Reviewed on PlayStation 5. Review copy provided by Bandai Namco.
Elden Ring is a one-of-a-kind experience that comes along only once in a lifetime. The Tarnished, individuals who were rejected by gold’s grace and forced to escape the Lands Between, will now have access to grace’s guidance. In the Lands Between, beyond the fog, the Elden Ring awaits those who have lost their grace and traverse the route to the Lands Between.
What is Elden Ring?
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin and video game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki have cooperated on a new fantasy region dubbed the Lands Between. Which is also influenced by Miyazaki’s DARK SOULS video game series.
The Erdtree’s source, the Elden Ring, has been shattered in the Lands Between governed by Queen Marika the Eternal. As a result of their newfound power, the Great Runes of the Elden Ring, which belong to Marika and her demigod descendants and are known as the Great Runes, triggered war: The Shattering. A conflict that meant the Greater Will had given upon us.
The Tarnished, individuals who were rejected by gold’s grace and forced to escape the Lands Between, will now have access to grace’s instruction. In the Lands Between, beyond the fog, the Elden Ring awaits those who have lost their grace and traverse the route to the Lands Between.
The story of Elden Ring isn’t told in an overt manner. Actually, you’re unlikely to discover anything new about the game if you don’t speak to anyone in it. The tale is laced with mystery, like past FromSoftware games, and unravelling it entails scrutinising item descriptions and chatting with NPCs. Once you finish the game, you can always go to YouTube and view a video about it.
Rage Against the Fingers
It’ll always be a challenging title, much like its predecessors. Like many FromSoftware games, Elden Ring is primarily about timing your punches and managing your stamina. What really shakes things up is what you do in between those attack patterns. Elden Ring, a combination of Dark Souls-style combat and stealth systems with novel ideas, is the culmination of the studio’s hard work. A collection of all of FromSoftware’s best fighting games, all in one spot.
Comfort may be found in combat, which has been substantially expanded to accommodate virtually any playstyle. In the conventional sword and shield combination, magical abilities are now more important than ever. A wide range of spells may be utilised to take out adversaries from afar, and Ashes of War provides even more options. You must first have enough FP juice (Focusing Points) to activate the weapon’s special skill before unleashing a new type of strike. Whether used with a magical greatsword or wind strikes, these skills can have a huge impact on the result of a battle.
Confrontations with bosses will put your weapon and magical abilities to the test. As is common, several of these encounters include diverse adversaries with distinct attack patterns. This is another component that outperforms its predecessors and the mainline combat. During phase changes, it’s not uncommon for bosses to switch up their armament, and even the arena they’re fighting in better suits their heightened power.
Elden Ring isn’t as photorealistic as Demon Souls, the PS5 debut release. The game’s art direction, on the other hand, is magnificent. The game regularly caused me to pause in astonishment, simply admiring the scenery in front of me. There are so many different colours and so many diverse areas. To cap it off, some of the game’s more linear dungeon levels, such as Stormveil Castle, are fantastic. From a level design standpoint as well as a visual standpoint. The open world is exactly that. On the other hand, the dungeons are linear and looping, with shortcuts. It’s not on the same level as Dark Souls 1, but it’s still really fulfilling and enjoyable.
The Lands Between is peppered with both large and small locations. Yes, there are massive, maze-like castles to explore, but there are also underground passages and mines where I may farm minerals and fight distinct bosses of varying difficulty. I’m noticeably better in the minutes leading up to increasingly difficult boss encounters. The Lands Between offers a wide range of experiences, from towering mediaeval fortresses to stinking, poison-filled forts, from beautiful autumnal landscapes to caverns carpeted with skinned corpses. One region of the game, Caelid, a rotten, red-skyed continent, is so bleak and frightening that just being in it was taxing. Once again, FromSoftware has set the bar for bleak fantasy realms.
The Lands Between is dismal and depressing at times, but it can also be magnificent. For example, the enigmatic four-legged walking cathedrals clomp around grasslands and shallow lakes, clanging their bells for no apparent reason. Like many other curiosities in Elden Ring’s huge globe, these beings are a riddle to solve — and if these self-contained little puzzles become too complex, there is usually a merchant or kind citizen nearby who can sell me a hint. These folks will occasionally sell me recipes for making new products or offer me a task to complete in exchange for a prize. To be sure, there are gigantic dragons, towering golems, and large sentient pots out in the open world – but it’s the minute things that make all the difference. They feel less like ticking items off a list and more like fresh paintbrushes for this beautifully realised world.
The Sound of Gold
The orchestral score by composer Yuka Kitamura is inspiring. It knows when to go in and when to go, sneaking in when the threat is real and slipping out when it isn’t. Even the main Elden Ring theme has a particular quality to it that reminds me of Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel score. I was ready to take on the world after listening.