elden ring review
Advertisements

Hello friends and gamers,

For Captain Cookies, the final hour of Elden Ring has rung. The carnivorous echo of a 60-hour adventure is now rooted (heh, get it, because the game is all about the Erdtree) in my gamer heart. This is not to say I will never play Elden Ring again. I am just at the point where I beat the game, had a lot of fun, and need to extend my passion to other video games. Since my senses are heightened from a fresh playthrough, now is as good a time as any to initiate the Game Gush Zone. Let’s take a deep dive into today’s Game Gush Review, Elden Ring!

Elden Ring and the Journey of Elden Lord

elden ring review

Wrapping up a video game will sometimes leave a special mark. Do you know what I mean? A moment of satisfaction and depression. A bittersweet spark of enlightenment. Elden Ring entrapped my soul in a grand journey to become Elden Lord. It was very reminiscent of the long and perilous trek of Frodo and the One Ring in Lord of the Rings. I had not felt this immaculate scale of an adventure in a video game since Final Fantasy XV. So I became sad. My journey was almost over. I knew I was slowly approaching the final boss at the end.

Elden Ring Final Boss Snippet

Speaking of the final boss, I probably died 100 times on this battle alone. Yes, about 10 of the 60 hours was psychotically failing to take down the annoying dinosaur. There was a lot of frustration involved. I do not even remember another boss that took me more than 10 tries to beat. But, after an obsessive amount of willpower, I eventually felled the beast! At level 140, my sacred rite of Elden Lord was fulfilled.

Phew, I had to get that off my chest because dying over and over was a pain. Anyway, what is so amazing that’s worth noting in my review of Elden Ring? I’ll cover the topics in three main categories: Exploration, Combat, and Experience.


Also read a short post about my first hour experience with Elden Ring to compare how I feel now.


Exploration in Elden Ring

Exploring the many environments FromSoftware has created feels so natural. I started in a ruined, charcoaled church. Waddled across various lakes filled with crabs, octopuses, mighty dragons, and loads of abnormal horrors. Carefully treaded along putrid swamplands. Trotted over countryside’s and pastures on my spectral horse, Torrent. Delved into mines and secluded caves. Climbed to the top of a mountainous volcano. Briskly marched through a land of frozen dead giants. Gazed upon beautiful scenery atop the tallest structures, the divine towers. And there’s plenty more to see beyond that!

Map Size

After 10 hours of Elden Ring, I had reviewed and uncovered a big portion of the map (or so I thought). Amazing progress was made. There were edges of what I believed to be a square map. Surely, Elden Ring does not get bigger than that, right? So I kept playing. Then, boom, another chunk of the map is revealed. And another chunk. And then another. It played out like running up a twisted staircase on a loop. 40 hours went by before I realized how foolish I was. Even at the end of my 60-hour journey, I still became whiplashed by the depths of yet another secret area like the Haligtree. The map is MASSIVE!


Advertisements

Curiosity

FromSoftware is truly a master of their craft. They know just how much detail to add to coax players into exploring nooks and crannies of the world. Players all subconsciously transform into curious cats with nine lives when starting Elden Ring. Oh look, I spotted a large tower in the distance and ask, “Can I go there?” The answer is, “Why yes, of course, dear Tarnished, please do!” What occurs after is an adventure of fighting monsters, finding items, maybe a weapon or incantation, and the sweet satisfaction of, “I made it!”

Secret passages are another large portion of Elden Ring’s exploration. I was surprised by how many hidden pathways were found under invisible floors, hidden by cliff drop-offs, past fake walls, and even under fake floors. I think the most hidden walls in one place are within the Sage’s Cave. Curiosity into secret passages may be awarded with rare items but other ventures will end up not-so-lucky. There are also trapped treasure chests which teleport you far across the land into danger.


Advertisements

An Extra Great Read About Elden Ring Exploration

MeghanPlaysGames also highlights perfect examples of why exploration is exhilarating. Meghan points out how FromSoftware has become an expert in shaping level design. A large percentage of that mastery is how they abuse their skill to trick the player into traps and sometimes even death. Definitely give the post a read if you want to learn a little more about Elden Ring’s exploration!


Elden Ring Combat Difficulty

elden ring review

Combat difficulty strikes at the heart of reviews on every FromSoftware game, and Elden Ring is not different. Although the enemies are difficult, I confidently feel like FromSoftware provided more than enough ways to deal with adversaries. So you want to be a tiny person with a huge two-handed hammer and bonk enemy noggins? Go for it! You want to Kamehameha and Rasengan your way through a boss battle? Do it! Feel like spamming bleed attacks and dodging like a ninja to victory? Absolutely possible. Summon a group of undead warrior or SoulJars. There are so many ways to approach the combat in Elden Ring! Not a single doubt in my mind that there is a playstyle for whoever you are.

Conquer Your Foes

Approaching enemies also ignites a thirst for war that must be quenched. What new enemy will I encounter today? Oh yeah, look at that stout young knight standing over there. He looks stalwart and menacing. I wonder if he will pound me into Tarnished dust? Yes, absolutely yes, why did I even ask. It’s an odd feeling, but just like exploring, there is a captivating essence to an unknown enemy that draws you in.



A Peculiar Knight

A real example was when I stumbled upon a random hostile in armor roaming some grasslands next to the main road to the north of Stormveil. He had a sword and shield. Looked like a typical uncommon knight. Except he turned out to be a much harder knight than anticipated. I knew I was doomed as soon as he imbued his sword with lightning. “A regular knight can’t do that. Oh boy, I’m in danger.” A moment later, I was struck down like a Jedi youngling during Order 66.


Advertisements

Overcome Challenges

elden ring review

Albeit difficult at first, every enemy has a set combat pattern and a weakness. Studying and learning from mistakes is just apart of what makes Elden Ring tick. Dying and then overcoming an enemy challenge slaps on a gold star. A gold star that we wear with a lot of pride and dignity. That’s right, Tree Sentinel, I’m talking to you. What feels better than coming back to the Tree Sentinel after 50 hours of experience and completely destroying his day with only a few swings? I do not know, tell me when you figure it out!

Experience

elden ring review

The total experience in an outward review of Elden Ring feels extremely positive. The social interaction and buzz for the video game also adds on to the experience. People across social media channels are helping newer players with early game builds, tips to summon ashes, boss status weaknesses, and really nice weapons or incantations. There is just something magical and exciting when a popular game reinforces positive content.

Messages

The message system is in a world of its own too. Calling a turtle a dog is one of the community’s pastimes on Elden Ring. Real walls with “secret passage” scrolled on the front are obnoxious, but we still swing at the wall… You know, just in case it’s actually a fake wall. Many people use messages to help others find secret spots. Another positive to leaving messages is players are healed whenever their message is appraised. This surprisingly comes in handy during tough boss fights if a random stranger liked your message.


Advertisements

Design and Animation

Enemy appearance and animation design is also a huge experience piece for Elden Ring. FromSoftware has many years of expertise when it comes to creatures belonging in their environment. Not only does a new biome feel fresh, but it is more immersive when enemies feel like they are supposed to be there.

Speaking of enemies, the creepiest enemies are the finger spiders. They look like 2 hands connected at the wrists and use their fingers to crawl like arachnids. These things just terrify me and Caria Manor has the worst courtyard in the game because of them. As if finger spiders were not enough, the larger ones will burrow in the ground and act like a bear trap. Guess what, I found a shiny item and was snatched up like a Venus flytrap. My scariest time with Elden Ring, hands down.



Closing Thoughts

As the GameGushGamer, I know my review made it obvious that I care a lot about Elden Ring. If I did not have such a large backlog, I would probably sink my teeth into this video game for a long time. It has the grand scale and popularity to be talked about for months. Gamer fans had Horizon Forbidden West, Warhammer III, Shadow Warrior 3, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands all released around the time of Elden Ring… And everyone is still talking about Elden Ring. I only mention that to give a general idea of how much this game has exploded in terms of worldwide popularity. Yes, there are tons of legitimate and great reasons why it’s at the top right now. Provided in the game gush review of Elden Ring are only a few of my personal reasons why I enjoyed the game. 10,000 chocolate oatmeal (no-bake) cookies!

Community Comment

Post a comment about the last time you remember having a grand scale of adventure in a video game! Feel free to gush about Elden Ring or any other video games in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you really enjoyed about it. As always, thanks again friends and gamers. Catch you soon!

4 Comments »

  1. Thanks so much for the shoutout! Good to know our experiences in Caria Manor were basically identical, haha. I’m around 60 hours into this game, and I still feel like I’m nowhere near the end… the size is insane!

    • No problem! I only finished so fast because I looked up details on where to go for the main quest line so I could finish this post lol
      If I was just casually exploring or didn’t look up questlines, oh my gosh it would definitely have taken me AGES!! Even after beating the game, I’ve done some optional bosses like the dragonlord and Malenia. The map is freaking gigantic lmao

      • Ahhh, that’s fair! I keep finding things to do and getting distracted from the main story LOL. I just found an entirely new section of map the other night, and I was like, “THERE’S MORE???” still having fun with it though 🙂

Leave a Reply