Elden Ring is the most complicated RPG from FromSoftware because of how big it is and how well it handles progression. Even though the game has a lot of repetitive parts, its grand open world and exciting spectacle usually make up for it.
In my review of Elden Ring, I said the game had no point. I wasn’t impressed, and I boldly said that it “sometimes has the same empty feeling as other open-world games.” This claim, made after seven hours of play, doesn’t match how I feel now that the game is over.
When exploring an open world, Elden Ring gives me the strongest feelings of grandeur I’ve ever had. Its huge size and sense of freedom greatly contrast the terrors that still live in its empty plains. FromSoftware also adds a strong mechanical upgrade to its Soulsborne formula. This gives the player an unmatched level of character variety, letting them take on the many creatures of this world in any way they want. Some boss fights and ideas are used repeatedly, but The Lands Between kept surprising me until the end.
Freedom or death
Elden Ring’s open world is a careful mix of familiar, amazing, and peaceful things. You are walking through a shallow lake with poisonous spores at one point when a huge dragon drops down on a group of enemies around a bonfire. As soon as a health bar shows up at the bottom of the screen, your whole body will start to shake with fear.
At another point, you’re climbing up a mountain as a pack of wolves comes down from the trees above. The wind whips around your character, making you feel afraid of what’s to come. And if you run in a certain direction, a strangely placed pile of rocks turns into a glowing stone golem that stumbles towards you with murderous intent.
The world created by FromSoftware is more than just a big show. Like Scotland’s wide-open landscapes, which seem to have inspired the game’s settings, there are many times when the player can stop and take a breath. Elden Ring isn’t just about fighting. It’s just as exciting to ride through its vast mountain plains without fighting. The soft gusts of wind go well with the moody music, and even though the world is full of monsters, it’s relaxing to watch herds of deer move through the forest.
When you look at a place from far away, it looks like a fantastic painting. As the player looks up at the tall, glowing yellow trees and a castle on the edge of a cliff, the art gives them the same ethereal feeling that other FromSoftware games give them. However, if the player sees something far away, they know they can get there. Soulsborne has shown us big kingdoms, big cities, and big natural areas, but many of them were just scenery. In Elden Ring, you can get to almost everything you can see.
As the player makes their way across these plains, there is a good chance that they may come upon a region that is just as breathtaking as the ones that FromSoftware is famous for designing. When looking out over a huge area, players will see something interesting and wonder how they can get there. This is a big part of what makes Elden Ring unique. In Soulsborne, areas are often shown to the player linearly, but in Elden Ring, you can find secrets that lead to the most memorable parts of the game.
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Changes in the Atmosphere
The Lands Between has hard situations, but its world is kinder than any other Soulsborne, making it easier to get along with. These worlds are full of animals and colourful scenery and are made with player freedom in mind.
You can completely avoid a boss if you can’t beat it. The fact that Tree Sentinel is there at the start of the game shows how big Elden Ring is. You can try to beat him, but it should be clear that you’re not ready. Players can go to other places in Limgrave to gain levels and get new gear, weapons, or spells. The map system makes this even easier, which lets you teleport around the world, mark places of interest, and learn more about the land around you.
Elden Ring doesn’t have the same sense of hopelessness as Dark Souls. This world is freeing, and The Lands Between doesn’t throw players into the depths of dark fantasy. Instead, it gives them hope. With Elden Ring, FromSoftware switched oppression for freedom, which is an interesting change for the series as a whole.
Phenomenal Legacy Dungeons
The open world of Elden Ring is freeing, but FromSoftware hasn’t thrown out the game’s familiar structure. Legacy Dungeons can be found all over The Lands Between. They work the same as the classic areas in Soulsborne.
Knowing where the huge castle you just explored fits into an area gives you a new level of investment and a different view of how big the world is. Since FromSoftware is the master of atmosphere in the medium, it’s no surprise that these classic areas are great. The first steps a player takes up to Stormveil Castle are something they will never forget. I expect the company to be as grand as fighting a scary figure on a broken bridge that leads into a huge castle while clouds and wind swirl around the arena.
Elden Ring’s Legacy Dungeons are based on the basic ideas of an open-world game. You can explore these places in a way that isn’t in a straight line because there are secret paths and areas. You can jump across rooftops, fall into later parts of the level, or even hop up tiny bricks to find hidden items. These places have an entrance and a boss at the end, but the rest is up to you.
This is a big part of what makes Legacy Dungeons great because it doesn’t feel like a Bloodborne area was just shoved into the world of Elden Ring. Instead, these spaces can be explored differently and offer striking visual moments, great level design connections, and memorable fights.
More complicated defence
Soulsborne is hard because you have to learn when to dodge, but that may be oversimplifying the series’ difficulty. With Sekiro, the player was encouraged to parry, jump, and counter.
Elden Ring has done something similar by adding the ability to jump, fight while mounted, and crouch. Some enemies have attacks that send shockwaves through a large area. It’s safer to jump over these attacks instead of rolling through them. Even though adding a jump button might not seem like a big deal, it changes the way battles go and forces players to pay attention to more than just dodging at the right time. You can roll through these attacks, but it’s much harder than jumping into the air.