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OPINION: Elden Ring: An epic adventure

a Tarnished fighting the first main boss, Margit the fell

Despite loving dark fantasy and playing over 80 hours in Dark Souls One, I suck at Soulsbornes, the punishingly hard video games produced by FromSoft, and have yet to play Elden Ring. Until recently, I didn’t have a way to pick the game up until a Steam sale dropped it down about 30%.

I decided to set up my first character as if I had no experience with a Soulsborne game. I chose the most classic-looking fantasy hero, the Vagabond starter class, and a crimson amber medallion that’s supposed to give me more health points as my free item.

With that, I dove into the game, knowing only a few things. A queen has died and the titular Elden Ring is shattered. It’s my job as a “Tarnished” to find the pieces of this Elden Ring and become the Elden Lord.

I finished the tutorial and walked out into this beautiful world. I saved at a checkpoint and then ran off into the distance where I promptly got killed by a miniboss.

After about five tries, I decided that whatever that was, it was much too hard at this moment, and proceeded to follow the little wisps leading me towards a castle in the distance.

When I got to the castle and dispatched the weaker enemies out front, I ventured in, where I met the first boss.

With the help of my summons and another player’s summons right outside of the boss area, the boss was killed and I journeyed onwards.

Much like the Dark Souls games before it, Elden Ring has three different types of multiplayer. The summons that I used is the first type of co-op multiplayer feature in Elden Ring. A player can set up a summoning sign somewhere on the ground so others can assist them.

The second, and most common, is a somewhat indirect form, where players can leave messages on the ground for others to find and read. These messages can warn of impending dangers, mislead in the hopes of leading you to your doom, or simply be comical with no real effect on the game.

The third is player versus player, where you or an enemy player invades the other’s world to fight to the death for extra money.

As far as gameplay, it plays like most other games made from FromSoft.

Between that and video game controls having been mostly standardized to a certain layout on controllers, maneuvering and fighting were remarkably easy for me to pick up.

Just because the combat is fairly standard and hasn’t been heavily changed does not mean that combat is easy. This is a FromSoft game after all, so the combat is challenging and occasionally feels rigged against you, but the game gives you plenty of options to cater to your playstyle and make the game easier.

The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and do an amazing job of pulling you in.

I personally love the Soulsborne style of storytelling, but if you want to know what is happening in the world you are in without spending an inordinate amount of time wandering around to pick up random items and read their descriptions, then your best bet is to Google lore videos and just watch or listen to those.

If you are like me and like to have a TV show or a podcast in the background while gaming, listening to Elden Ring lore videos can be quite a fun experience. It provides a certain feeling as if you were the Witcher and your goofy bard is telling you legends as you wander the countryside.

I will add that because of this cryptic style of storytelling, any little discovery feels monumental because it’s like you were the only person to have discovered it.

Regardless, the lore is worth digging into however you choose, as George R. R. Martin wrote the lore of the world preceding the events of the game, making the history very rich and entertaining no matter how you consume it.

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Terra Bell, Culture reporter

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