Elden Ring was the latest entry into FromSoftware’s lineup of games. When FromSoftware announced they were working on a new game that takes the formula of their most well-known IP, Dark Souls, and makes it open world, many people were skeptical of its execution. This cynicism was justifiable. A major part of Dark Souls’ success was its brilliant level and enemy design. Suffice to say that this is a difficult feat to achieve in the open-world genre.

However, the release of Elden Ring on Feb 25, 2022 proved all the cynics wrong. The game surpassed all expectations, with the strongest first-week sales of any FromSoftware title. So, what made this game work? How did it manage to garner an insurmountable reputation? Keep reading to find out in this Elden Ring review.

Elden Ring’s Gameplay & Difficulty

Elden Ring tarnished in snowy mountains under moon holding sword

If you’re familiar with Soulsborne games, you’d feel right at home playing Elden Ring. It has character creation, various combat builds (melee and ranged), challenging boss fights, epic soundtrack, cryptic lore, bonfires, punishing death penalties. And a central PvP system to boot. Elden Ring is a culmination of all the great mechanics from the previous FromSoftware games. All neatly presented in a new open world setting.

While preserving the crushing base difficulty of the souls-like genre, Elden Ring offers various options to make the game more accessible to everyone, epecially the summon spirits, co-op system, and the strength of certain builds (bleed, sorcery). This make the challenges easier for the new players to overcome. The game continues providing that solid Soulsborne gameplay with bombastic boss fights accompanied by orchestral symphonies. However, the late game and recycling some early game bosses was a point of contention for many players. Some players felt that the difficulty increases dramatically and not in a mechanically challenging way.

Open World & Exploration

Elden Ring Tarnished Riding Torrent over Liurnia of the Lakes

The map of Elden Ring is huge and mystical. It’s full of many distinguishable areas and locations in the world known as Lands Between. Whether it’s the vast open spaces, well-crafted legacy dungeons, or the caves & catacombs in the underbelly of the land, you’ll always find something to explore in this game.

To traverse the open spaces of the Lands Between, players are given a mount known as Torrent. The movement mechanics of Torrent feel smooth, never hindering your exploration. Moreover, being able to double jump, using spirit springs for vertical climbing makes it a satisfying experience. Not to mention the mounted combat.

Elden Ring Story

Elden Ring Tarnished talking to Melina at Site of Grace

Elden Ring’s story takes place after a cosmic event – the Shattering, disturbs the flow of power and authority in the Lands Between. All the demigods were battling over the pieces of the broken Elden Ring. You play as an exiled Tarnished with the goal of locating Elden Ring’s pieces on the quest to become an Elden Lord. On this quest, you will meet many figures, all trying to find their own way to deal with the calamity upon them. Each character has a unique and compelling storyline that’s fun to explore.

One of the biggest hypes before Elden Ring’s release was the addition of George R. R. Martin, known for his “A Song of Ice and Fire”. You can see his influence on the overarching world of Elden Ring, providing a baseline for the characters and the lore in Lands Between.

Final Verdict

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to describe Elden Ring as a modern masterpiece, providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It has rejuvenated the generic AAA open-world RPG genre and will inspire many games for years.

Especially after the announcement of Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, which will expand more on the magical world of the Lands Between. Elden Ring is a must-play for anyone passionate about gaming and fantasy!

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