“Elden Ring” is FromSoftware’s next masterpiece… so far



Elden Ring takes place in the “Lands Between”, where the player is tasked with finding the shattered pieces of the titular Elden Ring to become the new Elden Lord.

Justin White, Sports Editor

The newest intellectual property by Japanese developer FromSoftware, “Elden Ring” is a brand new open-world fantasy epic from the creators of the ultra-challenging “Dark Souls” trilogy.

Before continuing, I’d like to make something clear; I have yet to complete the game, and have played about 25 hours. This will be more of a first impression than a complete review, and these early opinions are subject to change. The game was played on a PlayStation 5 console.

“Elden Ring” shares many characteristics with FromSoftware’s previous creations, with the biggest shared characteristic being its difficulty; “Elden Ring” is very hard. In fact it’s one of the harder games created by the developer. Like FromSoft’s previous games, “Elden Ring” is made for stubborn players like myself who have a bad habit of turning “just one more try” into 100 more tries. And it is incredibly addicting.

It’s hard but fair, with enemy attacks being well designed, being fast with hard-to-read telegraphs that require the player’s full attention, forcing the player to study the way the enemy moves to find the best opportunities to punish mistakes, and this makes every encounter incredibly engaging and rewarding.

Boss encounters, like in previous FromSoft games, are the highlight, with incredible orchestral music playing in the background as the player fights a foe that poses a great challenge, with attacks that deal massive damage, are difficult to avoid, and look just as incredible and cinematic as they are devastating, truly making the boss fights a spectacle to behold.

Straying away from the typical pattern of previous games, “Elden Ring” takes the open-world route. Rather than a linear set path the player must take in order, the entire world is open right at the beginning of the game, free for the player to explore at their own discretion. This world is fierce however. It is possible for the player to travel to areas of the game that they will be severely underprepared for.

However, the game makes this obvious by somewhat guiding the player in a direction they “should” be going, with checkpoints known as “Lost Graces” serving as this game’s version of the bonfire from “Dark Souls”. Some of these Lost Graces emit a trail of light which serve to lead the player in the proper direction, aiming to help them avoid areas that they would otherwise be unready for, though without also halting the curious mind from wandering off the path if they so wish to do so.

This incredible freedom can allow players to gain powerful gear that will certainly help them in the early game, should they be able to best the challenges that they choose to face far earlier than they should be doing so. This freedom also gives the player a great sense of discovery, as wandering about can allow the player to discover ruins of buildings, cities, and caves, some of which also house more challenging bosses.​

The world of “Elden Ring” is massive, and also beautiful, with incredibly detailed landscapes and nature overtaking what were once great kingdoms and powerful cities. Massive vines and trees grow over destroyed infrastructure and animals roam freely, making a world with dying civilizations still seem alive and vibrant. “Elden Ring’s” world is one that will certainly hold the player’s attention for months to come.

Early on, the grandness of ‘Elden Ring” is on full display. With addicting and challenging gameplay and a gorgeous world to explore, “Elden Ring” is looking to be an early favorite for Game of the Year, as well as perhaps the PlayStation 5’s best game.