Over the past month, I have been engrossed with Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s latest game! Yeah, I know this review is late, but I didn’t get the game early so I played it at my own pace. And honestly, this game is a strong contender for game of the year!
Elden Ring is probably in my opinion one of the most accessible FromSoftware games out there. I’m not saying that it’s easy or anything, far from it, but more so that the option on how you want to play the game is plenty. You’re never punished or encouraged to a certain playstyle. Every style was viable. Wanna dual wield, go ahead! Wanna be a giant sword-wielding menace with magic at your disposable, no problem. It’s great. If there was one thing I’d say I was very much disappointed with, when it came to the customization option, it’s the hair options for Black people. Not having at least five options for curly hair was a flaw for me. However, it’s not enough o stop me from playing so it’s a small flaw!
While many of FromSoftware games have been linear in the past, Elden Ring’s take on the open-world is breath of fresh air. The freedom to explore the Lands Between was intoxicating, with so many surprises hidden across its huge and expansive map. I really liked how the game is alive and rewards you for exploring its secrets. Never have I felt like I have seen everything that the game had to offer during my playthrough. I am always discovering something new up until the end.
You will discover things like dungeons and catacombs, which are littered everywhere, each offering a unique challenge. Like many of the past FromSoftware games, Elden Ring is no slouch when it comes to calling bosses, and although the game has over 127+ bosses to fight, technically only 10 are required to beat the game. On top of that, many of the bosses are recycled, which is to be slightly expected, given the scale of the game. However, the bosses proved to be a challenge if you’re unprepared.
At first, these bosses will make you which you hadn’t bought the game, but after leveling up, I noticed that bosses started feeling easier to manage. Still a challenge, but nevertheless I got good by the end. Of course, with the bosses, if one proves to be too much of a challenge, the game has new features called Spirit Ashes to help you out. Spirit Ashes are ghost companions which you can summon to help you out in battle.
All bosses told their own stories which helped piece together the narrative of the world. This actually brings me to my next point, the story. Unless you’re reading the items and paying attention to the dialogue of every NPC that you meet, it’s virtually impossible to know what’s going on. All you have going is that you’re a Tarnished and it’s your goal to become Elden Lord. If stories are your thing, then you may want to avoid playing this game as you won’t be getting that here! Unless you are willing to watch a YouTube video that explains the lore afterward that is.
In terms of graphics, I played my game on the PC, so for me, the visuals were great! There were a few hiccups when the game was first launched but that’s been addressed with patches.
Now, if there was one thing I would knock this game a point for, it’s the way they handled their sidequest. I’ll be honest, there’s no way for anyone to complete 80% of the sidequest without an online guide. I refuse to hear otherwise, as some of the sidequests were so vague, that you wouldn’t be at fault if you didn’t know what to do next. I feel that was the game’s biggest flaw! They tried to be so mysterious that it ended up hurting the experience more. It’s even worse when one of the missions is tied to a sidequest, which I would have missed if I hadn’t looked up a guide to help me.
Overall, Elden Ring is a must-play for anyone looking to jump into a Dark Souls game and enjoys an open world done right! It’s tough, yet engrossing enough that you’ll want to keep coming back for more punishment.