Elden Ring Game Review

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I propose from the very beginning not to beat around the bush and declare with all responsibility: Elden Ring is another Dark Souls. With all its pros and cons. If someone expected something different from Miyazaki and his team, then I have to disappoint you. If you are still with us on these lines and want to know why the game is not called Dark Souls IV, then let’s figure it out together.

The game takes place in the Inter-earth. According to the already established tradition, the main plot plot is told to us in the introductory video – a powerful ring paired with the World Tree endowed the kingdom with magical power – grace. After the destruction of the ring, the descendants of the once-ruling Queen Marika divided the fragments among themselves, but, as often happens, went crazy from the power they received.

The player, as the Extinct, understands the current state of affairs and seeks to piece together Elden’s ring and take the place of the ruler. If, after Sekiro or during the announcement, you had the idea that George Raymond Richard Martin should help the team create a more coherent and coherent story (not to be confused with lore), then even he could not significantly affect From Software’s classic storytelling style. The details of the story will have to be learned as usual from the description of items and phrases of local NPCs. To tell the truth, the work of the author of “A Song of Ice and Fire” is not so easy to notice – before, the studio created similar large-scale plots even without the participation of eminent authors.

The situation is the same with the features of the mechanics – the game is in no hurry to reveal all the nuances that distinguish it from past Miyazaki games. At first, everything looks too familiar. The main character, Extinguished, is another variation of the Chosen Dead or Unburned.  And the classic bonfires, although they were renamed places of grace, did not change their functionality. Yes, the game even uses old animations! On the one hand, such elements allow experienced players to feel in familiar conditions and immediately plunge headlong into the gameplay.

On the other hand, such self-copying can be a little discouraging. The question naturally arises in my head – where is the new experience? And exactly at this moment we are introduced to the main feature of Elden Ring – an open world! I want to talk about him for a long time and only in a positive way. Yes, this is not at all what we saw, for example, in The Witcher 3 or the Assassin’s Creed series. This is not a place filled with question marks, where NPCs carefully marked by the developers with the next task are waiting for us around every corner.

It feels more like a Gothic series, where the game just pushes the player to turn off the story path and find out what lies behind that turn. And there can be anything – a cave filled with resources for crafting, monsters and, of course, the boss. Or the camp of fire sorcerers who guard the chest with the spell. Or maybe a boss who is just waiting for the player to send him to the last place of grace.

And the open world is really huge. The appearance of a full-fledged map of the area in the game is not at all a simplification or “rendering” of the game. This is a necessary measure. Just like the faithful horse Potok, it is much more convenient to explore the endless forests, fields and mountains on horseback.  Otherwise, the character simply does not have enough speed and mobility to dodge the attack. Of course, in the cramped caves or lanes of local forts and castles, you will have to stomp on foot.

Unfortunately, the open world does not seem like something necessary for the game. Rather, it serves as a huge connecting location.  The territory is quite neatly divided into biomes – here are endless fields, here is a dense forest, where even during the day sunlight weakly passes, but here is a desert affected by some kind of magical red infection. Majestically towering castles and forts, which, among other things, serve as good landmarks in the area, are as similar as possible to locations from Dark Souls or rather Demon’s Souls. Large-scale, non-linear and intricate locations in the best traditions of From Software. To fully explore even the first plot castle will require more than one or two hours of real time.

As for the dungeons scattered around the game world, the closest analogy that almost instantly comes to mind is the dungeons of bowls from Bloodborne. For the most part, these are small locations where the boss sits at the end, which, most often, is just a reinforced ordinary monster with a life bar. In rare cases, the dark corridors of the cave can bring us to another location, which is simply impossible to get to in other ways. The reward for completing a dungeon can be a rare weapon, spell, talisman, etc.

The game always rewards the hero for curiosity and time spent. And this is true for all new mechanics added to the game. The great runes that drop from the demigod story bosses give a good boost to the character’s characteristics. But you can’t just use them – first you need to “restore” them in a certain place that still needs to be found. Then equip in a place of grace and bless with a separate item. Only after all these manipulations, the power of the rune will begin to act on the hero.

Or, for example, summoned spirits, which many have dubbed “imba” from the trailers – their use also has a number of nuances. For starters, trite, the spell itself needs to be found. You should not hope that the summoned pack of wolves will tear the camp of the knights to shreds. At the initial levels, they can only divert attention to themselves. In order for the summoned companions to become full-fledged support in battle, spells must be improved by analogy with weapons. And for this, you still need to find the appropriate character and have enough resources for pumping.