Elden Ring

From Software is notorious for making difficult games that demand players to meet them on their terms. Not great at parrying? Struggling to read enemy attack animations or to know when to strike and when to dodge? Well then, you’d better get good, my friend, otherwise you can piss right off. Although that description may be a bit hyperbolic — and even a little cheeky — there’s no denying that From Software’s games can be rather tough and might not be for everyone.

Yet with every subsequent release, the studio’s fanbase seems to increase. And with Elden Ring — From Software’s first foray into the open-world genre — that crescendo reached a fever pitch. Elden Ring is hands-down the biggest game of 2022.

I myself could never really muster up the appropriate level of masochism to give any of the studio’s previous games much of a fair shake. I even tried Mortal Shell, a smaller Soulslike that’s not made by FromSoft, to see if I had what it might take, but I bounced off of that game fairly quickly (Half-Glass Gaming’s owner Josh, on the other hand, swears by it).

Elden Ring - Godrick the Grafted

I found myself — much to my own surprise — purchasing a copy of Elden Ring at launch. And something funny happened. All of that trepidation and aversion to self-flagellation slowly receded until I found myself enjoying Elden Ring immensely. All the while, I felt my confidence grow as I started to take on bigger and harder enemies, and I eventually was mopping the floor with them. I had done it. I had gotten good. I had reached the top of the mountain and had seen the Promised Land.

I continued to explore and get gooder, sinking around 70 hours into the game in the first couple weeks — that’s something I hadn’t done in quite some time, probably not since Red Dead Redemption 2. But, as time went on and I continued my journey through The Lands Between, tackling foes and collecting souls, (erm… runes), I started getting a little fatigued.

This had nothing to do with the game’s difficulty, mind you. I was able to cobble together a rather formidable build — albeit after a decent amount of rune farming — and had found the perfect weapon and armor loadout for my playstyle. In fact, if anything, with my trusty Hoarfrost Stomp and wolf companions (in the early- to mid-game), I was kind of breezing through Elden Ring. So much so that I sent some cheeky texts that basically said, “I thought these games were supposed to be tough.”

Admittedly, as I got into the back half of Elden Ring, the difficulty definitely started to catch up to me. But even then it wasn’t insurmountable; it was simply a greater test of my skill and resolve.

Elden Ring - Torrent

The fatigue started to set in after I found myself fast-travelling more because on-foot (or even on-steed) traversal was starting to wear on me. Or when I happened upon the umpteenth treasure chest only to find a Pickled Turtle Neck inside. Or when I beat an optional boss and got a freaking Rune Arc, or some other multiplayer dreck that I would never use and could only sell for a pittance.

Basically, I just started to get tired. There’s just too much Elden Ring, and only about half of it felt like it was worth investing time and effort into.

I can’t tell you how many times I went out of my way to check out a cool dilapidated structure or to go spelunking in a tucked-away cavern only to find a lower-level Ghost Glovewort or Smithing Stone, both of which were practically useless to me at that point in the game.

And I get it, Elden Ring wasn’t designed with me in mind. As an open-world game that allows for mostly unfettered or non-gated exploration, From Software couldn’t shy away from putting all sorts of items in all sorts of areas (and they absolutely didn’t).

The side effect, I think, is that there are diminishing returns on finally overcoming a formidable obstacle only to end up with a useless trinket as your reward. It is effectively the video-game equivalent of “I played Elden Ring and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.”

Elden Ring

I am not saying Elden Ring is a bad game, because it very much isn’t. I’d even say it’s a great game, one that’s worthy of the countless Game of the Year awards that will surely be heaped upon it come December. But it’s not a perfect game, and it’s far bigger than it really needs to be. I don’t foresee finishing it any time soon, or possibly ever. I’ve gone back to it a few times after some extended breaks, and it sadly feels like the magic has worn off. That’s a shame, because I really thought at one point (about midway through my playthrough) that I might actually see credits roll on this one.

I guess at the end of the day, I will at least be able to say that I played Elden Ring and all I got was this lousy article.

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5 months ago

Rune Arc isn’t just a PvP item, it’s a super important PvE item too. Your equipped great rune doesn’t work without this active. Once you activate it, your Great Rune starts to work. This is the buff one should pop before difficult bosses.

Rune Arcs are actually awesome and people often farm them in PvP so they can always have their buff. When I get a Rune Arc, I’m hyped.

5 months ago

Not me. I want more! I wanna discover new characters, locations and items and bosses every single day of my life. A never ending game.

Wade Wilson
Wade Wilson
5 months ago

Clearly you have no clue what a never ending game is….You literally have 100% everything the game has in around 112 hrs….Im sorry poor people can only afford 1 game a year cause mom wont pay for food, shelter, clothing and games too but, you could literally cut about 10hrs out of Elden Ring and nothing of value would be lost from the sheer about of garbage enemies that become bosses, bosses that become enemies, duo bosses and trio bosses….

They went far too crazy with the copy paste laziness……I found everything there was to find in the first playthough and it was around 112hrs. which was starting to drag from all the copy paste.

5 months ago

That’s my point, I love elder ring but for me is too big and this is the main reason I put bloodborne on top.

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