Punishingly brilliant…


For the last few days, I have been playing the much anticipated Elden Ring. Developed by From Software, the team behind such cult hits as Dark Souls and Sakiro: Shadows Die Twice, they’ve once again delivered a tough-as-nails experience, this time given a huge open world to explore between your countess deaths. From Software’s style has certainly made me wary in the past, but I got to understanding the appeal of such games in the recent Demons Souls remake. That game is nails-hard, unfair and frustrating, but for some reason – still fun. The same can certainly be said here, and with the highly detailed open world to explore and a wealth of enemies to battle, there are always options, alternative routes and most importantly tons of exploration available.

A daunting world…

Unlike previous games from the developer, Elden Ring feels much more accessible, and not quite as intimidating. There is so much to see and do, it didn’t take long to pull me in. The world is equal parts eerie, magical and beautiful and even though the graphics are not that technically impressive, the art design shines through. The setting is comparable to The Witcher 3. The creature design is also top-notch and very imaginative … there’s some amazing work gone into this, especially when you discover the various bosses – and its difficult not to stand in awe – then die horribly.

The intricacy of the RPG elements should also be applauded. Granted the game doesn’t really do a great job of how it all works, but there are plenty of guides online, and I’ve enjoyed ploughing into tips and tricks to get the best weapons, level up my character the best way, get cool magic abilities and some badass weapons. I’ve sunk about twenty hours already into this and I am just so into this world, how it plays, the wealth of places to go, monsters to find and things to learn and get better at. It’s consumed much of my weekend I must admit, and I don’t regret a second of it. I’m having a ball, despite how challenging it can get. I’d say that’s testament a quality game; if you just love playing it and can’t wait to get back to it.

A must play.