Elden Ring Review: The Honest Truth from a ‘Souls Hater’

Let’s start this Elden Ring review with a dramatic bout of honesty.

When I pre-ordered Elden Ring, I wasn’t completely aware of the fact that it was a ‘Souls-verse’ game. I don’t know why, but I assumed it was just another open-world fantasy epic – and boy, was I wrong. It was as though the hype train had fully taken over my ability to learn, and I plunged in and bought Elden Ring based without a moment’s delay. Of course, it was a decision aided by the fact that the marketing efforts ahead of the launch had already blown Elden Ring up to massive proportions.

Now, it should also be said that I hate challenging games. I’ve never been a fan of the struggle associated with the Soulsborne universe, and I’m very lazy; I don’t want to learn how to fight countless super-sized bosses. With that in mind, I stepped into the game with an open mind and…

Well, here’s an Elden Ring review.

One Elden Ring to Rule Them All

Before it had even begun flying off the shelves, Elden Ring was poised to be a Game of the Year title. There were high ratings across the board, with top-tier outlets and publications singing the praises of FromSoftware, the developer behind Elden Ring. This is a game backed (and partly written) by the legendary George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones. From the moment you step into Elden Ring, you’re made aware of the fact that this story will be epic, lengthy, and challenging.

If it wasn’t already made obvious, the game follows the traditional Soulsborne model, which you can admittedly identify from any Elden Ring trailer:

Now, beautifully-crafted story aside, Elden Ring is designed to be a punishing, brutally difficult experience. It’s not for the weak-willed gamers, such as myself, and death is a core mechanic of the universe. Fortunately, you’ll be dying over and over again in the midst of a wonderful world that looks quite remarkable on any platform. It’s a drastically tough game to play, especially for newcomers, but it does at least look very good on the screen.

Gameplay

When it comes to Elden Ring gameplay, you can look back at pretty much any Dark Souls-ish game, including Bloodborne and Sekiro. There are RPG elements and the requirement to look tactically at a fight, rather than simply mashing buttons until you win. It’s instantly recognisable, boasting a timeless control layout and many traditional RPG-based tropes.

But, as this Elden Ring review needs to actually confirm, is it really that good of a game?

Is Elden Ring Good?

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Image Credit: RPS

The simple question requires a simple answer – yes, it’s a good game.

While it certainly isn’t my kind of adventure, I can appreciate it for the title that it is. It’s a niche that many millions of players do enjoy, even if I myself cannot understand the excitement behind dying repeatedly. However, with that being said, I recognise that there’s a huge challenge and reward mechanic present, and that’s what fans of the genre will be chasing.

From the moment you step into the game, from the Elden Ring character creation screen to the first Elden Ring bosses, you feel at home – if you’re a Soulsborne fan. It’s a mostly stable experience, driven by a powerful story, a gorgeous open world, and satisfying combat. There’s a fine chance it’ll win multiple GOTY awards based solely on reviews, but there’s definitely an almighty foundation to back up those claims.

I’m not sure if I’ll jump back in anytime soon, but I’m sure a true fan of the genre will appreciate the game. Although, I could take advantage of the Elden Ring multiplayer feature to get a little help…

Watch this space.