soon to be turned upside down. From Software have basically invited their own genre, so why fix what isn’t broken? As soon as I got out onto the open world though and secured my horsie, my mind got blown over and over again.

Huge Open World

Exploring the world is so much fun. There is so much content that it hurts my poor brain looking at it all. A lot of hidden goodies to find, plenty of amazing vistas to look at and packs of mysterious characters to be intrigued by. The horse-goat-thing is really what makes it joyful, before I had found it and had to travel by foot and sneak around everything to not get killed, it was instead really scary out there. That makes it so much more intense when you go into dungeons, since you can’t bring your horse down you have to rely on good old shield and rolls to keep out of danger

Combat, any way you want it

Combat is excellent as always. What really makes this game glow is all the options and all the ways you can break the game. I like that the game is a little broken and that there are plenty of OP strategies you can find. It lets you make the game easy if you want to and make the research for yourself. This kind of game is also nearly impossible to balance properly, so certain strategies are bound to be more powerful than others. That said, I’m not at all playing multiplayer so the PvP scene might be completely whack, bu that doesn’t concern me.

Characters and Quests

The characters you encounter are as mysterious as ever and the quest lines need to be googled to be followed with precision. This is the only case where I allow myself to google help in the game, everything else I must explore for myself or discuss with someone else live, but the non-player characters’ storylines are bloody impossible to follow sometimes. It’s basically Where’s Waldo again and again in one of the largets game worlds ever in this genre. They often leave close to none clue of where they will show up next. That said, when you actually manage to figure something out, you feel very smart. That feeling of pure satisfaction when you succeed with something is what makes the souls game so great overall and it is true for its questlines as well.

To be continued

I have more to write about this of course, but this will have to do for now to at least get something on the board. Hopefully I won’t let four weeks pass until next post. Ciao!

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Posted March 30, 2022 by Robert in category "Game Review

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