I am not a fan of the various Souls games. I often don’t have the patience for them and my skills are somewhat limited. I almost never manage to defeat a boss and an average enemy is often too much for me. So it was with wobbly knees that I began Elden Ring.
But a small miracle has occurred. For where I quickly leave FromSoftware’s other games behind, Elden Ring managed to grab me. And yes, the game is still spicy, but unlike other titles I did not give up now. Thus, I am finally enchanted by the magic of the Souls games. It also helps that this is a game that is insanely well developed at almost every point. These are the reasons to be excited about it.
Elden Ring Review
A beautiful world
You begin Elden Ring in a cave in the style of the other Dark Souls games. Dark and with many questions. At that point, you think you’re dealing with yet another game in the series. But when you get out of there, a large open world lies at your feet. The initial area is beautifully green and varied. Eventually you will also encounter areas that are a bit darker, but it is certainly not as depressing as the other games. This is really a title where you often stand on high places and enjoy the view. It is also cool to see that different weather conditions are used. And when it is dark, then you have to deal with various enemies in addition to a different look.
A beautiful world (Image: Bandai Namco)
Constantly improving yourself in Elden Ring
Elden Ring is described by the developer as an Action RPG. And especially the RPG elements I think are finely worked out in the game. You are constantly improving yourself. For each kill you make, you earn the in-game currency. With this currency it is possible to buy stuff at different merchants. Or you use it in combination with other items at a blacksmith to improve your weapons. Yet it is wise to use it especially at the beginning to level up. That way you become stronger and can hold out against the various enemies for longer. Especially the boss fights are a bit more manageable this way.
A boss (Image: Bandai Namco)
In the environment of Elden Ring you will also find various items to make useful accessories. These give you temporary improvements or you just pick them up to sell and thus get more money to go up in levels. And then there is the loot that enemies leave behind. With it you can sometimes perform major upgrades. In this way you are really constantly improving in the game.
Searching for the secrets of the world
There are certain obvious goals in Elden Ring. But it also pays tremendously to explore. For example, you’ll come across several caves in the game. There you can score various treasures and often you can also deal with a mini-end boss. And you guessed it: that also provides a nice loot. I look forward to the final release and to see what other gamers do and to see what I missed.
In search of the treasure (Image: Bandai Namco)
Technically, Elden Ring is in thick shape
I played Elden Ring on the PlayStation 5 and it was really a treat. Visually, the game is really thick with nice lighting effects, the ability to see into the distance and a strong and high frame rate. The details of the environments are strong and the animations are well done. The latter is also quite handy, as it allows you to time when to defend and when to attack. But the best part of all is probably the fact that loading times are so incredibly short. Fasttravel is really a small party this way. Especially at the beginning of the game, I found myself returning from the action to a safe point a lot to sell my gear and perform upgrades.
Easy fast-traveling from here (Image: Bandai Namco)
Pithy, but not impossible
Elden Ring is as expected a game that is spicy. At the beginning of the game you are already happy if you manage to take out a normal enemy. And you know that you will die when suddenly four enemies storm at you because you were not paying attention. A death does not mean the end. You can then return to the place where you were attacked and pick up your money there. You can always keep your items. This is nice. If you don’t manage to get your money back before you die again, you will lose it, so pay attention at your second chance.
Not impossible (Image: Bandai Namco)
And end bosses are still tricky in Elden Ring. The first time I was presented with a mini-end boss, I did perform something like fifteen attempts. In those, I really had to learn what attacks the boss had and how to dodge them. And the first real boss was even harder. For that I had to level up quite a bit and make good use of the skills I had. Finally, after a few attempts, I managed to take him out with ease and there was the wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
Various fighting styles
Elden Ring also seems to be a game that is wonderful to play more than once. At the beginning of the adventure you choose one of the available classes. Each class plays slightly different and in this way you can really experience a different way of playing. I myself went loose with a Warrior in the preview version, but I really like the Samurai in my review session.
Various styles (Image: Bandai Namco)
You’re fairly thrown in at the deep end
There are many points where Elden Ring is ironclad. It really is an absolute top-notch game. Still, you have to figure it out very much on your own. There is a bit of backstory in the game and you have a reasonable idea what is expected of you, but eventually you are thrown in at the deep end. The advantage is that when you discover the game yourself, you can look for answers on Youtube. But I did sometimes have some questions about what exactly I was supposed to do.
Where should we go? (Image: Bandai Namco)
Elden Ring is available this week and can be scored here. Want to read more about gaming? Then visit our overview page here.