Elden Ring – A perspective from someone with little FromSoftware experience

Fighting the first boss Margit

Elden Ring is a game very much on the lips of most gamers at the moment – whether it is players praising its brilliance, complaining about the level of difficulty or passing on hints and tips to get us through the fear. I myself have tried to dabble in FromSoftware games in the past – I played ten minutes of Demon Souls…and gave up after being thrashed, failing to understand that death is the point of the game. Then I tried Bloodbourne with some more success but eventually giving up after one too many thrashings. Sekiro was my greatest success, sinking 10 hours into the game but sadly it didn’t hold my interest and I was distracted by the next game. However, upon hearing that Elden Ring was slightly more player friendly and wanting something to play for a while, I decided to take the brave step once again! I am 17 hours in, three big bosses squashed and I am enjoying the game so far. I thought I would share some thoughts about Elden Ring as someone who isn’t an expert of the series.

Looking over the vast world

First of all this hard…..extremely hard. But this is a great thing! Once upon a time, video games felt more difficult – this could have been because the design and controls weren’t as polished as modern gaming, or it could be because developers didn’t need to appeal to the mass market. Most main stream triple A titles are often too easy, without filling the player with a huge satisfaction of success, they are more for entertainment. Elden Ring presents a true level of difficulty, and it is done in a clever way. Elden Ring is all about patterns and being able to learn the behaviours of the different enemies you face, forcing the player to often slow down and think before charging in. Even defeating smaller enemies can often be a relief, especially after they have embarrassed you by slapping you around – because even common enemies hit hard and follow a pattern. But this brings me to the aspect of difficulty I don’t like within Elden Ring and the FromSoftware titles. The enemies, especially the bosses hit too hard! I have no issue, in the an enemy taking a chunk of my heath away, but sometimes there is nothing more demoralising than being one shotted by a boss, when they have only 10% left on their health bar. The game does provided plenty of healing but these can only be accessed at opportune moments.

Time to tackle a dragon!

The one aspect about Elden Ring that I feel has allowed it to be more accessible to myself is the open map. Sometimes being trapped by an enemy that I was struggling to defeat was something that turned me off from previous titles. Sekiro did provide some freedom but on the whole it forced you down a singular path. Elden Ring allows the player to explore at their will – if something is too tricky, you want to find a rare weapon, farm experience or just see what’s in an area before charging ahead, then these options are open to the player. This makes it far less off putting when I get stuck on a certain boss – now I can just wander away, gain a few levels, upgrade a little and have another try, usually with success. The fight isn’t too much easier, but I was just that little more prepared, allowing me to overcome the odds.

The one final feature I wanted to mention was the overwhelming number of items contained within the game. Sometimes I will pick things up and have no clue what they are for or how I would go about using them. The game isn’t great at explaining itself beyond on the starting points so it is a case of discovery. But without the need to discover their use (or currently I have gotten by without doing so) then I fear I may never find out their use. This also leads onto the crafting system, where I can make all sorts of bits and bats, but again I haven’t really found a use for any of it and I seem to be progressing fine without using the crafting system at all.

Overall, I am loving the game so far. The combat is engaging and rewarding, exploration for the most part is fun and interesting and the level of difficulty has definitely given me a sense of satisfaction most triple A games lack. The UI needs cleaning up and some of the menu choices (such as when Torrent dies and needs reviving) are a little clunky and not player friendly, but at the same time, it is part of the FromSoftware charm.

2 thoughts on “Elden Ring – A perspective from someone with little FromSoftware experience

  1. While I’ve only ever beaten Sekiro, I enjoy the Soulslike genre and look forward to eventually checking out Elden Ring! I think one reason I (mostly) don’t get frustrated with these types of games is I look at them like a puzzle I’m figuring out. As you say, dying is kind of the point, but what I gain in the process when I die is knowledge – knowledge of enemy locations, knowledge of timing of attacks, knowledge of what doesn’t work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very true and I do enjoy that aspect too, I would just prefer not to have to keep wandering back and forth while I figure that out 😛

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close