Elden Ring Review


Ryan Hegewald

From Software’s latest game, Elden Ring, has shown the videogame industry once again that it can and will produce some of the best games ever made. With over 12 million copies sold in little under a month, it’s clear that this game has received quite a lot of attention in recent times, but what exactly is it?

Elden Ring is a massive open-world RPG game that incorporates several core mechanics from From Softs previous titles, the Dark Souls games. In Elden Ring you play as a tarnished, a nameless individual whom is not blessed by grace. The world of Elden Ring, called The Lands Between ingame, is a broken world and is corrupted by madness and demigods. It is the tarnished who must fight their way through this war torn land and become the Elden Lord, or essentially the king of The Lands Between. Throughout the game you’ll encounter a wide variety of unique characters who with both aid and stop you from achieving your end goal. The actual story of Elden Ring, similar to other Souls games, is not actually told to you directly, rather things are implied to have happened and information is gathered from ancients texts or written along the sides of memorials for fallen warriors. I prefer this style of story telling when compared to other games where they forcefully try and feed you it, that way I can go out of my way to learn more about the events that took place in past. Not to mention, the game’s story was co written by George R. R. Martin, the same guy who wrote the story for the award winning TV series, Game of Thrones.

But a good story alone doesn’t make a good game. What about the gameplay? Lately, there has been a surge of new open-world games, heck, the month before Elden Ring released there were 3 brand new ones. However, most open-world games suffer from one thing, content. You may show me one of the largest, most visually appealing map of all time, but if the content is all shoved into one spot on it then there’s no point; this was the reason why Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild was so successful. Luckily, Elden Ring has the perfect mixture of both a wondrous map AND loads of content placed everywhere. No matter which direction you go in Elden Ring, there is always a new dungeon or new enemies to fight, both of which reward you handsomely for your troubles. There has never been a time where I have been bored running through the world and it’s because of that moment to moment gameplay that really makes the game stand out from the rest.

Unfortunately with anything there are pros and cons however, and not even Elden Ring is safe from my nitpicking. In game, you will acquire dozens, if not hundreds of weapons, armor, talismans, and magical items. This is nice because it allows the player to mix and match your loadout in a near infinite amount of ways. You can be a meteor shooting warlock, a samurai with the powers and strength of the dragon, or heck you can even run around butt naked wielding a club. Though despite all of these hilarious and creative options you can choose, the game consistently punishes for trying out something new. Why? Well have to remember who exactly made this game, From Soft, the same people who made the notoriously challenging Dark Souls games. There hundreds of unfair, broken, and all around stupid enemies and mechanics in this game that somewhat forces the player to use the most optimal weapons, armor, and talismans to fight against them. I wouldn’t have much of an issue with it if it weren’t for the fact that there is such a large difference between using say the most “optimal” weapon, versus using something cool like dragon magic. My next issue happens to be with the difficulty, now before you just call be bad a the game, I have to say that I have beaten the entire game 3 separate times so I can’t be that bad. My point is that the damage that you take in this game is so inconsistent, sometimes you fight a boss that shoots some nuclear bomb at you and it does half your health and then just outside the boss arena there is a midget you hits you once and instantly kills you, it just doesn’t make any sense. There are also a few enemies and bosses with movesets that also seem a little bit unnecessary, or straight up make them a chore to get past, but most of them are optional fights.

Despite these issues, I still think Elden Ring might just be the greatest game I’ve ever played, and that’s saying a lot. There is just so much content in this game that it’s hard to compare this to other titles since it’ll always come out on top. Even with my nitpicks I still have managed to not only complete the game 3 times, but I’ve unlocked every achievement there is to get as well, being able to push me to see everything there is to see in the game is also an accomplishment that only a few amount of games have ever pushed my to do. But at the end of the day, whether or not you choose to pick up the game, let alone play it start to finish, is up to you. I’d give Elden Ring a score of… 5 out of 5. With hundreds of hours worth of content, a beautiful map and the graphics to match, fun but challenging gameplay, and a great musical score and story, it’s hard not to see why Elden Ring has gotten so popular despite only being released just little over a month ago.