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Elden Ring Review: Impressive Worldbuilding By Game Of Thrones Creator, Likely To Be GOTY

Elden Ring review

The most anticipated game of 2022 has finally arrived. At first glance, we could already tell that Elden Ring is Game of the Year (GOTY) material. For those who have not yet cleared the game, don’t worry as this will be a spoiler-free review.

elden ring review - castle
Image credit: Elden Ring Official Website

Elden Ring’s complex worldbuilding and narrative genius are attributed to its two brilliant writers: Hidetaka Miyazaki, who is best known for creating the Souls series, and George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones.

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Image credit: @eldenring

The premise of Elden Ring

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Image credit: @eldenring

In the fantastical medieval world of Elden Ring, the realm of the Lands Between was once graced by the titular Elden Ring and ruled by Queen Marika the Eternal. The Ring, however, had since been destroyed and broken into shards. 

Marika’s demigod offspring claimed the shards of the ring, which corrupted them with power and led to a devastating war also known as The Shattering.

elden ring review - the tarnished
Image credit: @ELDENRING

Players journey through the game as one of the Tarnished – those who lost the grace of the Ring and were thus exiled from the Lands Between. After the shattering of the Ring, the Tarnished are summoned to find all the shards of the Ring and become the Elden Lord.

Difficult game that requires patience

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Image credit: @ELDENRING

There is a significant number of enemies and bosses that the player has to defeat in order to progress in the game, and for those who have never felt the agony of Hidetaka’s Soul series, Elden Ring might be quite the challenge.

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Image credit: Elden Ring Official Website

Despite its difficulty, Elden Ring allows the player to choose different types of combat styles such as charging at enemies head-on and being stealthy via crouch-walking, which allows players to get behind enemies for a critical hit. 

elden ring review - spirit ashes
Image credit: @eldenring

Players can also summon spirit companions – also known as spirit ashes – to aid them in combat. Elden Ring allows the player to engage in combat on horseback, which may give the player more agility, but also takes away the player’s ability to roll away from attacks.

elden ring review - enemy felled
Image credit: FromSoftware Inc. & BANDAI NAMCO

Besides the variety of combat play styles available, the way to conquer the battles in the game is through experience. Many of these bosses are difficult, and it is only through learning their attack patterns and being able to time your dodges accordingly that you will emerge triumphant. 

It also helps to learn about the enemies’ weaknesses and use that information to your advantage.

Elden Ring takes open-world to the next level

elden ring review - horse riding
Image credit: @ELDENRING

Despite having a main quest to fulfil collecting the shards and becoming the Elden Lord the player also has the freedom to commit their time to world exploration or fulfilling side quests instead.

The sheer amount and variety of content available in the game is what takes the notion of “open-world” to the next level.

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Image credit: FromSoftware Inc. & BANDAI NAMCO

However, it is precisely because of such freedom and independence that makes the game challenging at times. Apart from the tutorial, which teaches you the basics of the game, much of the game itself is unexplained. Players often have to figure things out through trial and error.

elden ring review - genshin impact quests
Quest descriptions from Genshin Impact
Image credit: miHoYo & COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD.

Games commonly have an indicator for quests and a short explanation of how to complete them, but like the other games by FromSoftware, Elden Ring defies expectations. For those who typically rely on these in-game pointers and less on self-exploration, Elden Ring might be a tough nut to crack.

Final Verdict: 5/5 

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Image credit: @ELDENRING

Between its amazing graphics, complex narrative, and vast but intricate open world, it is no exaggeration to say that Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s most ambitious project yet. A single playthrough will barely scratch the surface, leaving you eager to venture out into the Lands Between again and again.

Despite the technical issues that arose for those who played the game on their PC, we feel that that itself was not compelling enough to pull down the game’s rating. Bandai Namco has already acknowledged the issues and are working on a patch to fix the issues.

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Image credit: FromSoftware Inc. & BANDAI NAMCO

Just like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Elden Ring is likely to be looked back on as a game that defined the open-world genre.

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Cover image adapted from: @ELDENRING