Elden Ring – just how good is it? (pic: Bandai Namco)
A reader gives his verdict on Elden Ring, after spending 60 hours completing the game, and explains why he doesn’t think it’s one of From’s best.
Well, I know there has been a lot written about Elden Ring, but what is one more to the pile? I’m writing in because I have finally finished Elden Ring. I think I’d summarise it as eight parts absolutely brilliant and two parts thank god I am done with it.
I have mixed feelings about the game, it’s clearly brilliant and will be a strong contender for Game of the Year. The bosses were such a standout for me, I’ll remember a lot of them very fondly. Some for their incredibly interesting designs (Godrick and his arms; Rykard’s bizarre nature is just an incredible feat of imagination, Radahn and his hilariously tiny horse, and the boss fight with all those summons will all be happy memories).
Some I will remember not so fondly, particularly the repeated bosses which I began to resent as just a bit of a waste of my time. The first couple of times you fight one of those wyrm lizard things, fine… by the time you get to the fourth or fifth… I was reaching for the non-existent fast forward button. There is quite a lot of repeated content throughout the game, and I put it to everyone if you have stepped into one cave, you’ve stepped into them all.
Discovering said caves or catacombs is another thing I started to resent. I resented it because the game is massive (too big for my tastes) and I got this torn feeling on discovery. I felt like I should explore, because there might be some great talisman or weapon to be found, but then I also knew it would be the exact thing I’ve done 10 times already in 10 other nigh identical caves. (Where is the factory that made all of those identical sheds you find in the caves by the way? I was sure I was going to stumble upon a B&Q at some point).
The gameplay loop remains as compelling as ever and the flexibility of potential builds is probably more generous than ever, with so many different viable options it seems like there really is something to suit all play styles. I’ve seen videos of people who look and fight so differently to my character it’s hard to believe it is the same game.
FromSoftware games are, for me, the pinnacle of the action genre, and Elden Ring’s horseback action has expanded the formula in a meaningful way, with yet another layer added to the system. It’s great and I took every possible chance to ride and chop away with my Golden Halberd. The moment-to-moment gameplay is great.
The areas where Elden Ring starts to more resemble a Dark Souls game were also a big highlight for me. Stormveil Castle was, I thought at the time, …read more