Elden Ring, developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment is credited as one of THE biggest game launches of 2022. It has already been praised as one of the highest reviewed games this year so far.
Elden Ring has a large open world design and it’s gameplay is second to none (you must make quick snap decisions based on your gameplay). It certainly is an improvement over the Dark Souls formula.
Created by Hidetaka Miyazaki (the Godfather of the Dark Souls series), and in collaboration with fantasy novelist George R.R Martin, Elden Ring has beautifully designed scenery, creatures and bosses that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat, throughout the whole entire game.
Elden Ring is told through environmental storytelling. meaning that the narrative focuses more on the world itself, rather than the player and their journey.
The game allows the player to pick a class of hero, this is ranked from beginner through to veteran: Samurai (Melee and ranged combat), Astrologer (Mage), Confessor (Combat and Stealth), Prisoner (Made for the soulsborne veterans in mind!) and Vagabond (Tank with 100% physical damage reduction – great for new players who do not intend on using spells).
Let’s take a few moments to talk about the calibre of bosses within Elden Ring. The first boss you encounter as you leave the Chapel of Anticipation, is called the Grafted Scion. With literally no prior warning, you are immediately thrown into the heat of battle with little to no experience whatsoever.
With that being said, it gives the player a bit more of a feel for how the bosses are depicted, designed and their mobility. With the Grafted Scion being a spider, it's agility is pretty quick and off the cuff. Be prepared to die immediately with this boss.
All of Elden Ring’s cutscenes are beautiful, and the voice narration is almost similar to that of a Lord of the Rings film, giving you that nostalgic feel to it.
Nearly all of the bosses that we faced off against here at 1st11, felt like an unfair challenge but that is purely down to not farming our character in order to raise our power level (every player starts at a fair level 9, with room for improvement to grow your character and their abilities).
You must make quick snap decisions based on your gameplay
As you enter each individual world, there are also “Free Roaming” bosses. Limgrave has a rather shiny, golden boss pertruding around on a horse. Encounter this boss at your own peril, or maybe wait until you’ve levelled up enough to take him head on!
Elden Ring showcases around 84 bosses in total, meaning that there is plenty of content to explore and work your way through. Each one is just as difficult as the other.
The gameplay feels smooth and fluid, and although here at 1st11 we played Elden Ring on PC, none of the controls felt heavy or clunky (we played with an Xbox One controller). The load times certainly did feel rather slow… other than that, it’s a really enjoyable game especially if you like a good challenge and want to test your skills against some of the best bosses in the game.
The soundtrack is definitely on par with the feel of the game and it ties in quite nicely at certain points in the game.
Is Elden Ring user friendly you say? Well…with any given Soulsborne game, the answer in short is no. However, the class of character that you pick, will have a dramatic effect on both your gameplay and playstyle. The option of both Vagabond and Confessor, should give a new player to the franchise the ability to adapt quickly to both the environment, creatures and bosses.
I would definitely recommend Elden Ring, as a heavy contender going forward and can certainly see it winning plenty of gaming awards along the way!
Despite having received a numerous amount of negative reviews on PC, this is purely down to the stuttering framerate. Hopefully a patch will be in the works soon!
Elden Ring is available on all major platforms, including the Playstation 5 (PS5), Playstation 4 (PS4), Xbox Series X / Series S, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows (PC.)
1st11 score - 11/11 (Buy it!)