Elden Ring

25 Feb 2022

Xbox One PlayStation 4 Xbox Series X|S PlayStation 5 PC (Microsoft Windows)
9.7 rating
11627 want
17022 played
4072 playing
1199 reviews
Developer
FromSoftware
Publisher
Bandai Namco Entertainment
FromSoftware

Tags

Summary

Elden Ring is a fantasy, action and open world game with RPG elements such as stats, weapons and spells. Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between.

Obtained platinum trophy in ~170 hours at lvl 192. Not interested in co-op/PvP, played offline.

The wondrous and massive world of the Lands Between is literally awesome, the lore intriguing and captivating. Exploring the castles and wilderness, caves and catacombs quickly became an addiction. There are some performance issues but I'm not that bothered by them. Still, the performance isn't anything to write home about. There also aren't any DualSense features on PS5.

Since Elden Ring has been widely praised, my review focuses on criticism.

My biggest complaint is that many of the enemies and bosses feel disappointingly unbalanced, which is a big issue when a game centers around combat. A band of towering giants with flaming swords? Who cares, bring it on! But see those rats sniffing about? You better run or die in a ditch. Many basic enemies, like dogs, deal more damage than the bosses. How is that intentional?

There are bosses that offer a fair and fun challenge, but many (or even the majority) of them are just ridiculous. Either they're too strong, tanky and fast or total pushovers. Who's going to die in two hits, me or the boss? When the hard ones aren't already hard enough they come in pairs (yay...) and the weak ones die to a couple of swings (that's it?).

When so many of the bosses fall into these two extremities, it means that many of the fights aren't particularly fun nor memorable. They feel repetitive or anticlimactic. The hard bosses are prone to extremely delayed attacks, likely to throw off souls veterans. Their AoE attacks and combos deal massive damage. Even if you survive one with a sliver of HP left, the bosses are often scripted to attack when you heal, so a lot of the challenge boils down to making zero mistakes. Add spirit summons, one of the major additions to the series, to the mix and many of the fights feel like they have almost random odds of victory.

Many boss fights have clearly been designed with spirit summons (what the gatekeepers refer to as "easy mode") in mind so they're definitely part of the intended gameplay. I still wish more bosses had been designed solely for single-player (no spirit/NPC summons) like in the previous games. I shudder to wonder how big a pain in the ass a spiritless run would be.

FromSoftware had already perfected the "souls-like boss" in their previous games. Elden Ring proves that these games work better in a more focused and linear setting. Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely enjoying the game (plenty of bosses included), but it doesn't strike me as FromSoft's greatest work yet. The gameplay feels oddly dissatisfying during certain fights.

A handful of other complaints:
Considering how vast Elden Ring is, it's baffling how vague and directionless the NPC quests are, to say the least. Trying to figure out where an NPC has moved requires more blind luck than anything else. I don't need the exact location on the map, but I'd prefer a few hints to Fextralife.

Item/magic quick select feels quite old-fashioned. They should've implemented something more modern (similar to e.g. TLOU or Dishonored). L3 as the sneak/dismount button is frustrating, to put it mildly, but I haven't suffered accidental dismounts since switching L3 and ↓, allowing me to change items easily while walking. The map markers feel lacking, there should be more options or different colors. Can't compare the equipment in the shop menu. Fall damage feels inconsistent. Most items seem almost redundant.

The best content in Elden Ring are the legacy dungeons, like the Stormveil Castle or the Volcano Manor. The peerless level design makes the exploration so damn satisfying and fun. Character design and art direction are thoroughly superb, even breathtaking at times. Elden Ring has improved many aspects of the "soulsborne experience", but for me, it doesn't reach the heights of Bloodborne, Dark Souls or Sekiro. I would still recommend it to anyone interested in challenging action RPGs and open-world games, however, if the next FromSoft game turns out to be yet another Dark Souls, I'll pass.
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08 Apr 2022
Very solid. The game had a lot of open world that was honestly the same stuff. Boss battles and caves stacked onto each other and mostly just spread it through the world. The enemies hit counters were all over the place and I would get hit for no reason when I dodged. The repeated need to grind also got really old quickly and felt more like a chore then a fun time. The ending cutscene should have been more too

I really loved how the open world had so much to see and there was always cool things to explore even if most of the areas had fights and caves and not much else. The boss battles were different and very awesome. The game was hard but extremely rewarding in a sense. The game graphically was also beautiful and the story was very generic but interesting enough.
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14 Mar 2022
Game of The Year 2022
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28 Dec 2023
7 hrs, 10%
Too boring😢
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04 Apr 2023
the best world in the game industry but I don't like this game because of the big map and the random stuff that happened literally i lost on this game without YouTube tutorial you are done my friend a solid 6
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22 Jan 2023
- Gameplay: 6
- Story: 8
- Characters: 8
- Sounds: 5
- Graphics: 6
- Level Design: 4
- My Opinion: 5
- Device Played On: PC
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17 Jul 2022
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