Initial Results: Elden Ring

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By now, I am sure most of the people reading this are aware of the newest hit game out of FromSoftware: Elden Ring. It is an open-world style RPG in the mold of the Dark Souls franchise in which you play a “tarnished,” someone who has supposedly been corrupted by the world, but who wishes to get the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord. The game has been getting rave reviews from virtually every outlet, and so it only made sense to talk about it, at least a little. As such, here are my thoughts roughly 9 hours into the game.

One thing I have to give the game right off the bat is its artwork. FromSoftware has always had a knack for making visually enticing fantasy worlds, from the gorgeous backgrounds to the character designs which feel distinct to the Dark Souls franchise. Elden Ring has so far taken this and turned it up to eleven, as there are not only better designs but more unique enemy types and backgrounds to take in.

The gameplay itself has not changed much between the Various IPs from the studio. Elden Ring still plays very much like a typical Dark Souls game, with the addition of a new aesthetic and some other various elements that help give it the fantasy feel that it is going for, such as a new crafting system and magic possibilities. Combat-wise, it definitely feels like the game has changed its approach to difficulty. Not to say that it is necessarily harder or easier, but it does appear that the devs took the time to make individual enemies and bosses significantly less predictable in their attack patterns.

It feels weird to comment on the story so early on into the game, so I will keep this section short. What I will say is that Elden Ring, despite its more open-world nature, does feel initially much more focused in the story it is trying to tell. A lot of that is probably thanks to the collaboration with George R. R. Martin, which gives me hope that the series might maintain this level of consistency throughout.

One thing I along with many others have noticed is that the game feels like it was not fully ready to be released. I say that because there are a lot of moments where the game will just drop frames. It is not so bad as to be unplayable, but it is often enough that it feels distracting. Additionally, as someone who bought the game on steam and is playing with a PS4 controller, there are times when the game will just randomly disconnect after a loading screen. I know I could just use a mouse and keyboard, but if a game is going to give me a controller option it would be nice if it functioned.

Overall, Elden Ring has been a fun experience thus far. Aside from mostly being a noob when it comes to the sub-genre, the gameplay is addicting and leaves me wanting to come back. There are a few things that I am hoping will be addressed with a patch in the near future, but even without it, the game definitely deserves much of the praise it has been getting.

How do you all feel about Elden Ring? Let me know in the comments below.

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