Myles Byrd
Myles Byrd
Published on Jun 21, 2022

I didn't start playing FromSoftware games until the pandemic forced everyone to remain at home. During that time between work and university, I decided to try out tons of new games that were vastly different from the games I usually play. I started off with Dark Souls 1 and then jumped into Bloodborne. DS1 isn't bad by any means, but it's showing its age. Bloodborne, on the other hand, was fast paced and forced the player to be the aggressor in combat. However, while I liked the gameplay of DS1 and Bloodborne and even Sekiro, what if there was a game that utilized ALL of those core components?

That game, of course, is Elden Ring.

Elden Ring is a beautiful combination of every FromSoft title (yes that includes King's Field)

While this is the first open world Souls type game from them, it's not like any other cookie-cutter open world that you'll see from (ew) Ubisoft. Elden Ring doesn't hold your hand, label everything on your map with an icon or flood your HUD with tons of other bullshit. The player has total freedom to explore every crevice of the map, and trust me, you'll want to do just that. Exploration is how you progress in this game. It's how you find armor sets, weapons, crafting materials, NPCs, dungeons, receive quests, and so on. My first trip to Caelid resulted in my finding the Greatsword (a perfect replica of Guts' weapon from the early chapters of Kentaro Miura's manga, Berserk, and a newfound fear of giant centipedes.

Elden Ring takes the best aspects of previous titles and perfectly blends them together. Stealth gameplay returns from Sekiro as an option for tackling large groups or stealing heavily guarded loot. Visceral attacks return from Bloodborne in the form of stance breaking (hitting an enemy so hard that their guard breaks and they can receive a high damage attack) And everything that made Dark Souls so iconic makes its return as well.

Additionally, while I won't go into too much detail regarding the narrative, I will say that the plot of Elden Ring is more straightforward and easy to understand than previous Souls games. And if you are a fan of George R.R Martin's literary works, you will definitely see his influence throughout the game.

Elden Ring is a solid 9/10 for me, as my only issue has to do with the game's performance. I've heard that the PC version doesn't run so well, and that the Xbox Series X version is rough as well. I've had some issues on the PS5 version such as clipping through certain environmental walls and significant frame rate drops, but I do hope that FromSoft fixes these issues down the road.