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Elden Ring: all we know so far and should you play it?

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Oct
25

Elden Ring will be an open world RPG by From Software, known for the following critically acclaimed masterpieces we all love: Dark Souls, Sekiro, Bloodborne… this alone should be enough to convince you to play Elden Ring, but wait there’s more… so much more!

 

 

The World of Elden Ring

  • It will be the biggest project ever undertaken by From Software, who started working on this new game right after Dark Souls 3’s last DLC in early 2017.
  • The game will take place in a brand-new world and lore created by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin (In case you’ve been living under a rock: he’s the author of the best seller ‘A Song of Fire and Ice‘, which led to the huge series hit ‘Game of Thrones’).
  • There will be much more RPG elements than in the aforementioned games, which means many more character customization options, so more ways to deal with enemies, but also more interesting interractions with NPCs.
  • It will be an Open World, which is the first of its kind for this studio. There will however still be many dungeons and castles with intricately designed levels, which is a relief when we know how amazing the level design has been in the previous games by From Software. But the Open World part will be something new we can all definitely look forward to.
  • Miyazaki said this would be their biggest project by far in terms of sheer volume. The Open World is likely to be huge and will allow you to access a large chunk of the game from the start. So Elden Ring will not have a forced linear progression like in Souls games or Sekiro, and that is a great news because this adds a lot of diversity and replayability.
  • George R.R. Martin wrote the mythology, the lore, most of the main characters, with their lot of dramas and backstory, which according to Miyazaki was a huge boost to the studio’s creativity. Martin built the foundation, and From Software created a whole world upon it.
  • There will be 6 Main Areas to explore in the open world, each with their “Main Boss”, which will be some demi-god characters. These 6 Areas will be known as “The Lands in Between” and will have a natural linear progression, but you won’t have to actually follow it. Apparently, you can skip more than 50% of the games’ bosses if you want to. As far as I’m concerned, I intend to enjoy 100% of the game’s content, and I will write a full 100% walkthrough for Elden Ring 😉
  • Exploring the whole world will not only allow you to become stronger, but also to meet NPCs which will add more flavor to the game, more story, more drama, and also have an impact on the different endings the game will have. According to Miyazaki, these NPCs will have a much more important roles than what we were used to in past From Software games.

1_Elden Ring Lost Grace

 

  • Checkpoints will work similarly as in Souls games with the Bonfire system. Instead of Bonfires, we will get “Lost Graces”, a golden leaf from the World Tree, which will act as a checkpoint but also as a “Base”, even though we don’t know yet what the game developers meant by “Base”. Graces are remnants of a past age, when the Erdtree used to shine its light all across the realm.
  • Lost Graces will shine a beam of light towards your next objective, but it doesn’t mean that this objective will be easy or that you have to go there next.

 

Character creation and customization

Our character will be one of the “Tarnished”, a revenant who lives again to search for the Elden Ring, which is the source of the Erdtree (World Tree). The Elden Ring has been shattered and we’ll thus embark on a quest to restore it and become an Elden Lord.

  • There will be 10 Starting classes when creating your character.
  • ‘Weapon Arts’ will not be tied to a specific weapon as it was the case in Souls games. You will be able to choose which « Skill » to use.

2_Elden Ring Weapon Skill

  • Spirit Summoning will be a new feature, where you can summon a companion who fights alongside you and fills different roles depending on your playstyle. Some Spirits are focused on tanking, others on fighting from range, etc. It will be possible level up those spirits and even customize them to fill the role that fits best to your playstyle
  • Those Spirits will all be enemy based, which means you’ll probably have to encounter a certain type of enemy before you’re able to “capture” it and use it as a summoned companion.
  • In addition to attribute builds, equipment, magic and spirit summoning, you’ll also have access to Skills. There will be around 100 different skills in total and you’ll be able to freely assign them to a great variety of weapons.
  • Crafting will also be a part of Elden Ring. Most crafting materials will be accessible by exploring the open world. According to Miyazaki, crafting will mostly be about consumables, such as healing items, which will be more necessary than in previous FS games, because there will be more ground to cover in between “Checkpoints”.

 

All this customization and room for your character to become stronger will probably make Elden Ring “easier” than its predecessors. By “Easier”, I mean you’ll not have as many pure “skill” checks as in Sekiro for example, where your only option to beat a certain boss was to try and die over and over to learn a boss’s attack patterns before being able to defeat it.

This is in my opinion good news, because hundreds of thousands of gamers gave up on From Software games simply because they were too hard and ended up being too frustrating. So instead of adding an “easy” mode in the difficulty settings, something From Software has never done in the past, they now give you the possibility to become stronger while exploring a vast open world and upgrading your character before facing a tough encounter.

If you still think the game will be too hard for you to play, you should still read the next two paragraphs which I hope will convince you to give it a try. Worst case, try the game and if it becomes too frustrating, take a break with a more luck based game such as online blackjack canada, but in all seriousness, I truly think Elden Ring will be much more accessible will help bring this amazing genre to a broader audience.

 

Elden Ring’s gameplay

 

It seems that Elden Ring will be combining the best features from the Dark Souls series, Sekiro and Bloodborne, while also adding new mechanics never seen before in a From Software game:

  • Your character will be able to jump, which was not really the case in Souls games. Sure you had some lame jump which more often than not got you killed instead of helping you accomplish anything, so this is a nice change. Jumping will allow you to avoid sweeping attacks like it was the case in Sekiro, and open new types of attacks while jumping, depending on the weapon you’re currently using.
  • Furthermore, fall damage has been greatly reduced to allow for more exploration and mobility. Dying from fall damage was one of the most frustrating features of Souls games so we can all be glad they changed that for Elden Ring.
  • Stealth will also be a part of Elden Ring, you will be able to hide in the tall grass and crouch to sneak upon your opponents.
  • There will also be differences between Night and Day. During the night, your stealth will be enhanced, but your vision will diminish. Some encounters or areas will probably be best done during the day or night depending on the situation, which adds some cool new gameplay possibilities while making the world more immersive. It is also said that some scary enemies will only appear at night.

3_ Elden Ring night camping bonfire

 

  • Blocking mechanics have evolved when blocking with a weapon. It seems that you can follow up with a powerful counterattack when you successfully block an enemy blow with a weapon.
  • Great news: there will be a World Map, allowing you to see what you’ve already visited and what you’ve still left to explore in the open world. However, there will be no map for the “Legacy Dungeons” and other smaller enclosed spaces to explore. You will be able to set up markers on the map to help your exploration.
  • The Open World will be divided 6 large sections, each with its main dungeon and other places to explore, such as catacombs, caves, encampments, etc.
  • In the Open World, there will be Field Bosses, which will be outdoor bosses of various difficulty. You will be able to face them if you choose to.
  • There will be fast travel options.
  • You will be able to ride a horse and fight on horseback while in the Open World. However, most fights will still be done on foot, according to Miyazaki. In the Open Fields, horseback fighting will most of the time be a better option against larger foes where hit and run tactics are your safest approach.
  • Your mount will be a “Spirit Steed”, which can vanish and appear out of thin air at our request.
  • Your Spirit Steed will allow you to Jump, Double-Jump and even “Boost” jump in some cases (massive jumps using world elements to access high grounds).

4_ Elden Ring Spirt Steed boost jump

  • You will be able to fire arrows, spells and swing your weapon while on your horse.
  • There will be a Stamina bar, which sounds like it will be similar to the stamina bar used in Bloodborne. That means you’ll not be able to spam abilities endlessly, but you’ll still have some pretty fast paced gameplay.

 

Multiplayer and PVP

  • Multiplayer will be much more accessible and convenient than in Soulborne games, where you had to use specific items at specific locations to play with someone else online.
  • Once you’re sharing a world with someone, there will be changes in the user interface to make co-op or PvP feel more structured. If you’ve played any Souls game in the past, you know how messy PvP can be, especially when you don’t know what to expect.
  • Co-op in Elden Ring seems much less “instanced” than in Souls games, allowing you for longer co-op play sessions without having to re-summon your friend every time you beat a boss or enter a new area.
  • Groups” will also be a new addition to Elden Ring, where you’ll be able to interact more freely with your group members and share “Bloodstains” and “Ghosts”.
  • PvP will be possible even in the massive open fields which the Open World of Elden Ring will offer.
  • Miyazaki said that players won’t be able to use their Spirit Horse while PvP’ing.

 

Conclusion: should you play Elden Ring?

Given From Software’s stellar track record, George R.R. Martin’s storytelling genius and what we’ve seen so far, this is perhaps the easiest question to answer this year in the gaming world.

YES! You should play Elden Ring, even if you didn’t like Dark Souls, Sekiro and Bloodborne because they were too hard. Elden Ring will not only be more accessible, but it will also be better than previous From Software games:

  • Better gameplay combining all the best mechanics from Souls / Sekiro / Bloodborne games
  • Better storytelling and immersion
  • More durability and replayability thanks to the vast Open World and increased character customization options.

I can call it now: Elden Ring will be 2022’s game of the year, and I will definitely write the best possible 100% walkthrough for it!

Only a few months left to wait, as Elden Ring will release worldwide on 25th February 2022.

Stay tuned! 😉

Jame

 

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