I spent hours exploring the world of Elden Ring – Miyazaki has created a new drug with GOTY 2022
I estimate that between the closed beta and the games I was able to play on that occasion, I have already played Elden Ring for more than 25 hours. The problem isn’t that it’s still two weeks from release, the real dilemma is that I’ve been trying for so long that I need to try a lot more now. Miyazaki did it, he caught me in his web and I’m a prisoner of his ideas.
Elden Ring comes to quench the community’s insatiable thirst that follows From Software. It’s been three years since Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice enchanted the world, and fans are hungry for more. The new game from the Japanese studio is everything we saw in the web test and goes far beyond what you can imagine from the previews.
Today I’m going to tell you everything that happened to me while traveling through the Middle Lands, the different situations that ambushed me, the impossible enemies that tried to devour me and the impossible places that I discovered have. Today I’m going to tell you how Elden Ring is.
The first, in front
The opening menu greets me with epic thunderous music blasting through my headphones. Elden Ring, dammit, I intend to explore it and get my back mercilessly tanned. So it’s important to get a good course, or at least the one you’re most comfortable with. There seem to be up to ten available, so the lack of options won’t be an excuse if we bite the dust against the bosses.
I choose to be a vagabond, a sort of wandering knight whose appearance I can change, a Soulsborne classic. The truth is that the possibilities are great, with a great ability to create a perfect face or an aberration with no sense of proportion. Either way, a starting item can come with me, so in that case I’m aiming for a life buff. i think i will need it.
The initial cinema begins and far from the spectacular animation sequences of other parts, here the narration is accompanied by fabulous illustrations. Queen Marika is shown to have fallen and seeks to reclaim the power of the Elden Coven in the form of shards, each owned by the Queen’s descendants. These demigods appear and are named one by one, expanding their main achievements. As Lightless, your main task will be to claim the pieces, called Great Runes, and thus dictate the fate of the Midlands.
voila! I appear in the Chapel of Anticipation, a strange place that I cannot identify and cannot see through the map. How far am I from the beta zone? It doesn’t matter because a few steps into the adventure I’m quickly liquidated by an unexpected boss. It’s not my fault I didn’t have glasses to heal me.
Well, I show up in the cave at the start of the beta and already know what to expect. I sweep away any enemies that stand in my way and cast aside a mysterious mist guarding an unknown path. I’m already in the middle of Necrolimbo, the whole area that you’ve already seen in gameplays, but with the subtle and awesome difference that now there are no artificial barriers preventing me from advancing. I’m free to explore.
I’m going north and avoiding Stormshroud Keep at its main entrance, so I’ll look around the side to see if there’s another way. And there is. A hole in the middle of the mountain represents a cave leading to a throne, all absolutely empty, but I can’t continue before a closed door. I take my steps back and venture into the unknown; the surprises are yet to come.
a box of pralines
After walking around the Elden Ring in November, the work showed me how Hidetaka Miyazaki was pointing in new directions and even how he can drink from a reference like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This title seems more or less defined under the concept of freedom and adding some very basic pills for the video game industry.
Stealth here is nothing more than crouching, taking cover between a hedge and attacking from behind, choosing whether or not to do so. The open world is to go horseback riding in Torrentera, find a camp and decide whether or not it’s worth killing everyone for a treasure. Even in more general details, like wanting to complicate the game even more without jumping to break through the guards, or following the classic style of rolling to infinity to catch the opponent’s back. Everything goes and everything is allowed.
Being a lightless with limited time I don’t have much entertainment options so I try to step in as many puddles as possible. This allows me to meet characters like Thorps, who will teach me spells if I help him get a key to return to his parish. However, Melina emerges from the shadows and decides to take me to the Round Table, a place that hides much more than it shows.
It’s a space where fighting is forbidden thanks to a non-aggression pact between the various Sinluz who meet there; an icon to the left of the screen commemorates this law. A round table crowns the place and can only be reached via the places of grace. It’s divorced from any reality, but you can’t forget the characters I meet. Diallos, a respected member of a manor looking for Lanya, his servant, or Roderika, a young girl I met earlier in a hut.
Each of them has a different look and unique personality, they seem unaware of the fact that there are many locked doors and some levers that I cannot activate. This enclave will surely be crucial as the hours go by, but now isn’t your time to squeeze it. I teleport back to the Midlands, where I learn not to be suspicious.
If you thought From Software would avoid terrors with sudden attacks, you’re dead wrong. That’s because it’s easy to walk down a ravine and be attacked by a group of dwarves armed between the teeth and hiding in the hedges. As always when I arrive in a city devastated by some inexplicable evil, or find myself utterly devastated by a man with horns, machetes, two dogs, breathing fire. The Vietnam flashes with the demon of Ares from Dark Souls’ first return.
A world without borders
The map of Elden Ring is simply huge and not just as far as the eye can see. I’ve come to board the same Breath of the Wild-style plane with the Middle Lands in front of me, and it’s just frightening how many hours you can lose in each of its corners. We’re not talking about the castles, fortresses, or camps that roam everywhere, but there’s a lot more underneath.
I have come to enter a huge cave called Siofra River after descending hundreds of meters underground. The size of the stage is so big that it has its own sky, full of stars, and it looks really beautiful. A strange place filled with ghosts, deformities, and electrical enemies that made it difficult for me to light some cauldrons. Once that’s done, a giant boss will be summoned from the dead and it’s time to duel.
This adventure grew organically after my time in the Midlands. There is no direction, there is no reference point other than that which you impose on yourself, beyond the places of grace that indicate the main path. However, you have the freedom to choose whether to follow her or not. One of my goals was to get to the base of one of the huge golden trees that can be seen in the distance, and I was terrified.
To reach the tree I had to cross a forest and I got caught in the cycle of day and night doing its thing. Darkness filled the screen, fog stretched as far as the eye could see, and he didn’t know where to go. All I heard was wolves howling, monsters ready to attack me on a road, and huge bears roaming in search of prey.
And the world sometimes feels more organic than it could possibly go away. There were several strengths that I had to confront and it feels like recurring points to explore. They are usually defended by a few enemies, in many cases knights who are armed and fortified. If you don’t get mowed down by archers, you’ll end up dying from stacking melee enemies or being set on fire by catapult-fired explosives.
You can even see the devastation of attacks in the form of dashes from other beings that try to reach the fortress gate but are quickly eliminated. The sense of impregnability is heightened when you see corpses of all kinds on the main street. However, there is always an alternative. A path around the wall, a ladder in the background, or just very carefully stealthily so as not to alert anyone.
The rewards you find at the end are chests containing key items (or not) to uncover the story or a side quest. There are, but they are not registered anywhere. You just find characters around the world, listen to their wishes and eventually you have to find a way to help them. The collector section is also present at all times.
As you know, in Elden Ring you can get resources from anywhere. Flowers, animals, corpses, minerals…everything is used to make potions…
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