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Elden Ring Review: Why The Game Is So Popular

PROSCONS
Diverse and interesting open world with lots of secretsThere are many “blind zones” on the map with no activities, enemies and valuable loot
The plot deserves attentionThe camera gets in the way sometimes
Horse and fighting on horsebackUnhelpful players
Checkpoints and craft
Outrageously rich open world

It’s done! A new game from From Software has been released that can evoke various emotions in gamers: from burning anger to a refined buzz that you can get addicted to no worse than some drug. Many people were waiting for Elden Ring because, compared to the previous creations of the developers, this is the largest and most ambitious project that was supposed to show what the studio is capable of and in what other direction it can develop the souls genre. Even the great and terrible George Martin agreed to support the Japanese, so the stakes were higher.

And whether Elden Ring deserves a rating of 20 out of 10 and the title of “Best Game of the 21st Century” or all its merits are exaggerated, you will find out from our review.

Song of Tears and Suffering

One of the main differences between Elden Ring and previous From Software games is the presence of a sane story. Still, the author’s involvement of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of books had a real impact on the plot of the game and the narrative and did not turn out to be a banal marketing ploy. Almost from the beginning of the passage, we are told that a long time ago, the powerful Ring of Elden was broken into 8 parts, and each of them clouded the mind of its new owner, turning him into a demigod.

Elden Ring Tips For New Players

The player in the role of the Extinguished Soul needs to find all the fragments of the ancient ring and put them together. What for? Numerous NPCs that are scattered around the map will gradually tell you about this, and pretty cool cut-scenes will be worked out. Elden Ring, obviously more cinematic than all previous From Software games put together, but also perfectly balanced in this regard, without too much Hollywood drama.

It is worth noting that there are also numerous notes, letters and messages here. The only difference is that in Dark Souls, acquaintance with the lore and the plot of the game happened only through them, and in Elden Ring, they are a nice addition.

In addition, the game has a lot of secondary quests through which some local stories of this gloomy world are skillfully served. They are made in the manner of Bloodborne, namely: “find something” or “kill someone“, to “take something and return to the NPC“, but all this is gorgeously furnished and makes it possible to get acquainted with even more interesting characters. Side quests often provide an opportunity to get cool items that may be even better than those that you will receive during the passage of the main plot, so it’s worth being distracted by them in Elden Ring.

World of Extinguished Souls

If you thought that the developers would not cope with the implementation of the open world, since they are doing this for the first time, then you can relax. The Elden Ring map turned out to be huge, diverse and, most importantly, interesting. You can explore the world for dozens of hours, and each time you will miss some interesting corner or dungeon, and then return to them and, with the joy of a small child, be surprised that you have discovered something new for yourself again. No more linear travel through gothic castles and sparse dungeons.

You have access to a whole world with many different biomes that radically differ from each other in design, a set of monsters, secrets and tasks. The open world in Elden Ring is a blueprint for how games like this should be made, and I would love to see studios like Ubisoft take notice and follow From Software’s lead.

However, I can’t call it an ideal job since there are many so-called “blind zones” on the map. For example, you will often find the remains of ruined castles and structures that occupy a fairly large area on the map. At first, it seemed that if you run around them, you can find either a passage to some kind of dungeon or a rare item, but, as a rule, there is nothing like that near them. In places, the map is occupied by huge boulders or ruins, around which there is nothing at all, and within a radius of several hundred meters. I understand that in this way, they tried to show the scale and, possibly, the past of this world, but every time they circle such things and end up with nothing, it quickly tires, even though you have a Torrent (and this is not what I’m talking about now). Whatever comes to your mind first).

Torrent is a ghost horse that was new to From Software games and fitted perfectly into Elden Ring gameplay. With it, you can travel around the map many times faster, and it also becomes possible to attack enemies without stepping on the ground.

Moreover, horseback combat here is one of the best I have ever seen in games with similar mechanics. It is convenient to control the horse, attacks almost always reach the goal, and the camera does not make sausage during a hot battle. In addition, the developers have prepared ordinary mobs for horseback fights and a couple of bosses. The battles with them noticeably dilute the gameplay and make it clear why Elden Ring is a competent development of the souls genre in the right direction. Well, the way the appearance of a ghostly horse is arranged in the game is just my respect. We can do without spoilers; I will only say that they will not give it right away; before that, you will have to die on your own feet at least a couple of times.

In addition to the analogue of fires from Dark Souls, checkpoints also appeared in the game. Throughout the map, you can find stone figurines – Wedges of Marika, near which you can be reborn after another death.

The main thing is that you don’t even have to look for them. After some mob or boss kills you, the game offers to resurrect you at the checkpoint or at the “bonfire“. We choose the first option and find ourselves next to the statuette. As a rule, they are located close to the boss or some important place on the map with a large concentration of enemies. Finally, the developers have bothered to save the players from unnecessary running around to their body. Thank you!

Chosen One

Another nice update is the character editor. Finally, the main character looks like a man, not an exhausting dummy after hundreds of crash tests, like in Dark Souls. A pack of new tools has also been added, so creating some truly unique characters will not be difficult. As for the classes, there are 10 of them. You can play as a classic warrior and his counterparts and for a pack of various wizards, such as an astrologer or a prophet. Separately, I would like to note the samurai class, which has become such a reference to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and pleasantly stands out from other melee players with its deadly katana. This is the next class for which I want to pass Elden Ring again, and you can not even doubt – you will also want to replay this game.

As the gameplay and combat system is a mixture of Dark Souls and Bloodborne; that is, you won’t see anything new in the gameplay, but at least you won’t have to torture yourself with mastering the “perfect parry“, as it was in Sekiro.

The punches still feel clumsy, and the dodges are a little too abrupt, but fans of From Software games won’t care. I have long wanted the developers to improve the combat system somehow, but not this time. It is also worth noting that the camera, which delivers an incredible “pop-pain” in all the studio’s creations, has remained in place. It can be seen that they tried to correct it and make it better, but still there are moments where it will take hours to fight some bosses because of it.

Gathering and crafting also appeared in the game. You can pull into your raking hand’s many varieties of herbs and resources lying right under your feet. As for crafting, you can create a lot of useful items: from throwing knives and grenades for battles, to potions and potions to restore mana.

As for me, this mechanic fits perfectly into the gameplay and helps to simplify the farm due to the ability to fill the inventory with useful items right on the go. And there is quite a lot of farm here, because if you are not a master of souls games and did not go through them with one hand blindfolded on the controller in the form of drums, you will steadily fly off most bosses at the start. The difficulty hasn’t gone away, even if it’s dropped from the level of the first parts of Dark Souls to the more pleasant “torment” of Bloodborne. Nevertheless, the feeling of victory is still euphoric, and it is thanks to him, you will not leave Elden Ring until you know how it ends.

Raise your blades! Games with the best sword fights

To feel the full joy of blade battles, it is unnecessary to enrol a “young knight” in a circle or buy a sword and go out into the street to cut everyone without …

Together and suffer more fun

If you have played games from From Software before, you know that the network mode has always been around. Elden Ring was no exception, but an adequate co-op has finally appeared here.

Instead of calling a friend exclusively to fight the boss, as was the case in previous studio projects, you can fully go through the story with a friend. True, you will have to get the “Potion of the Calling Finger” and thoroughly get confused.

As a rule, a comrade will be thrown out after some time or after moving to a new region, at least for the moment it works like that. In boss battles, you get the main loot and a friend, only the Runic Arc, so you will have to beat the main adversaries of the game twice. It is also worth noting that while travelling, a friend cannot collect static loot like herbs and ore, but items from mobs are collected with ease.

In general, travelling through the Interearth with a partner does not make the gameplay easier; it just slightly changes it, but you will enjoy sharing your suffering with a familiar person. In principle, you can try co-op with a stranger on the Internet since the game has enough functions to coordinate the movements of a partner and, even without knowing another language, explain to him what to do. However, it’s still more pleasant to play like this with a friend.

Multiplayer in Elden Ring remained the same as in Dark Souls. You can invade the world of a random player; someone else can do the same to you. The task is to kill another Extinguished Soul, make a person suffer even more in this ruthless world, and show who the daddy is.

To try one of the online modes, as always, it is enough to use a special item in your inventory, which is given almost at the very beginning of the game. Well, do not forget to enable the network game in the menu if, for some reason, it was disabled. For example, I had a bug on my Xbox Series X that the game would not connect to the network, but a patch came out the day after the release and fixed it. There were no similar problems on other platforms as far as I know. Oh, how I envy you that you had the opportunity to go to some bosses with a partner.

Fascinating Interearth 

Graphics have never been a strong point of projects from From Software, but in the case of Elden Ring, they directly tried. Many locations look amazing and are pleasantly surprise by their scale. At the same time, even a small area can include several interesting structures at once, and not monotonous castles and forts as it was before. For example, you look to the left and see a huge golden tree that brightly illuminates a green lawn with sheep grazing on it, you look to the right, and everything is covered in darkness; there is a huge camp with enemies, from which smoke from fires follows in thin streams into the sky.

The balance between incredibly beautiful places and the most vile (in a good way) structures is perfectly maintained. The only sad thing is the lack of a photo mode, but maybe it will be added in the future. In Elden Ring, he will be useful.

I also have no complaints about the design of characters, enemies, bosses and uniforms. The influence of George Martin is visible to the naked eye in every detail of the game. No longer gothic castles with a touch of occult and black magic, but a ruthless medieval world where you will meet huge fortresses, giant knights and blood-soaked battlefields. Even the NPCs have become more vivid and memorable, and each image is thought out to the smallest detail. There are no complaints about the visual, even though this is far from the level of the recent Horizon Forbidden West, but due to well-drawn models and a chic color balance, the world of Elden Ring looks great.

Conclusion!

Elden Ring is a great game, but the developers still didn’t reach the title of “masterpiece”, as for me. Yes, they were able to make a diverse and interesting open world, but they didn’t fill it so densely that you stumbled upon something at every step. The combat system and camera have remained the same, and these have always been far from the strong points of From Software games. Appropriate updates to old developments and nice innovations like a horse, crafting, and checkpoints make this game one of the best in the 21st century and make you spend 100 hours in it, if not more, but you should not turn a blind eye to the cons.

If we were talking about Dark Souls 4 with such a set of innovations, then for me, this is an iron 10 out of 10. Still, we are talking about an independent project, so for now, Elden Ring is a solid 9 and I recommend it to absolutely everyone, even if you are not attracted to souls games.

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