Elden Ring – Why People Love This Super-Hard Game [Updated]
If you’re into gaming, you might have heard of the popular video game Dark Souls. Its developer FromSoftware just released Elden Ring, the company’s latest title which has taken the world by storm. Perhaps you’ve started playing the game by now!
Yet, even avid gamers may not like Elden Ring simply for the difficulty. This is a game that will frustrate players frequently, some people just grow to love the game more and more. What’s the secret to the game’s success, and should everyone try it?
First, let’s talk about how Elden Ring sparked the interest of game journalists and fans alike. Specifically, we will talk about its storyline, the graphics, open-world design, and the frustrating yet satisfying difficulty. Later, we will talk about the type of person that will love this game.
Why did people fall in love with this new fantasy world?
FromSoftware is a Japanese video game development firm that is responsible for the famous Dark Souls series of video games. Before Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s latest title was Sekiro which came out on March 22, 2019.
People have been waiting for the next title ever since. Three months later, the PlayStation YouTube channel released the trailer for FromSoftware’s upcoming title Elden Ring.
Gamers had to wait another three years for the other trailers. However, this was when people started to worry as it looked like FromSoftware would merge Dark Souls with open-world games.
Will this provide genre-defining gameplay, create a new legendary title, and prove a worthy successor to the previous FromSoftware games? Or would this tarnish its successful lineup?
On February 25, 2022, Elden Ring finally became available for purchase. Fortunately, FromSoftware did not disappoint! With the help of game publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., we have yet another legendary game!
This may seem like an exaggeration until you see its ratings from various game review sites. Depending on their rating systems, they gave it five stars and 10/10 ratings.
Here are the ones that gave Elden Ring a glowing recommendation:
- Game Informer
- Gaming Bible
- PC Invasion
- Well Played
- God Is A Geek
- WCCF Tech
- The AU Review
- Cultured Vulture
- PC Games N
- IGN UK
- Digitally Downloaded
- The Guardian
- The Daily Star
- The Gamer
- Windows Central
Read More: What’s In Store For Nintendo In 2022?
The Elden Lord plotline is deep and interesting.
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) March 4, 2022
Perhaps it’s best if we get into the mind of a gamer starting their first Elden Ring playthrough. It starts just like any other. You select the Start Game option and wait for the intro cutscene to load.
It tells of Queen Marika shattering a powerful artifact called the Elden Ring. Its pieces went into the hands of her offspring, sparking a great conflict in the Lands Between.
This causes an entity called the Greater Will to leave the realm into chaos. Then, it provides a brief introduction of a few major characters of the game.
The introduction calls the players “Tarnished,” and beckons them to restore the Elden Ring, so they can become Elden Lord and recover the Grace long lost.
This reads like a bog-standard “save-the-world” plot from most fiction stories, doesn’t it? Yet, Elden Ring adds mystery to this overarching storyline.
You won’t meet all of them outright because you will have to find them as you progress through the game. Similar to Lord of The Rings, you’ll convene with these characters in a wide and majestic location.
Once you discover the characters, you get to see them at the Roundtable Hold. Yet, there is so much to discover about them. Speaking with them will let on that there’s more to them.
You may perform tasks for them that will allow you to learn more about their role in the main plot. They let you discover these things organically instead of unveiling them in one long line of conversations.
Some games make it awkward to speak with the non-playable characters or NPCs. They often present a series of questions that prompt the character to share their own unique motivations.
Game of Thrones author helped write the plot.
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) March 1, 2022
This can feel boring because you just let the NPC narrate their lives for several minutes. Meanwhile, Elden Ring’s dialogue sounds well-written.
After all, George R.R. Martin lent a hand in writing the plot. In case you don’t know, he’s the author of the famous novel and series Game of Thrones.
FromSoftware head Hidetaki Miyazaki shared details about how he and Martin worked together. He said that they had “many free and creative conversations which Mr. Martin later used as a base to write the overarching mythos for the game world itself.”
Miyazaki added that “This mythos proved to be full of interesting characters and drama along with a plethora of mystical and mysterious elements as well.”
Elden Ring has superb presentation and design.
If you’re not interested in a deep storyline, the in-game environment will. This is because of Elden Ring’s presentation and design. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not the same as graphics.
Presentation refers to how the game guides a player through the game with its visuals. Meanwhile, the design points to how the world functions.
Before the intro cutscene, the player will have to create their character. They can choose from a wide range of roles such as Warrior, Vagabond, and Bandit.
Those will determine your starting equipment, such as armor, weapons, and magical abilities if any. The player may also adjust how their character looks.
After the intro cutscene, the player starts in a strange dream-like world with nowhere to go but forward. The presentation immediately fills the player with so many questions.
Then, they’re in for a great surprise at the end of the path. A huge monster with numerous limbs jumps into the area serving as the first boss of Elden Ring.
Most games have powerful enemies that people call bosses. They usually come later into the game, so encountering one at the start can catch people off-guard.
Fortunately, you’re supposed to lose this fight. The point is to show the player just how hostile the world of Elden Ring is. However, you can beat it if you’re skilled enough.
It guides players without them realizing it.
Whether you win or lose, you end up in an underground cave with a huge door in front of you. Yet, you’ll notice a specter calling you to explore deeper in the area.
This will lead you to the game’s tutorial. As you progress deeper, Elden Ring will introduce the game mechanics, such as attacking enemies and dodging their attacks.
Finish this path and you’ll end up right in front of the huge door from the beginning. If you want, you could skip that tutorial and head straight through it.
This shows the brilliant design of Elden Ring. You get to choose how you progress through the game, but it guides you without you realizing it.
Beyond that door lies an elevator that activates by stepping on its center. Once you’ve ascended, you open the door and witness Elden Ring’s breathtaking world!
Elden Ring’s open-world design is engrossing.
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) March 8, 2022
Elden Ring sparks awe and mystery during your first steps into the game. You’ll notice the wide-open grassland with regular animals like deer and squirrels.
Look farther, and you’ll spot the huge glowing tree in the distance. You will also find numerous structures dotting the landscape. Once again, the amazing presentation sparks curiosity.
You might start to wonder why there’s a giant tree made of light in the distance. Then, you may wonder why there are various ruins scattered throughout this green expanse.
Unlike most games, Elden Ring doesn’t tell you explicitly where to go. You have a map, but it won’t highlight your next destination to progress the story.
Instead, it relies on your desire to learn more about the Lands Between of Elden Ring. The beauty of its open world will compel you to figure things out yourself.
This compels players to walk further and explore. Later, they will get a four-legged companion named Torrent that they can ride like a horse.
This makes it easier to traverse further into Elden Ring’s breathtaking world. It will allow you to scale huge heights that you normally couldn’t reach.
This isn’t easy to pull off. The FromSoftware designers needed a fantasy world created to spur a player’s curiosity. You would need exceptional art direction to do that.
Thankfully, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. have been able to deliver with flying colors. This allowed Elden Ring to surpass the expectations of gamers worldwide.
Elden Ring is the most accessible Soulsborne game yet.
Hello! Elden Ring is one of the best games I've ever played. It mixes the blissful wonder of Breath of the Wild with the intricate design of Dark Souls. It's more accessible than previous From Software games, yet just as tense, punishing, and weird. A tremendous achievement.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 23, 2022
One of the reasons why it’s critically acclaimed is because it manages to provide more options than its previous games. Back then, players doubted using an open world format for this new fantasy world journey.
It turned out to work in favor of Elden Ring because it allows more options for newcomers. From now on, we will refer to FromSoftware’s lineup of games as Soulsborne games.
The name came from FromSoft’s two most popular titles Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and most fans use that term. Going back on topic, Elden Ring provides more options than the previous Soulsborne titles.
Dark Souls was more restrictive because they often confine players in limited areas. They have various hidden passages and secrets, but they have nothing on Elden Ring.
You’re free to walk or gallop to make the fantasy world unravel more of itself on the map. If you get stuck in an area, you could simply cool off in another place.
You can play however you want.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to focus on the main storyline. Perhaps you prefer following the side characters and their own unique motivations.
Those can be as interesting as the main plot, and you’ll earn great rewards for your efforts. They even unlock different endings for the game. What’s more, the character classes or roles let you play it differently.
The most common way to play is to hit enemies with close-range weapons like swords and spears. Yet, you can also shoot enemies from afar with your bow and arrows.
Perhaps you’d like to master arcane spells and other magical abilities. You can even summon familiar spirits like ghost warriors to even the odds against multiple enemies.
You get to see the fantasy world unravel as you move forward. Later, you may even readjust your character to change your playstyle.
Elden Ring lives up to the difficulty of the Soulsborne games.
Hidetaka Miyazaki's reasoning behind Elden Ring's notorious difficulty is actually quite wholesome. pic.twitter.com/YXqtREKNRp
— GameSpot (@GameSpot) March 3, 2022
We’ve covered so many great aspects of this FromSoftware game. Yet, most people will remember just how difficult this game is.
Elden Ring looks breathtaking, but the enemies can also take your breath away easily. Regular enemies can take you down in two to three hits. Bosses can knock you out in one!
Most of them have more health than you, so they take longer to beat. Also, you use up stamina when you attack, block, sprint, or dodge.
Once you run out, you can’t do anything until it refills by itself. This leaves you open for attack if you’re not careful. Shooting enemies from a distance doesn’t make it easier.
Enemies can quickly move towards you and even shoot back. The fearsome creatures you summon often serve as distractions since they can also lose to enemies quickly.
What’s more, the game design can also work against you. Dungeons can have tight corridors that have enemies waiting to ambush you. You also have to watch out for traps!
Meanwhile, open spaces aren’t always safe because it leaves enough room for massive enemies. Also, you can have more regular enemies swarming you.
This guarantees that most players will get knocked out several times. Yet, that’s what makes Elden Ring and the Soulsborne games great.
As you progress, you learn to time your attacks and dodges properly. You learn how to evade enemy attacks, and you may even change how you approach each boss fight.
Eventually, each loss isn’t a “game over” but a lesson. You prove that you’ve learned your lesson once you land the finishing blow and win once and for all!
It’s playable on the Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC.
You can play Elden Ring with the best graphics and the highest detail via PC, PS5, and the Xbox Series X. Still, it looks gorgeous on the PS4 and the Xbox One.
This means that you have more options to play Elden Ring. At the time of writing, the game’s online capabilities are still having trouble on the Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC.
Elden Ring lets you join other players as an invader or a hunter. The former looks for the player to interrupt and beat them while playing. The latter can assist other players against monsters and invaders.
Perhaps we will see these issues ironed out eventually. Until then, expect to have problems with this multiplayer feature. Elden Ring works well on single-player, though.
PC players may feel that the controls are clunky with a mouse and keyboard. They can easily fix this issue by attaching an Xbox or PS4 controller to their computer.
Overall, you have various ways to try this game. If you picked up a new PlayStation 5 or a new gaming rig last Christmas, it’s a great idea to add this to your game collection.
Is Elden Ring the game for me?
Despite the glowing recommendations, this game isn’t for everyone. You will have to enter this game expecting a challenge. This is why you can find various articles about why Elden Ring should have an “easy mode.”
Note that the difficulty helps the game’s identity and plot. Most people play these games because they crave that challenge. Believe it or not, fans want to keep on losing and trying again.
That’s the fun of the game. Similar to sports players, Elden Ring gamers feel pride and accomplishment once they overcome insurmountable odds.
What’s more, the difficulty helps present the game’s main storyline. Elden Ring is supposed to have a land filled with fearsome creatures. Your main goal is to beat the most powerful ones, the members of Queen Marika’s royal and noble family.
They hold fragments of the Elden Ring’s power, and it’s up to you to reunite them and become Elden Lord. It wouldn’t make sense story-wise if you can defeat them all without any problems.
If you’re willing to take the time to learn its mechanics, Elden Ring could be the best Souls game you’ve ever played. It has transcended its loyal fanbase as more ordinary people are starting to get into Elden Ring.
It may seem like one of the easiest FromSoft games.
Believe it or not, this is the most accessible Souls game ever. For example, each time you lost in the previous titles, you would have to travel long distances to try again.
Elden Ring places checkpoints near the bosses, so you can attempt to beat each boss immediately. The quick loading times are also a great feature.
Also, it provides more ways to win. You can take advantage of the traps by luring enemies into them. You can adjust your strategy to find the right one for each boss.
In general, Elden Ring will test your determination and your wits. This may not be the game for you if you want a casual gaming session. If you want a challenge, then FromSoftware’s latest title will provide that and more!
FromSoftware managed to deliver genre-defining gameplay, create engaging world exploration, and make a legend with Elden Ring. It’s so great that mainstream sources are reporting about it too.
If you haven’t tried this yet, this might be the best time to start. Just expect the game to be more difficult than most modern games. Elden Ring is available on multiple platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
If you’re willing to stick with it. Elden Ring can provide a gaming experience like no other. On December 9, 2022, it won the Game of the Year Award at The Game Awards 2022!