Should you take the leap into the Lands Between?
Studio Fromsoft’s latest action-roleplaying game, Elden Ring released just yesterday and even after a mere 8 hours, I am already eager to see more of Miyazaki’s world.
Yet, I understand that after constant sub-par videogame releases, some may be skeptical about buying a game due to hype and popularity. Therefore, this article should help you consider if the game is worth your time.
To preface, there have been several reports of gameplay instability. Examples include framerate stuttering that range from minor interruptions to full-on freezes, and controller malfunctions. Also, the game’s optimization does leave much to be desired, as even consoles experience dips to 30 frames per second (fps).
The team is aware of the issues and is working towards fixing them, but in the meantime, I would suggest maybe waiting for patches if you’re not playing on console and your PC is not strong.
That being said, I have personally not ran into any major game-breaking issues thus far. For reference, my graphics card (GPU) is only slightly above average (RTX 2060) but my processor (CPU) is strong (AMD Ryzen 7 3800X). So it’s likely that GPUs are being under-used.
Overall, I would say the game’s performance is decent and is somewhat playable on lower spec hardware. Most of the time, I have 60 fps and this is with the majority of my settings at high.
The combat mechanics of Elden Ring are fundamentally the same as the Dark Souls and Demon Souls series. Combat actions are still tied to stamina management, dodging through enemy attacks is still paramount and every fight is still a dance of death as you look for an opportunity to strike.
Yet, these new combat additions give me the power to play in new ways I’d never thought I could in ‘Souls’ game.
Building off the Dark Souls 3 weapon skill system, Elden Ring adds a wide array of unique skills that can be added to weapons to customize your repertoire of abilities. These range from entirely new attacks to buffs you can use to strengthen yourself.
They have also improved the selection and variety of spells. Spells such as summoning a dragon head to breathe fire or giant tail to sweep enemies away, and the ability to call forth ghost wolves give players plenty of freedom and options in playstyle and expression.
Freedom does not end at the playstyle, it even applies to the world itself. Just roaming around the starting area will already have you encounter treasures and powerful enemies that have no restrictions for entry and can be defeated as early as level 1.
This is exploration in its finest. There are secrets and meaningful rewards that push the player to engage with the scenery, look in every corner and conquer every mountain, both literally and figuratively. Of course, there are traditional dungeons just like in previous Dark Souls games, but now there is a variety of setting.
Many games are so fixated on making the game world huge, that they forget to actually fill that world with points of interest. As a result, these games end up feeling empty and boring; the game doesn’t gain anything other than more time spent running between places.
Elden Ring doesn’t make this mistake. It tells you from the very beginning that you should explore the world by scattering interesting landmarks within seconds of each other.
Elden Ring has reignited my love for Miyazaki’s “souls-like” games. FromSoftware has made great innovations to the genre’s formula, emphasizing player freedom of expression and exploration. My recommendation? Definitely put this game on your wishlist.
What do you think of Elden Ring so far? Do you agree with my statements? Do you disagree? Go wild with your thoughts in the comment box! Also, join our Discord and discuss all things gaming and entertainment with the All Maverick team and community!