LifeisXbox’s Elden Ring review | Elden Ring follows an interesting path, it goes against many gaming standards. Complexity and extremely difficult to play are two main important examples. That’s where From Software is miles ahead compared to other developers. Ever since they started with Demon’s Souls in 2009 they created a game genre that many tried to copy. In some cases with success, think about Ashen from A44 or The Surge from Deck13 but the games from From Software remain far superior. With Elden Ring, they released a game that manages to be on a list with World of Warcraft, Super Mario, Half-Life 2 and Halo. Games nobody will ever forget. Is it a perfect game? No, it absolutely isn’t. But Elden Rings is one of the most unforgettable, unique and remarkable games of recent years. There is so much to experience and see, this is no ordinary game that you are going to play for a hundred hours. You wake up with this and you go to sleep with it. Dreaming about the enchanting open world, the lands between will become a weekly habit. It is equally difficult to play this game and write a review about it. There is a lot to say about this masterpiece, but I don’t think anyone is waiting for a review that takes three hours to read. I have already spent hours and hours discussing Elden Ring. Online but also with work colleagues and if you meet a gamer somewhere at a cafe or concert it was always about this title in the past weeks too. It’s bizarre and absurd how much influence Elden Rings has on almost everyone. Gamers who have been stuck on their daily shooter game for years are suddenly playing a gigantically difficult game. Perhaps that is the most special thing about Elden Ring, it wakes the gamer back up.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- An open-world was just what the Souls genre needed | Not that I’m sick of it but an open world with the same tasks and approach again, I really wasn’t waiting for that. Fortunately, developer From Software has masterfully breathed new life into the numerous open-world games. This mainly by giving complete freedom to the player and making every millimetre of the map interesting. The world and your hunches send you on an adventure, even though From Software did create guiding elements, such as a briefly visible lifeline to other checkpoints. The views are beautiful and almost endless, it really seems like a land somewhere you can travel to. Though the smarter person in ourselves will soon call it quits because of all the dangers. Your curiosity will be rewarded because in the most unexpected places you can find items that you can use to have a better chance of survival. You can easily spend dozens of hours in any environment. Secret cellars, grimy caves or settlements of the many kinds of ugly monsters. Elden Ring continues to surprise the player with secrets. One of the most influential reasons why Elden Ring is so much better than any other From Software experience.
- Visually insanely impressive | I can completely understand if someone tells me that Elden Ring is the most beautiful game on consoles. As a whole, this game is indeed insanely beautiful. The views from atop castles are too crazy for words. The Erdtree that is mostly always visible with its magical play of light always gives the environment that extra touch. The use of color and lighting effects has the greatest impact on the whole. Literally, everything is hugely detailed, the monsters standing out the most. Every other environment also has a perfect atmosphere to make it even more believable. Swamps look and feel wet, dark caves are straight out of a horror movie and all the magical elements belong in a Harry Potter movie. Not for nothing that players take hundreds of screenshots while playing. There are so many moments that make your mouth drop open. So my first reflex was usually that capture button on my Xbox controller.
- So many ways to fight yet you die more than any game combined | No matter when, you can always adjust your entire fighting style. Want to be an immovable tower that can keep blocking attacks? Or do you want to imitate Wolverine from Marvel and attack at lightning speed? Or rather be a kind of Gandalf and shout you shall not pass when you use magic attacks? Countless types of weapons or magic attacks are at your disposal, the nice thing is that they also have downsides or can just be used conveniently against enemies. For example, holy damage works excellently against skinny skeletons, fire against canines, and large and heavy weapons against armoured knights. You have to figure this all out yourself because they don’t hold your hand with combat tips,,,, which for me also one of the plus points of Elden Rings. Discovering things yourself gives you a stronger motivating feeling!
- Incredible creations of enemies and especially boss fights | That feeling after a seated concert that you just have the urge to stand up and give loud applause? That’s the exact feeling I have about the enemies, the design of it. If you thought Silent Hill, Resident Evil or Evil Within had terrifying monsters… then hold on tight! Because Elden Ring has monsters that will keep you awake for four days. I admit I have medium arachnophobia and there are spider monsters in here that I will never forget. When you see a giant spider-like thing coming at you with a sword as big as the Eiffel Tower you are on the verge of screaming for a moment. Not only are the designs of a high standard, but the animations are also even better. The way some enemies crawl by, fly or do something that can be compared to walking is of such a high level. It doesn’t make the battles any easier either, as boss fights now have a lot more moves compared to other Souls games.
- Forget about Epona, Torrent is the nest king of mounts | Using Torrent to find new Sites of Grace (checkpoints) is the first thing that comes to mind. But this lovely mount can be used for so much more! Even in combat he can be a blessing fighting against dragons and avoiding fire breaths. The smoothness of it all is also another applause moment for the animations team. You can instantly call Torrent with one button press, great for travelling long distances or reaching places with a double jump. He can even do higher jumps with the help of wind speeds, called spirit springs.
- Story parts could have been done better | One of the few things Elden Ring could have done better is the story parts. Even with the large name of Guillermo del Toro attached. Everything is a bit vague and many story moments are missable due to the nature of the open-world game. This is an ambitious game and I think they put many aspects before the storytelling. I do think it is fantastic that Elden Ring invites the player to explore and discover story elements with subtle references and world-building though. But a tighter story-focused experience would have made it even better for me.
- Multiplayer | Elden Ring is primarily an epic single-player game, but! There is a big focus on online interaction too. And no, I don’t mean the “Try finger, but hole” and the false “hidden wall” messages. Playing Elden Ring with an online co-op player is a bit complicated though, I don’t really understand why they made everything so difficult with required items and limitations. Summoning a friend or random player is done with a Tarnished’s Furled Finger and you can also use a Duelist’s Furled Finger if you want to do some PvP. Cooperative play is fun but it comes with a few annoyances, you have to say goodbye to your Spectral mount Torrent and when you want to visit a dungeon or a new area the multiplayer session stops. As with everything in Elden Ring it is a challenging process and learning all the terminology around multiplayer items and how to use them could have been done more user friendly.
What we Disliked
As great as it is, not everyone will like it | I personally know two people who bought Elden Ring and gave up after an hour or two. Even though I find that super strange I can also understand that not everyone is waiting to die nine hundred thousand times. The difficulty, which is what makes the Souls genre what it is, is a hugely challenging and time-consuming experience. Having the time available, finding the patience in yourself and simply having the skill to play Elden Ring is not something everyone has. No shame in anything being too difficult either, I think everyone will admit that this game is challenging. In these FOMO (fear of missing out) times, it’s hard to resist the urge to buy something that so many people are positive about. However, if you never enjoyed Dark Souls, Sekiro or Bloodborne stay far away from Elden Ring as well.
How long to beat the story | 60 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 100+ hours
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