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Shattered lands united by the Elden Ring

Released early Spring 2022 and produced by FromSoftware studios, “Elden Ring” has swept the globe as a fresh take on the open-world role-playing game genre. This fast-paced exploration-driven masterpiece was directed by “Demon’s Souls” and “Dark Souls” creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, and the mind behind the worldbuilding was none other than critically acclaimed author George R. R. Martin of “Game of Thrones” fame. “Elden Ring” is available for play worldwide on all platforms.

Fans of the “Soulsborne” series of games, a collection of titles including “Demon’s Souls,” the “Dark Souls” trilogy, and “Bloodborne,” will be familiar with FromSoftware and have carried high expectations for the studio’s latest release. Quality concerns were met with layer after layer of exquisitely crafted content, highly detailed open-world environments and an expansive repertoire of unique in-game items and enemies. Players returning to FromSoftware’s dazzling work will be pleased to discover many of the preferred mechanics from all the studio’s previous games and projects have been retained and expanded upon – additional new mechanics have been introduced to add more depth and variety to how the game is approached.

Observant eyes will find many secrets and hidden gems as they explore the massive expanse of the world of “Elden Ring,” and the treasures that players are destined to discover have the potential to completely alter how obstacles can be overcome. Naturally, there exist a plethora of lesser enemies along the path to achieving the ultimate goal: collecting the shattered pieces of the Elden Ring in the form of “Great Runes” and uniting them to become the next Elden Lord, but they are merely fodder players will use to prepare themselves before facing down the imposing 120 bosses sprinkled around the colossal map. Elden Lord candidates are tasked with defeating only 15 of these greater foe and demigod level baddies. Still, ALL of them can be slain to claim the rich loot they possess.

Upon loading in, players will find themselves in a typical “Soulsborne” scenario: lacking knowledge of the menacing lands surrounding them in a vast world where information is the ultimate power. Environments the players will find are keenly unforgiving to the ignorant, and careless adventurers will find themselves paying the price of their missteps and likely pulling out some of their hair along the way. There is still no difficulty setting, much to the chagrin of a select few; however, the game still rewards diligence and perseverance.

For those who feel they are up to the challenge of claiming the mantle of Elden Lord, “Elden Ring” presents a wonderfully written and punishingly tedious experience that is not to be taken lightly. Playable with or without online multiplayer, gamers who undertake the arduous journey to the top are certain to find their mettle tested and their nerves utterly wracked. In the loving words of doting fans, gamers can either “git good or go home.”

by Kyle Manseill

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