As any Fromsoft-fan will undoubtedly be aware, we’ve recently been treated to gameplay of the legendary developers latest offering; Elden Ring. Without too much waffle, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, and the purpose of this dissection, here is the gameplay preview
As you can see there’s a lot to unpack here so let’s get right into it.
Ooh It Looks So Pretty
So right off the bat, a “Site of Grace” is the new bonfire. And everything is looking mighty fine from a visual perspective. Foliage looks abundant and sharp, with nice complimentary shading.
It appears as though massive environments and long draw distances will make for some of the finest sights Fromsoftware has provided thus far. Especially the freaking dragon. Magic looks Owen Wilson-levels of “Wow”, and, generally speaking, everything adequately conducts the hype train from an aesthetic standpoint. The world looks freaking amazing with a much more vibrant and widened colour palette than most Souls games.
Obviously, players get a mount now, so that’s tight; both for form and function as it’s summonable on the fly. We can also jump now, as well as crouch for stealth, these have been demonstrated to allow for generous traversal of “The Lands Between”. There also seems to be minimal to no fall damage as well as a sky-jump called ‘spirit springs’
OH, and we have a map now! Hell yeah!
While this does seem largely necessitated by the open-world game design, the minimalist impact on the HUD with the use of an in-game marker doesn’t feel obtrusive. Elden Ring really does look like everything we’ve come to expect from a SoulsBorne. And, furthermore, as a culmination of all FromSoft’s lessons learned over the years.
It seems to build on everything it has crafted and refined previously to further perfect its formula. More of the same to some, extremely welcome to the fans. This also includes the standard favorite stuff like; dungeons, quests, hidden walls, quirky NPCs, invasions, Jolly-Cooperation, (maybe praising some sun?), and glorious butt-clenching boss battles.
A boss battle in particular which looks like it graduated from the University of Resident Evil.
As well as summoning homies and randoms, players can now bell-call NPC friends to fight alongside them or possibly use single-use-assaults in something reminiscent of Nioh 2‘s summoning Soul Core attacks. Taking good notes from other successes in the genre I see. That’s a pretty good sign in my books. This may be hopeful but I think I noticed the return of dual wield stance.
Some locations even showed off weather systems. However, it remains to be seen if these are strictly regional or span the open-world accompanied by a day/night cycle. Additionally there looks to be more agency in dialogue outside of simply letting the player listen and react instead of the option to speak more often than not. The open-world also appears to contain random world events, or at least unique roaming interactions to find in-game.
Now, there was a lot I didn’t bother to talk about like; combat, sound, animations, genre, and even general sentiment, because most of us sitting here with our jaws on the floor know what we’re here for. Well, this is it, ladies and gentlemen. Elden Ring: the latest SoulsBorne instalment from FromSoftware in association with George R.R Martin. I’m almost speechless – I don’t know what to say.
So far it passes the smell test? It has a series staple maiden, after all.
Well, color us well and truly invested. But what about you guys and gals? Did it do enough to draw you in, or are you still on the fence? Why not let us know in the comment’s section down below.
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