Firstly, we know you have waited some time for our Elden Ring review and for that we humbly apologise. But you’ll forgive us when you learn why we got so addicted!
Since the beginning of PC and console gaming, we have seen so many incredible open-world RPG titles with many of them available on Xbox and still ranked today as the best original Xbox games ever to be made.
From role-playing fantasies like Fable, The Witcher and Elder Scrolls, to titles a little more man vs machines with Horizon Zero Dawn, the list is endless.
And then there’s Elden Ring – A future hall of famer.
If you haven’t already been blown over by the hype, Elden Ring is an open-world action RPG like nothing you have seen before. While you could classify Elden Ring as one of the greatest JRPG games of all time, it’s strictly not a JRPG by purists as there are many western RPG elements within the game for you to enjoy. Players can obviously expect an open world, plenty of action, epic side quests and remnants of FromSoftware’s incredible Dark Souls series, this is not your typical ”souls-like” game.
Today, we are uncovering exactly why we have loved every second of exploring the ”Lands Between” and why Elden Ring is one of the best purchases you can make for your collection. Find out all there is to know about a strong candidate for the hall of fame with our extensive Elden Ring review below.
While Elden Ring might have traces of the Dark Souls DNA, the ”Lands Between” is a wonderful open world setting full of mystery and intrigue. Listed under the gaming genre category of RPG, throughout the entire game, the environment includes some of the most stunning elements we have seen in a long time. In particular, for any high-spec PC gamers, you will revel in the astonishing amount of detail.
That goes for both the graphics and the storyline.
The “Lands Between” is a large realm ruled by demigods blessed by the power of the Elden Ring and the Erdtree. You will be playing as one of the “Tarnished” in search of the power of the Elden Ring and will stumble across many side-quests, countless random enemies and plenty of secrets to uncover as you traverse through the lands.
Since the days of Runescape, there has never been a game more dedicated to delivering a completely full, explorable, and customizable fantasy world. There’s plenty of scope for DLC in the future and we have no doubt that the storyline will continue to unfold as time progresses. Right now, we don’t see any other game coming close to what Elden Ring delivers for many years to come.
But that is all we will tell you because what makes this game great is discovering the lore for yourself!
Superb Open World Map Density.
Any game developer can make a big world. Even the new Assassin’s Creed Games have massive maps now. However, what sets Elden Ring apart from other open-world RPGs is the density of the map.
Since we can remember, FromSoftware has been the best game developer when it comes to creating densely populated dungeons. Yet, when you blend complex levels within a beautiful open-world setting, the outcome is nothing short of brilliant. Elden Ring takes everything we love about previous Dark Souls games and just opens that up to a new generation of player with extreme diversity throughout.
You will be rewarded for your curiosity.
Unlike other open-world games, Elden Ring’s map does not have any marks for side missions and waypoints that will show you how to get there. You have total freedom to choose how you interact with the game and build your own relationships with side characters. While some players might want prompts and queues, we absolutely love that Elden Ring does not hand-hold your gameplay and this makes for heightened intrigue.
A memorable storyline as you journey across the Lands Between.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give having now published our Elden Ring review is that you should pick a character that suits your play style. Like most ”souls-like” games, Elden Ring comes with 1- classes to choose from and this can be overwhelming for anybody new to the genre.
The available classes within Elden Ring include:
It might take you a little while to find the right character that fits your play style, however, you will not be locked into that particular play style so you have many an opportunity to find the right match. The names of the classes pretty much speak for themselves, yet, transforming a prisoner into a wild mage is actually quite entertaining!
Through the skill-tree, you will redefine your characters strengths while harvesting the skill that your class naturally excels at performing. Overall, we enjoyed the flexibility of the classes within Elden Ring and despite the game proving to be difficult, the variety of play-styles came in handy upon many occasion.
Like most open-world games, Elden Ring is packed with a ton of features that affect how you will engage with enemies, NPCs and other characters throughout the game. From finding notes with clues left behind by other players to collecting materials that will enable your to craft weaponry, your own imagination will run rife.
In addition, Elden Ring also delivers some very cool features extremely well. Firstly, the game includes a dynamic weather system that affects gameplay. For example, if you plan a stealth attack, you would have to wait until nighttime. However, some enemies only show up during the night too—and that is how you see the level of detail the developers put into this masterpiece. The dynamic weather also affects light, as you will find yourself in dark caves with zero visibility.
Then, there is Torrent; your mount for the game. You can ride along with Torrent for exploration, but you can also use him for combating fast enemies. However, you won’t have as much control compared to when you are fighting on foot so fight with caution. The world is also filled with jump pads for Torrent, which allows you to quickly reach the high ground for faster exploration.
Finally, another key feature of Elden Ring is the ability to craft which will become extremely handy as the game gets more difficult. By collecting materials, you can craft all sorts of potions, armour, weapons and spells. Again, while there is a limited amount of items that can be crafted, the selection is so vast that your imagination will do the talking.
Elden Ring’s game mechanics are complex, which actually increases your enjoyment. A lot of the gripes you will hear about Elden Ring are not necessarily a dig at the game itself but rather that we just love spending too much time with this game.
The game has stealth mechanics similar to Sekiro and the ability to summon familiars to aid you in battle like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Familiars are spirits that you can collect as you explore the world, and as you progress, your familiars can be upgraded just like weapons. Skill trees for quest buddies are very popular within modern RPG games and Elden Ring completely nails this concept.
As for weapon mechanics, they are intuitive but can sometimes be complex; depending on your character build. Every weapon and equipment has special abilities that you can mix and match to create new attack patterns and perform unique moves. For example, there are both high damage bleed weapons, faith weapons and magic weapons that are all scalable.
Just like the gameplay, Elden Ring’s soundtrack is phenomenal. The collection is composed of artists who also worked on Dark Souls and Sekiro. The delivery of the soundtrack makes the game somewhat more intense and there’s a good balance between high-energy moments and softer cues.
While soundtracks may not be a significant part of the gaming for you, background cues are a significant piece throughout Elden Ring that adds to the excitement, horror, and other emotions you will feel during your playthrough. You cannot play this game without the volume up and still enjoy it to the same level!
If the main storyline was not enough, Elden Ring also enables the ability team up with buddies with PvE or backstab them throughout an epic duel with PvP mode. While there’s no couch co-op which is a shame, we thoroughly enjoyed teaming up with friends and travelling across the “Lands Between” to reach our destiny.
While everything is still set within the same open-world map, to summon up to 4 other players to your game, you will need to use summoning signs. This is very similar the what was developed with the Dark Souls series and any Souls or Demon’s Souls players out there will be familiar with this concept.
The co-op side of Elden Ring allows you to summon other players into your game using summoning signs, similar to what you might have experienced in the Dark Souls series. In addition, you can join other games by using the ‘Tarnished Furled Finger’ item which will place your own summoning sign on the floor.
For PvP, the ‘Duelist’s Furled Finger’ item will leave a red sign on the floor that other players can see. Essentially, you just dropped the gauntlet and challenged any bypassers to a fight to the death. Optionally, you can use the ‘Bloody Finger‘ which will allow you to pick a player whose game you want to invade. Can you kill them unannounced unscathed?
Overall, the multiplayer mode within Elden Ring is simply epic.
You can play at your own pace, get into the thick of the storyline should you wish or just go all out hunting people down. It’s an incredible experience.
In truth, there is not much to dislike about Elden Ring.
While frustrating to play at times, it’s not as difficult as Sekiro or games like Ghost of Tsushima and that makes for a game that can be enjoyed by even the newest of gamers. That said, there are parts of Elden Ring that do seem a little lazy. Despite all the effort that has been placed into the map and storyline, levelling up with runes, in particular, recycles a lot of used enemies and throws previous bosses as normal enemies.
In addition, with so much weight put into online multiplayer experiences, couch co-op or local cooperative modes are often benched quickly during game development. The same goes for Elden Ring. While not such a major issue for us personally, we cannot help but wonder whether our Elden Ring review would have been considered a near-perfect game had this been included. Enjoying the ”Lands Between” with our spouse, brother, friends or sisters would have been phenomenal.
When a storyline written by one of the best storytellers on planet earth gets given to a game developer that’s renowned for developing some of the best games in the industry, you can expect nothing short of brilliance. That’s why our Elden Ring Review scores a whopping 93% and fast tracks it’s way to one of our highest ever verdicts. Yes, we’re pretty brutal.
Elden Ring does not disappoint. It’s a must purchase for your RPG collection.
After the 60+ hours on the first playthrough (and 40+ hours after that) we are still not done playing this massive beast of a game and that is a good thing. Combining our frustrations, anger towards hard-to-beat enemies, rewarding items, interesting encounters, and enthralling side stories that surround the overarching storyline—it’s safe to say that Elden Ring is one of our all-time favourite RPG games on Xbox.
(We played on Xbox Series X – but Elden Ring is equally as good on other platforms too!)
One of the primary reasons why we scored our Elden Ring 93% is the value-for-money that Elden Ring brings. It’s without question one of the best value games of all time. It is priced the same as most games on any platform, but even the first playthrough is enough to justify the price tag. When you combine this with the insane amount of replayability, challenging game mechanics, various combat styles, and online modes, the icing on the cake just gets bigger and tastier.
In Elden Ring, you will never cease to discover something new. It’s got remnants of Souls games, random encounters like Far Cry primal and familiars like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Overall, Elden Ring is a masterpiece of blending game mechanics and incredible storylines from previous hit RPG games. It’s the game you wish you had already played.
Thoughts on Elden Ring? Share your comments below!
Our editors also recommend these other game reviews:
Elden Ring is a beautiful blend of everything you loved about some of the past decade's greatest RPG games. While very much like Dark Souls, Elden Ring is a unique experience that must be played before you die.
Questions about Elden Ring, the Elden Lord and how to defeat what has to be one of the most challenging games to be released in 2022? Check out some of the most frequently asked questions our Elden Ring game reviewers have been asked.
Is Elden Ring Co-Op?
Elden Ring is a true co-op game, however, it does not feature couch co-op gameplay or offline co-op modes. The reason why this game is classified as a true co-op game is because players can team up throughout any stage of the game and take on bosses together (PVE). There is also a strong PVP mode where players can fight each other to the death. You can also invade other games to really mess things up!
Is Elden Ring Multiplayer?
Yes. Elden Ring is multiplayer. In fact, while the single player mode is fantastic, Elden Ring’s open world multiplayer environment is where the game truly shines. From invading one another to teaming up and leaving messages with clues for other gamers, Elden Ring is one of the most complete multiplayer experiences available right now.
Is Elden Ring cross platform?
Elden Ring is cross platform. However, it is not cross-play. We also do not expect FromSoftware to release a cross-play version anytime soon. If you are playing on Xbox, you can team up with other Xbox One or Xbox Series X players. Similarly, for Playstation gamers, you can team up with PS4 and PS5 players. However, while you are not shackled to just gamers on your specific console, you cannot play Elden Ring with gamers on other consoles.
Is Elden Ring basically Dark Souls??
While very much like Dark Souls, there is more to Elden Ring than just your typical Dark Souls game. With Demon Souls paving the way for Dark Souls and Dark Souls subsequently paving the way for Elden Ring, each game has it’s nuances but with varying degrees of difference. We won’t spoil to much for you, however, Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s best game to date!
Is Elden Ring a sequel to Bloodborne?
No. Elden Ring is not a sequel to Bloodborne. However, Elden Ring does share many similarities as another classic out of FromSoftware studios. We highly recommend that you also play Bloodborne as it’s one of the closest games to Elden Ring that you will find.
Is Elden Ring harder than Dark Souls?
No. Elden Ring is not harder than Dark Souls. In fact, we would say that Elden Ring is much more approachable than Dark Souls with many elements turned down slightly to assist new gamers to the genre. You can, of course, make Elden Ring much harder by only moving around at nighttime where there are many more beasts blocking your pathway.
Content Disclaimer: This Elden Ring Review is independently written. We have not been commissioned by FromSoftware, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement, free advertising or the Elden Ring game.Should you click on any link to Amazon and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. But that’s just how we keep this website alive! Feel free to hit us up in the comments with any questions you have about our Elden Ring review or any of our content at GamePro.
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