Elden Ring reviews

My favorite From Software game!
A breeze of fresh air for open world games!
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Nothing new
9 beginning / 7.5 everything else, with pure kino overdose in the final part
Exploring Limgrave was really fun, but then you realize open world is quantity over quality. Not that bad maybe, but the feeling is definitely there, and it really gets tiresome by the end with all the samey dungeons and copy-pasted bosses. Also reused ideas because it's a Souls game, we ain't gotta create nothing new.
Might be GOTY. Waiting for the DLC.
«Can’t stop playing»
«OST on repeat»
Magic, but hole
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
I'm garbage at souls games. I remember not being able to deal with the spiral staircase in Latria 3-2 in the OG Demon's Souls leading to the maneaters because of those damn mindflayers and reaching a level of rage past yelling or breaking controllers (those cost money, don't waste money) and just calmly, quietly taking the disc out and putting it on eBay with the same kind of emotionless automation of a sim and never touching it again. Fast forward to every person on Earth playing this thing and the hype is too much, man, it's gorgeous, the reviews are through the roof, streams look dope, I gotta play this. But on easy mode, of course. Heard that magic was easy mode so I did the whole use the rune boosting chicken foot and taking out the giant dragon's tail with that bleedy morning star and then skipping a boss and horse it past some secret areas to get an overpowered sword that I was in NO way prepared to get normally and now I'm one-shotting hard enemies (when not getting surprised by a dragonfly or crab because oh my god this game is so punishing) and loving it! The game tells you NOTHING and I should hate that but it brought me back to MS-DOS games that were made with the expectation of you fumbling around for at least tens of hours before realizing that you could've done twice as much in just 4 minutes if you knew where you were supposed to go. A few headaches later and the exhilarating feeling of getting gud washed over me. First two attempts were rough. I didn't know where the Church of Elleh was, how to get the horse, level up, whatever, you name it, I just got out of the first area and then ended up stuck in some cave with a golem boss I couldn't hurt. Started over and ended up stuck in that Caelid crystal mine dealing with the centipede dudes because I had no idea the exit was so close. Random dogs are killing me and I'm level 42 and I'm pissed about that and it's all kind of terrific for some reason, you know?
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«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
This game fuckin rocks. Best gameplay of any Soulsborne game FromSoft has released yet, and you can see the influence of every single one of their past games in the gameplay elements. The OST is often understated, but influences like Skyrim can clearly be heard in the soft, sustained strings and woodwinds in the overworld. The world of Elden Ring is massive and accessible while still somehow maintaining FromSoft's impressive level design through castles, dungeons, caves, etc. 

My singular gripe with this game - and I struggle to call it a flaw, it may just be my preference - is just how overwhelmingly open it is. Souls games have always had mysterious and hands-off stories, true; but Elden Ring's openness conflicts a bit with this structure for me. I think I want more direction. Yes, the light of the sites of Grace does point the player in the direction they should go, but there are many sites pointing in many directions, and this can be overwhelming the more you explore. Personally, I would have liked a more straightforward, guided main story that  encouraged exploration without potentially losing the player. 

Side note: I'm not sure how I feel about overworld bosses. I ran from mid-Limgrave all the way to the northern point of the northernmost castle and ran past like four bosses - including an ancient dragon - and I had no clue where I was or what the lore significance of it was. I think this adds to my point that a bit more careful guidance of the player at the cost of free exploration would have made everything a bit more digestible/approachable without making a joke of it.

4/10/22 - After really taking my time and finishing this game, I think my gripe of there being too little direction only really applies to the early/mid game. Once you reach the capital, it becomes incredibly obvious where you need to go. This game is incredibly large, and the amount of content is insane. One of the best games of all time. That being said, the amount of boss reskins, repeats, duos, etc. does dull the shine a bit. It's to be expected with how fucking huge this game is, but it still sucks to see the 11th Ulcerated Tree Spirit come out of the ground after fighting the third Godskin Apostle and the eighth dragon reskin. When the bosses slap, they fucking slap. When they don't, they really don't. 

Game's a 10/10
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«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
This is a hard to recommend game that has a superbly well designed and surprisingly zen open world - a far fetch from its contemporary “Ubisoft open world games”.

With regard to combat, it’s Dark Souls turned up to 11: the player character is consistently outreached, outsped, outdamaged, outmaneuvered and outnumbered by enemies, which gets incredibly frustrating. Also, because enemies are so difficult, it’s unclear if you’re losing to them because you haven’t learned their behaviour properly yet or because you’re still underleveled. This led me to explore more in previous areas, which in turn caused me to be overleveld for the boss fights, which were then disappointingly easy, while they should have been a highlight.

There are some very cool moments, the game looks amazing (do keep in mind that it’s primarily a last-gen game, though), the music can be incredibly good and, like I said, the open world is among the best out there. However, for me, the negatives outweigh the positives and I’m not necessarily looking forward to a future From Software game, even though Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro are among my favourite games. 
PC performance issues mar what is an otherwise flawless masterpiece. This game has absolutely set the bar on what an open world game can and should be while still appealing to Soulsborne veterans and new players alike. I have not felt this giddy about an open world game since TES: Oblivion and unless Starfield is something groundbreaking I don't see my stance changing any time soon.  To anyone who may be about to buy into the hype, this is Dark Souls. That's it. This is a Dark Souls game with an open world. Yes it is made easier and more accessible but it is a FromSoft title. This game is incredibly difficult. This game can go from incredibly rewarding to a massive spike in your blood pressure in no time. If you're a longtime fan, this is what you've been waiting for. If you're a potential new fan of the Souls franchise, this is the best possible entry point into the series imo.


Edit: I’ve doubled my play time and this is the best game I’ve played since the first time I played TES IV: Oblivion and I don’t see this being topped any time soon. I dare FromSoft to top this.

tl;dr Long May the Sun Shine. 9.8/10 One of the best games I've ever played and would be a 10/10 if PC version had less FPS drops. 
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
Concise Review:
It’s easily my favourite From Software game. ER is absolutely massive and very flexible in how you play. The enemy variety, creativity and quantity is unreal. The locations are even better. The different biomes are unique and so fun to explore. There are so many “holy shit this is cool” moments. 

It’s the longest single player game I’ve ever played and it never gets old. That’s the best compliment I can give it. Fucking fantastic game. 

Journal Style Review:

Strong opening. Clearly a dark souls game but I can already tell I’m going to like the open world aspect more than previous titles. I love how I can mark up the map with different symbols so I can mark what areas I want to return to at a later date. My biggest initial complaint is still that I wish you could pause the game. It’s single player. Just let me pause so I can deal with my puppy without dying. 

It’s going to be hard to not get overwhelmed with how much there is and where to go next.

12 hours in. I’ve explored a good chunk of the first map section but I can already tell that a small fraction of the full game. It’s really good. It’s dark souls but less frustrating and I just think it looks and feels cooler having the open world map. I’ve made a balanced character so far. I want to use magic and shields and swords so I am sacrificing efficiency for diversity. 

Another minor complaint, why does pushing back bring up the map but then pushing back again brings up help. It should just close the map. Every other game has pushing it twice closes the map. It’s strange and annoying. Loving the game though. It’s so fucking fun.

Loved the Goddert boss fight in the big castle. He looked sweet. When he cut his arm off and replaced it with the dragon spine and head I lost it. It was a lot of fun. The whole castle section was great. 18 hours in, I’ve cleared most of the west and east of the first main section except for a handful of remaining boss fights. I have entrances to four new areas that I could go to next. Im so curious to see how big this game will be. Did I just see 35% of the game? Or 10% of the game. It’s already an A at this point. I can easily see it going higher.

About 22 hours in and I’m working on the south most region. It’s been a cake walk (for dark souls at least) because I’m over levelled but that’s a refreshing feeling. I’m actually able to play around with different melee weapons. Historically in DS I would pretty much only use my best weapon because otherwise I would make no progress. This is already definitely my favourite from software game. 

Melee weapons I’ve enjoyed so far. That blood dagger was the first great weapon I found. Next was the erdsteel dagger which I only used for a short time before finding the bloodhound’s fang which really became a personal favourite. I slayed a lot of souls with that one. I may come back to it. Now my newest favourite weapon is the twin blade. It has a darth maul vibe. I’ve tested out another half dozen or so weapons that I didn’t like enough to keep using. I’m still loving ER. 

About 42 hours in. I’ve cleared a large portion of the lakes map section. I’ve still been really enjoying this game but I don’t think the lakers will go down as a favourite location. They aren’t bad but I preferred the first two locations and I think the later areas with have more variety and will be my preference. Still ER has held this high level of engagement and enjoyment for this long and im not likely to be even half way done.

At 45 hours I’m starting to feel fatigue. It isn’t that I want to be done with the game. Im excited that there is still so much to do and see but I’m at a good point to take a break and play some other more lighthearted and less demanding games in between. I’m going to enjoy this experience more if I take a breather. Even if I quit now it would be an A. I really like Elden Ring. I look forward to jumping back in at a later time.

56 hours in. It’s a blast. 

68 hours. I’m tackling the Mt Gelmir map section and it might be favourite biome yet. I love the vibe. The volcano is great. The way it intertwines is very cool. 

Volcanic Manor may be my favourite place as of now. It’s awesome. 

Got the moonveil katana which I’ve seen people talk about on Reddit so I decided to upgrade it and give it a go. It’s unreal. It might actually take over as my primary weapon over the bloodhounds fang. Both are very good and very fun though but the change up has been nice. I’m going to try to change up weapons every now and again.

97 hours in. The game is amazing but it isn’t making the jump to A+. Not that I have much criticism. It’s an unreal game that has drawn me for a longer journey than any single player has ever done before. Like by a lot. The only other game that comes close to the Witcher 3 and even then it’s only close if you include both DLCs and even then ER is still longer.

106 hours in and the last two areas I’ve explored have been some of my favourites. Two of the late underground worlds. This game is a high A. I love it. I really love it.

I looked up all the highest level bosses so I could beat all the ones I missed before doing the final boss fight. Even at 100+ hours I still wanted to see all the game had to offer. That’s a good sign.

Okay I ended the game on a lame note because once again I tied a boss. The final boss and I killed each other. I didn’t get the runes once again, not that it matters, but it just wasn’t a satisfying way to beat the game. Regardless my final stats are level 179 and 114 hours so I think I got my money’s worth.

Final Score: A
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10