2022 was the Year of the Elden Ring

2022 was the Year of the Elden Ring
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It was 2022 Elden Ringof Miyazakiof Malenia. The highly anticipated FromSoftware title grabbed the industry by the throat dominating the conversation around for months difficulty, extent of damageand the player builds (including everyone’s favorite baby nephew, Elon Musk). He got it it’s over flowhe changing the name of each animal to “dog” he created legends.

After more than a decade of FromSoftware games, holding court as the main ‘git gud’ franchise, locking us in without a masochist straying from the discourse, Elden Ring‘s open world opened the doors to a whole new player base. Thus, Hidetaka took Miyazaki’s work to completely new heights: Elden Ring is the best-selling FromSoftware title to date, It gets GOTY awards like Rowa Fruitand 10 months after its release, it is still generating passionate conversations.

Subtly abandoning the tried-and-true FromSoftware formula and giving us a game that doesn’t close with a single, punishing, linear path, From the hand That’s the ringseparated the Lands Between on a beautifully decorated (but slightly tarnished) silver platter. And we swallowed that shit.

The challenge is to feed the Chat Machine

Kidnapped Virgins of the Elden Ring

These guys are called Abductor Virgins and they suck.
Image: From the software

The souls game talk revolves almost exclusively around difficulty. First Elden Ring released, FromSoftware’s Yasuhiro Kitao told Eurogamer The game is “designed for all types of players”, not just “hardened veterans”. This left fans confused, but it piqued the interest of those who never got to enjoy the punishing gameplay of FromSoft creations.

I I wrote about Kitao’s quotes when I was at GamesRadarsuggests what to do Elden Ring its accessibility would be great, and this approach is made possible by its open world. Avoiding difficult areas will be much easier if you can run around them on horseback, but before souls games forced you to choose between the hard way and banging your head against the wall because it’s the impossible way. The promise of a wide selection made me think that maybe, just maybe, Elden Ring It can be a game that I enjoy.

Elden Ring was tarnished

Image: From Software / Kotaku

on the contrary, Forbes posted a reply to my post, one who hopes Elden Ring‘s open world won’t ruin the FromSoftware vibes by focusing too much on “making these games accessible, not hard and gritty.” It was months before the release date, but the discourse machine turned and turned and turned, smoke spewing from every inch, its teeth grinding and turning with each new shot.

Until February came and brought with it the Lands Between, open for exploration as a darker, more deadly land. Breath of the Wild. The players learned this quickly most of them accidentally skipped combat class, and learned a little more slowly that the first boss (that damn Tree Guard) can be avoided. Many of us who could never get hooked on a FromSoft game stuck to it with gusto Elden RingAs we learn, we can actually ride a horse and ride away from some terrifying eldritch beast.

As we make our way together Elden Ringwe’ve been given a gift that only comes with truly open-world games: seemingly endless exploration by ourselves, our friends, and other players on the Internet.

Brave the brutal battles to glimpse the beauty

Elden Ring

Need a hand?
Image: From the software

the beauty of Elden Ring it lies in a world full of life, both kind and deadly, bubbling and erupting, mesmerizing and terrifying with its sights, beckoning and scaring you in the same breath. I find this beauty in moments when I accidentally go down while I’m in the game. Siofra RiverMy playthrough is not very long.

I step onto a platform in Limgrave and crash down, down, down until I emerge into a wondrous space: a night sky fully realized in a variety of bruised colors scattered with pinholes of light. Crumbling classical architecture clutters my view of this impossible galaxy, and tombstones line the path away from the platform, which glows a strange green upon landing but is now stationary.

I, as the kids say, gagged and stumbled aimlessly off the platform, paying little attention to what enemies might be in my way for the first time since starting. Elden Ring. This is a mistake I quickly paid for as I went straight into the Claymen army. They move slowly but they hurt and I’m very low in that area. One of the unarmed mages takes me out in seconds with his weird bubbles and sends me to the Bounty Site right next to the platform that brought me here. When I go back to pick up a few hundred runes, the same guy takes me out again.

“Fuck it,” I mutter before stepping onto the stone circle in the middle of the elevator. “I’ll be back later.”

I do too, much, much later. After discovering I’m a war mage with a penchant for charms and summons, and long after taking down the Tree Watcher with a single rock slingshot, I return from a completely different direction to Siofra’s River and its inhabitants. After choosing the Glovewort, I allow myself to breathe for a second. I still look up at the impossible night sky and exhale. I earned it. Elden Ringunlike other FromSoftware games, it gave me ample chances to gain the tools and experience I needed to win a short reprieve.

Elden Ring Forever

End of Elden Ring Frenzied Flame

I am an Aries.
screenshot: From Software / Kotaku

But Elden Ring not just grim and serious, not just hours of tedious play with short, meditative breaks. Like all FromSoftware games, it’s stupid as hell. There is stupid, ugly messages scattered all over the place, dozens of ways to die that will make you laugh in disbelief, and the ever-popular but always slightly broken online game. encourages players to fuck each other.

It’s the combination of punishing gameplay, compelling story (thanks, George RR Martin) and quirky antics that make FromSoftware games, especially this one, special. Elden Ring as enemies Starsurge RadahnOne moment he’ll slam your brakes with giant meteorites shooting out of a blood-red sky, and the next he’ll send you into hysterics when you realize he’s actually sitting on a very small horse. . Elden Ring plays with you, offering prophecies and moral quandaries that will make you scratch your head, only to undercut it with random and purposeful absurdism.

Elden Ring Turtle Pope

screenshot: From the software

Elden Ring gives you a giant turtle wearing a pope hat. It brings you strange, disturbing stories about grapes that are actually eyeballs. He places his giant bat grandmother in the middle of a rocky cliff gives him a haunting song to sing ad infinitum – or until you cut off its leathery, gray skin. It extinguishes your hope in humanity one moment only to restore it again the next.

It allows you to explore this incredibly bleak world for hours, falling in love with some of its characters and reviling the rest, physically and mentally taxing you with enemies plucked from the deepest depths of game design hell, and in the end, it gives you a few options that don’t matter. Offers. All of this while making it playable for us FromSoft plebeians, which (brilliantly) means we’ll be talking about it more than any game that’s come before.

Inevitably looking back Elden Ring a decade from now, we’ll be hard-pressed to remember how much it defined the zeitgeist, how much it permeated popular culture outside of gaming, and how much we can’t stop talking about it. But now, ten months after its release, it’s hard to imagine us existing in a world without it.

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