Elden Ring Review

Looking at the game that brought millions of fans to the Soulsborne games

More stories from Ally Ingram

Elden Ring is the newest game from Fromsoftware Inc., a Japanese video game development company that is behind the development of the Bloodborne and Dark Souls games. The game has proved to be insanely successful within only the first three weeks of its release, selling more than 12 million copies worldwide, and selling 1 million of those copies in Japan alone. The game was released on February 25, 2022 for Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S and older consoles like Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game was released three years after Fromsoftware’s last game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which was released on March 22, 2019.

Like the Dark Souls games that came before it, Elden Ring is an action adventure RPG that focuses on larger than life boss battles with huge monsters and creatures. In the game, you play as one of the Tarnished, people who have lost the grace of the Elden Tree. You must explore the expansive open world to find all of the Great Runes and restore the Elden Ring, becoming the Elden Lord. The open world is one of the game’s most notable features, leaving fans with organic gameplay and a whole world to explore.

“Open world games as of recent, I feel can say have become a new trend when it comes to making games, similar as to how Battles Royales dominated the industry for a bit,” senior Holden Hutcherson said. “Elden Ring, however, is able to properly build the world and prevent it from feeling empty and lackluster by ensuring that world design includes lore elements and just simply making sure the character always has something to do. Whether it is fighting a small group of enemies, a surprise boss, or stumbling upon a location that may hold some decent loot.”

While both games were made by Fromsoftware, Elden Ring is not any kind of extension of the Dark Souls world. Elden Ring was made with direct input from George RR Martin, author of the series of fantasy novels titled ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ which was adapted into the television series ‘Game of Thrones.’ Like its predecessors, Elden Ring features boss fights that can take hours, days or weeks to triumph over. Many even consider Elden Ring’s boss battles to be even harder than those of Dark Souls, but some have differing opinions about the game’s difficulty.

“I think there are some boss fights that are really hard,” junior Cris Mireles said. “Malenia is probably the hardest boss fight in the series according to a lot of people, I really liked that fight, I thought it was pretty difficult. It’s a lot more accessible than previous games. Dark Souls 1 and 2 were pretty slow and you had to be really methodical with your play style, and 3 is a little more fast paced. It’s definitely a lot more accessible, but probably in the middle for difficulty for a soul game. I still think Sekiro is the hardest out of all of them.”

Alongside its extensive lore, new game mechanics and huge map, Elden Ring is host to a soundtrack made by some very reputable composers. These composers are Tsukasah Saitoh, Shoi Miyazawa, Tai Tomisawa, Yuka Kitamura and Yoshimi Kudo. Saitoh, Miyazawa, Tomisawa and Kitamura have worked with Fromsoftware before one the Bloodborne and Dark Souls games, as well as Sekiro: Die Twice. Kudo seems to be newer to Fromsoftware, but has been known for work on games like 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Valkyria Chronicles II, Grand Kingdom and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. The music, which Fromsoftware is known for, artwork and overall environment help make Elden Ring the game that it is, blending together well with the world, mechanics and feel of the game.

“Elden Ring masterfully crafted a world to be explored with varying tones that are set by terrain, enemies, and sound,” Hutcherson said. “The game’s difficulty is one to respect as you’re not bogged down by chance, nuisances, or overwhelming force. The difficulty in my opinion is the core center of the game, forcing players to adapt to different challenges and eventually overcome bosses by learning their move sets which again is another great appeal to the game with how nearly every boss offers a different experience.”

Elden Ring will most likely not be the last game of its type from Fromsoftware. Whether it be Dark Souls 4 or a game of another type, there will be more to come. Many are hoping to see elements from Elden Ring carry over, while some found some of the new features exhausting.

“I think one of the best things they’ve done is have the inventory system not have a limited capacity so you can pick up whatever you want,” Mireles said. “I like how there’s always something going on in the world so you can always find something to do. It’s also just really nice looking- The environments are really good.”

Elden Ring has been a huge success for Fromsoftware and will only continue to grow in popularity as more people discover it and become fans of the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games as well. Whatever Fromsoftware decides to do with their next game, they will have a legion of fans, both veterans of the series and those who joined with Elden Ring, excited to play.