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Elden Ring review
Exceptional
by WinkBaufield

Pure, unadulterated adventure in a challenging world of awe-inspiring moments, devious puzzles, and fantastical treasure.

This game is a masterclass in evoking feeling in its players: the dread of facing down a seemingly-impossible foe, the desperation of splashing through a rot-infested lake, trying to find safe harbor, the elation of puzzling out an ancient catacomb and finding a powerful talisman at the end. These feelings are what make gaming great as an entertainment medium, and Elden Ring capitalizes on this strength.

Elden Ring is unabashedly 'not a movie'; a criticism that could be leveled at other games where all the drama is packed into hours of cutscenes. Here, the drama is in the timing of a dodge, the unsheathing of a sword, the opening of a door to the darkness beyond. 

For me, when a game delivers so solidly on its aspirations, its faults fade into the background, yet it's worth discussing those that were commonly encountered. Frustrations come out in the quest design, with sparse details and complicated sequencing that feels at odds with the game's open-world design. The large and dramatic bosses that are signature moments in the journey can be hard to track / see as you get close, and camera management becomes more of an issue than it should be. 

Yet, for each of these issues, there are countless compelling and memorable moments waiting to be experienced. Do not let these elements deter you from spending time, at your own pace, with this world. It's large, and packed with adventures, so don't feel like you need to burn through it. At 150 hours (and still not quite done!), it's been a comforting go-to in between diversions, and a play session almost always ends with satisfying progression. 

A lovely, thoughtful, artistic punch in the face. I adore it! 

Other reviews17

Worth the price. Tons of content and loads of fun!
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Elden Ring is undoubtedly an achievement, but it overstays its welcome. There is at least one exceptional game in here. There are many awesome moments, great enemy design, and the open world has plenty of secrets to uncover. Yet, by the end, I just felt exhausted. FromSoft games require more from their players: more patience and more skill. Elden Ring requires patience and skill, but it also requires a lot of time. It requires too much time, and while much of that time is rewarded, I think my time may have been better spent knocking out 10 indie games from my backlog.
OOOOOH....Elden Ring!
+
My favorite From Software game!
A breeze of fresh air for open world games!
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»
Another From Soft game but this time they took it to an open world design and nailed it in every aspect. The world itself is expertly made with most of the map containing some secrets, enemies loot and some areas are just for telling the story. 
As you would guess it is hard but you can make the game easier by exploring around and finding mini bosses in caves which can be seen on the map. The combat is still the best now with horse combat which can be used on some bosses.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
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»
Impressive. Long and incredibly fun.