Elden Ring has respect for the player's time

Elden Ring has respect for the player's time

Something happened with Elden Ring that very rarely happened to me in the course of my career as a player and critic: I let myself go and ignored all the red alarm lights that, promptly, had started flashing after it had flashed in my head the wicked idea for them to put my greedy hands on it. They obviously had them trained to do their job not so much by years of experience, but above all by my past vicissitudes with the productions of FromSoftware, which can be summed up more or less with "yes I understand the charm of Dark Souls, but even less" (for a more exhaustive opinion click here) and "no no no Bloodborne for me is just too much, I gave up and never see us again".

I could say that to have played a role in my decision to giving a chance to the latest effort of the Japanese development team were the opinions and remarks of my colleagues in national and international criticism, but it would be true only in part. There are certain aspects of a video game that I value in a very, too personal way, and the level of challenge (which I keep saying is artificially high in FromSoftware's soulslikes, in an unintelligent way) is among them.

To be clear, it is one thing to read, appreciating it, that Elden Ring is much more accessible than the various Souls, one thing is to actually realize it, pad in hand. To convince myself I would have had not only to flea at the articles of specialized sites, but to go to the forums, read comments and more, in order to have an idea as precise as possible, with the advantage of knowing exactly what to expect and the disadvantage. double, of wasting a lot of time and maybe even ruining something (a lot?) of the game.

I am a great admirer of the artistic direction that permeates the works of FromSoftware, to the point that I think that one of the reasons why they should be accessible to most lies precisely in allowing any type player to admire it. Seeing it declined in a playful context that is already extremely evocative for me, that of the open world, did the rest. How to resist images like the one you find below? It simply cannot be done, and therefore I launched into this enterprise a bit like when I was little and I was intrigued by the packaging of video games, almost unaware of their content. It could have turned into a disaster but it was a success.

My problem, and I suppose that of many, with Souls, it has never been about inherent difficulty: I do not disdain an arduous challenge, one of my favorite genres is that of vertical scrolling shooters, not really known for their ease. I could retry a certain passage or a certain boss dozens of times, but die in a couple of minutes and then perhaps have to do five to try again, in a way that in a very short time becomes mechanical, tedious and tiring, between enemies to avoid, traps of to remember and, my nemesis, stairs or elevators to take, I've always found it destructive in the gaming experience.

Clearly the structure of the open world also helps to make the experience more accessible, because maybe once you have a nice loot of runes you can teleport to a place of grace and level, without risking losing it, but that is the least, the need to level is practically not felt, there is a much more natural and organic mechanism in operation, for which those who have the pad in hand feel that to improve their character simply continue to play: exploring.

And here it is the other way for which Elden Ring values ​​the time invested, rewarding it constantly. The Interregnum is vast, made up of suggestive and fascinating biomes, but it is not only beautiful to see, to cross, it is also beautiful to explore, indulging in the spirit of curiosity and novelty. There is always something waiting: a story to live, one of the many upgrades to be obtained, very powerful weapons or armor. There are many aspects in which to customize your Senzaluce, so the rewards are varied and always useful: it is always worth spending your time deviating from the main road, because what you are facing is not an inflated world just to be bigger. , but a treasure chest from which to plunder any wealth.

The almost perfection of the game lies in its ability to constantly keep the player's involvement at very high levels, with practically nothing coming to break a magnificent connection. Elden Ring works in sessions long hours as well as a few minutes: we start from the amazing suggestion derived from the atmospheres and places of the Interregnum, we pass through the taste of iron and blood of the fighting and we would never want to end, because there is no an element of rupture that even suggests such an intention. Every second spent has value, and this, considering FromSoftware's history, not exactly perfect in this sense, is one of the greatest achievements of the game.

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