Elden Ring is the latest soulslike action fantasy RPG from developer FromSoftware. FromSoftware is most famous for its hardcore games like Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. This time around, they take the genre in a more open world setting than ever before.
Don’t get me wrong, the Dark Souls series, Sekiro and their other games are set in a sort of open world setting. However, it has never been truer this time around. You can literally go anywhere and everywhere this time and have the freedom of free roaming the entire map. You even get to ride a mount that has never been heard of before in Dark Souls.
And because it’s a soulslike games the enemy AI is cunning, quicker and much harder to just decimate in one blow. This game is certainly not for the faint hearted or those who think they want a relaxing game. But this shouldn’t scare newcomers to the hardcore soulslike game. In fact, this is probably the friendlier, more welcoming version of any soulslike games.
Why do I say that it’s more welcoming? The fact that the only thing you lose when you get slain are your runes. Runes in this game are its currency just like how souls is a currency in Dark Souls. Runes can be basically used for anything and everything that you do in Elden Ring. You can use it to buy items, weapons, spells, and armor. You can use it to level up your characters by increasing your stats. You can even use it to strengthen your weapons and companions. You don’t get a penalty on health or end up being unable to summon multiplayer companions. The game does feel like it’s easier on the surface but that doesn’t mean the enemies are not as punishing. In fact this game is chock full of enemies who are just waiting to test your patience.
The game starts you off by letting you choose a starting class. Each class have their own starting weapons and equipment as well as starting items. There are 10 classes to choose from. Ten different ways for you to start the game. Each class have its advantaged and disadvantages and may be suitable to either veteran or newcomers to the genre. Even if you do end up not liking the class you chose, you can always switch up your equipment and playstyle as the starting weapons and equipment can be found in the world, whether looting them or buying them off from merchants. This is a feature that has always been a staple for the Souls series ensuring that the game gives you the freedom to switch your playstyle anytime you want to.
The world of Elden Ring is sprawling with dangerous enemies just lurking in every corner waiting for you to make a mistake. The points of interest are endless and sometimes if you’re not careful you will end up facing a boss fight unprepared. This freedom of exploration becomes in and of itself the reward and the punishment as you just don’t really know what you’ll be encountering as you stumble through its vast endless world.
The world of Elden Ring has such a breathtaking view that sometimes you just want to explore without a care in the world. It even provides you with a time system where you can explore day and night each offering different sets of enemies. The ease in exploration and travel in this game is probably one of its best features. Scattered throughout the world are resting places called the Site of Grace. Activating a Site of Grace unlocks it permanently as a travel point. So that whenever you feel like you’ve gone a long way and need to spend all those runes to level up your character, you can just open the World Map and teleport to any of the Sites of Grace you have visited. The only time you really won’t be able to teleport is if you are currently in a fight with enemies. The game really does want you to either face your enemies and fight them to the death or run as far as possible so you can teleport safely.
The game still relies on the tried and tested stat building but also it adds more features that only Elden Ring can offer. Take for example the addition of Summoning Companions. Early in the game, you will be able to summon creatures that will aid you in your fight against the enemies. These creatures use up your FP when summoned that you can replenish with a magick flask. There’s also a feature called the Ashes of War, which allows you to equip a special skill for your main weapon as well as increase the scaling of its stats.
In Elden Ring, you are also able to jump which provides an additional layer to your fight style. Gone are the days where you can only dodge left or right. You can even do a leap attack which is usually unheard of in the Dark Souls series. The game also encourages you to play co-op with your friends or people online. Throughout the world are summoning sites. Though its main use is to indicate that you can summon a companion, it is used by other players to place down their signs so they can play co-op with other people. You will even get an item later on that will allow you to call for backup should you get invaded by other players while playing. The ease and seamlessness of the game’s multiplayer feature makes it a very enjoyable experience for friends and strangers alike.
The variety of weapons and equipment in the game ensures that you will have endless combinations to use in your adventures. Wield two swords, claw up like Wolverine, be a master archer or become Elden Ring’s greatest sorcerer. Weapons can either be bought from merchants or can be found in chests and drops from enemies. You surely will not run out of weapons to choose from as you explore the world.
Overall, Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s best game yet. With a vast and expansive world teeming with lore, encounters and discoveries that you can either enjoy solo or with friends. A game that becomes increasingly harder the more time you play it and yet also becomes more rewarding. A game that endlessly provides you with entertainment, challenge and adventure. A game that will truly be talked about for years to come and will become the benchmark for hardcore open world games. Whether this is your first time playing a soulslike game or a veteran who’s been waiting to get their Dark Souls fix, then this is a game that is highly recommended for you.