What's All the Hype and What Can We Expect in Elden Ring?

by 
 | February 1, 2022
 | 

Allow me to introduce you to this new fantasy action RPG and the buzz about why everyone's either super excited about it or dreading the day it spreads its presence across the earth. Elden Ring is expected to deliver both unique and challenging gameplay. Some gamers think gaming should be a relaxing experience, while others think you should chop up baddies with as much blood and guts as possible. Based on Elden Ring’s setting and recent trailers, I'm guessing it's closer to the latter option, so I'm looking forward to some epic battles wrapped in a dark fantasy story. 

"Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between."

Set to release February 25, Elden Ring is a collaboration between FromSoftware's Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin. For those who aren't familiar, FromSoftware is the developer behind Dark Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Bloodborne. These games are notoriously difficult. In fact, I'm not even sure "difficult" is the right word. I've heard from a veteran gamer that Dark Souls doesn't just kill you… it makes you wish you were dead. George R. R. Martin is the mind behind A Song of Ice and Fire, its TV adaptation Game of Thrones, and the upcoming House of the Dragon. Martin collaborated with Miyazaki to create the game's fictional world. If that didn't catch your interest right off the bat, there's more. 

Elden Ring is a multilayered epic drama boasting a vast, exciting world. Huge dungeons, towering castles, and sweeping vistas are all represented in the gameplay. There are many situations gamers can find themselves in. When my friend and I were watching early gaming footage, a dragon literally spotted the player roaming through the open world and swooped down to land nearby. It wasn't a small dragon, either… If you want to take a look, check out the clip in this demo review video that gets you more up close and personal with the beastie:

Players will be able to create their own character and customize its appearance. Plus, they can freely combine their armor, magic, and the various weapons they equip to facilitate their play style as they journey through the world and encounter enemies. Imagine starting the game as a bold warrior then transforming into a master of magic. I hope to use a combination of the two, and then adjust accordingly based on what's most effective for each enemy. 

For all the completionists out there, it’s reportedly impossible to 100% complete the game on a single play-through due to the branching options near the end. However, there is something called “new game plus.” This is a feature in many games that allows players to beat the game more than once using a single character. When you complete the first playthrough and start a new one, Elden Ring will let you carry over key items such as gear and spells you’ve gathered. Except for items tied to progression, of course. Using this, you could play multiple times to tackle those alternative plots. 

"The Lands Between"

As we can expect from the minds of Miyazaki and Martin, this will be an epic drama. The story is born from a myth and told in fragments. We don't know too much about the narrative so far, but more will likely be revealed as the release date looms closer. At this time, we do know that character's thoughts somehow interweave in what is known as the Lands Between. You'll be able to connect with other players and travel together, and Elden Ring boasts an asynchronous online element that enables gamers to sense the presence of others. Reportedly, you can use things like blood stains, phantoms, and messages to leave information behind for other players within a specific group. There isn’t a lot of information on that right now, but I speculate this allows gamers within that group to leave clues or a digital “XYZ was here.” That'll likely come in handy for the more formidable puzzles and foes! On top of the open world, they've also included a world map, the ability to jump and fight from horseback, and new counter moves

This game is rated M for blood and gore, language, suggestive themes, and violence. If it wasn't obvious, the content is not appropriate for all ages and is pretty likely NSFW. So, maybe don't play it on your desktop computer when you get tired of staring at emails all day. Your coworkers might look at you a little funny. Unless you work from home… In which case, by all means, do you.

I plan to cover Elden Ring more as the launch progresses, and I hope to play it as soon as possible. I've never tried a FromSoftware game, and I hear they're a feat within themselves (to put it lightly). I’m excited to see discussions online about who loves it, who rage quits, and who blazes through it in mere days. I gotta play for solidarity since Martin is collaborating on the project. Every time I die, I'll quietly whisper, "Valar morghulis."

Who am I kidding, I'm probably going to end up screaming it at the screen after my 1,789,473rd death.

Have you played a FromSoftware game? Are you looking forward to Elden Ring or dreading the challenge ahead?

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