May 27, 2022
Elden Ring screenshot shows the player character sitting next to a mysterious figure by a campfire.

Elden Ring: Expansive game with shortcomings

Elden Ring has been released for just around five weeks now to incredible acclaim. 

Game reviewers have rated it with 9/10 and 10/10s across the board. And aside from how reviewers feel about the game, the sales are through the roof. Elden reached a staggering 12 million sales in three weeks, beating out huge AAA games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Resident Evil 7, God of War and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, just to name a few. 

Elden Ring is part of a game genre known as Soulslike. These games are well known to be difficult and rather unforgiving. It is not uncommon to get stuck on a boss in these types of games for multiple hours. Elden Ring is from the same development studio, FromSoftware, that essentially coined the term. 

Elden Ring screenshot shows a brutal battle between the player character and undead enemies.
Prepare to be challenged with some brutal gameplay. Photo Courtesy of FromSoftware

FromSoftware games are always a bit odd when regarding the story or world they’re built in. They sit somewhere in a fantasy medieval world that leaves you in many moments where you simply “roll” with the weird world they have built.

This is one of the only games out there where you see some crazy structure, a vast series of buildings, or a colossal glowing tree that covers the entire sky, and you can go there.  

The story itself is very simple to understand. You are told in short order that you are looking to “Reform the Elden Ring,” and then you are let loose in the open world.

This might sound like you would feel lost without any goal, but you’ll find yourself so in awe of the world around you, you’ll just think, “Man, I wonder if I can go to that monstrous tree over there, or that enormous castle.” And then you find out you can. Slowly, the game will feed you a little more of the story and what you’re supposed to do.

Elden Ring screenshot shows a beautiful florescent tree fills up the sky with a shining glow.
There are no bounds in the expansive world of Elden Ring. Photo Courtesy of FromSoftware.

Moving on to the gameplay: it’s great. When you defeat anything in the world, you get runes. And you can turn those runes you get into levels that make your character stronger. 

You can learn spells and become a Mage, learn incantations to build more into the Faith skill, or just wield the biggest sword you can find and slam that into people. All of it feels super solid, and in regards to difficulty, this game does feel a tad easier than the other FromSoftware games, making this a much easier game to recommend to people unacquainted with the genre.

Onto my minor complaints, for fans of FromSoftware games, there is a fair amount of bosses that are used multiple times. It feels like it fits fairly well in this world, but you will find yourself getting annoyed when you fight a ghost on a boat boss for the third or fourth time who has the same exact attacks. 

The music is pretty good in the game, but outside the main story bosses, there should’ve been more unique tracks to accompany the world. Just that extra bit of music could have made this a real 10/10. 

All in all, the game is worth the $60 it costs. If you get frustrated easily, this game probably isn’t for you, but if you can manage to keep your cool when you are stuck on a boss for an hour or two, I think this game is definitely worth your time.

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