By Clay Thompson | Reporter
I will be honest and admit that I preordered Elden Ring as soon as it was available. I have played every major title FromSoftware has put out since Dark Souls and I was excited to see if their newest game lived up to the quality of their previous outings. Aside from a few hiccups, it has exceeded expectations.
Elden Ring is the latest title from the popular studio FromSoftware, the same studio that created the difficult series of fantasy RPG games known as Dark Souls. However, Elden Ring has one major difference from their previous games: It is an open world, which means gamers can roam around their entire world of the game with free choice to go and do whatever they would like. Whether it’s fighting bosses or completing quests, gamers have total autonomy of how to progress throughout the game.
After about 50 hours of gameplay under my belt, I can safely say that Elden Ring is one of my favorite games of all time. However, before I go into how much I enjoyed the game, I need to touch on the few aspects of the game I did not find enjoyable.
First and foremost, the game often stutters. I am not referring to any audio issues, but the graphics can sometimes go from very blurry to sharp when gamers are exploring the world or are engaged in important battles, which is distracting to players but also takes away from the gorgeous art, world and level design of the game overall. The creators of the game have done such a great job of making it look amazing, yet these constant graphical stutters can be a real detriment to the experience.
Additionally, the targeting system in the game — where players can choose which target to attack —d can often be very sensitive and lead players to be defeated if the wrong target is selected to attack. I found myself in increasingly frustrating situations, where I would be at a critical point in the game to progress, yet would unceremoniously die at the hands of an enemy in front of me when my target switches to a friend of his on the left.
Regardless of these two errors, I found Elden Ring to be a thoroughly engaging experience with perhaps one of the best open worlds since Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Around every corner, there was something for me to do. Every encounter with enemies was exciting and fresh, the combat system is comfortably traditional with a few great additions and don’t even get me started on those boss fights.
Interacting with a boss in the game was like an epic battle from a movie — if in the movie the protagonist dies countless horrible deaths until they win. Every boss felt designed to scale with the players as they progressed, and each was made so perfectly by the creators at FromSoftware to look unique and impressive but fight as deadly as possible, making each and every attempt to conquer one of the many bosses equally frustrating and thrilling.
Overall, I think Elden Ring has the potential to be the game of the year. It has a large yet masterfully created world, filled to the brim with activity, tons of customization, a brilliant combat system with fun enemies and even more exhilarating bosses. Above all, the game is challenging, sometimes to the point of rage-quitting, but it’s not like typical games that give you an easy option. It pushes you as a player to learn and grow to get better at the game and it makes the progression so much more satisfying. Aside from a few technical errors I found that will hopefully be patched up in future updates, the team at FromSoftware has truly created the next great video game.