Elden Ring - Torrent

Horse armor has been part of the “gamer” inside-joke canon for years now, ever since Bethesda tried to pull the proverbial horse armor over our eyes with their clumsily implemented DLC. This is up there with the maligned “arrow in the knee” or “cake is a lie” memes.

Charging a couple of real-world dollars for in-game horse cosmetics is stupid. But considering I rarely actually employ video-game steeds when they are on offer (I typically prefer to walk or run and take in all the sights), the inclusion of horse armor generally goes unnoticed by yours truly. So go and charge ludicrous sums for horse cosmetics if you want to; I ain’t buyin’.

With all that said, in the rare case when I do actually use in-game horses to get around (which has mostly been relegated to Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2), I tend to spend time actually looking at the aforementioned beasts, so their appearance matters more to me. And Elden Ring is yet another one of those rare occurrences where I end up mounted more often then not while tooling around the open world.

Elden Ring

Which brings me to my proclamation: I wish Elden Ring would let me spiff up the in-game steed Torrent. Maybe that could be with different armor types — something I think this poor animal would actually appreciate, considering how many times I rush into battle with reckless abandon. But even if this armor weren’t stats-based, I would at least like to make some tweaks on a cosmetic level, perhaps altering the pack type strapped to it’s hindquarters, or changing the color or even content of what it is carrying.

It could even be as simple as simply changing the color of Torrent’s mane, tail, or even just body fur. Heck, maybe give it a little hat or spinning blades like a chariot straight out of Ben-Hur — at least give me something.

Say what you will about that old dog Red Dead Redemption, it at least has a variety of horse breeds and coat types, which allows the player to have some options for expressing the flavor of their equine companion — no, I don’t mean flavor literally, folks. You can put the pitchforks down…

Red Dead Online

But Elden Ring gives every player in the world the exact same Torrent — this hybrid pony, ox, and mule monstrosity. There is no option to address this, which feels like a bit of an oversight in a game that offers this much wonder.

The player is free to wear all sorts of over-the-top adornments, such as the Twinned Armor set, with its gold-and-silver dueling patterns and what looks like your Siamese twin trying to burst free from your conjoined life of misery. Not that being a Siamese twin is by default a life of misery, but when you are forced to live your life connected to someone who’s taking the beating your character is expected to take in this game, whether or not you signed up for that, I can only imagine this isn’t ideal.

Hell, there are so many different types of chest, arm, leg, and head armor pieces and sets that you can mix and match in Elden Ring, it’s a headscratcher that the only other constant for many of the player base, your trusty stead, is forced to look like a bum for the duration of your partnership — which could be hundreds of hours, based on some play times.

Elden Ring - Torrent

You could even take a play out of the crossover playbook and give Torrent skins or costumes/armor that reflect characters from other Bandai Namco games. It could look like a big Pacman, or Mappy Mouse, or a Ridge Racer car. Heck, it could look like Kuma from Tekken! Tell me you wouldn’t get a kick out of riding around the Land Between on a frickin’ Kuma.

And okay, yes, maybe I am just having a laugh with those specific suggestions. But wacky tie-ins aside, I think there are plenty of people who would engage with this sort of an option in Elden Ring.

Despite being an open-world version of FromSoftware’s punishing game formula, Elden Ring has a surprising amount of downtime between punishments. A lot of that downtime is spent customizing your character build, and also riding your un-customizable stead. I can’t be the only one who would spend a significant amount of that downtime pimpin’ out my Torrent, and then showing it off while driving my sword into the faces of unsuspecting soldiers, right?

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