Elden Ring is a completely different kind of open world game

A warrior on horseback looks out over a vast landscape with a giant golden tree.

Screenshot: From Software / Bandai Namco

From Software, as you may already know, has a new game coming out early next year. It is called Elden’s Ringand after spending a few hours with him last week’s preview, I’m here to say that he is becoming something really special.

To set some expectations Kotaku We had access to a closed web test, but our time was limited to two 3 hour sessions. While it was not an unobstructed view of an open world game, it was definitely enough to get a sense of the overall experience.

Elden’s Ring that’s a lot of things. This is the first major release of the software since 2019. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice… This is the heir Dark souls franchise. This is the first attempt by the company to transplant Souls-style of gameplay in a real open world. it Dark Souls IV… it Dark Souls II 2… It is the natural culmination of an impressive resume that began in 1994. Royal fieldand, as such, it is a game that has been over for almost 30 years. This is a From Software experience that can be successfully mastered.

But perhaps most importantly, Elden’s Ring it’s fun. Oh my god, this is a hell of a lot of fun.

I previously spoke in detail about Elden’s Ringwith opening moments (you know, a learning area with a hole everyone fell into) and my favorite part limited access demos (accidentally stranded on an island that I half convinced it was inaccessible). These two stories are at opposite ends of the open world spectrum, the first representing the ubiquitous storytelling in the genre, and the second a perfect example of how From Software seems poised to reinvent open world games forever.

Elden’s RingDespite the fact that players are provided with a huge sandbox to explore and interact with, this is done on purpose. Every piece of peacebuilding that has contributed Dark soulslegacy can be found just as easily in Elden’s Ring… The only difference is that there are more of them.

One can reasonably expect a modern open-world game to be a collection of interesting landmarks with little annotations in between, save for some lush visuals that will make the journey from point A to point B at least aesthetically pleasing. This is not the case with Elden’s Ring, although, I must say, incredibly beautiful. No, the developers from From Software have gone to great lengths to make every moment thoughtful, even though the studio has exponentially more scope to reach with the studio’s unique talent to bring fantasy to life.

Lesnoy Lane is not just a window dressing between waypoints, but a set for learning the intricacies of stealth combat.

The entrance to the castle is not only an impressive piece of world architecture, but also the start of a breathtaking chase.

A random gathering of worshipers in a swampy field is not just a chance for you to cut off a group of enemies on horseback, but also a catalyst for an unexpected boss battle against a man-eating dragon.

If only Elden’s Ring The demo squeezed everything cool in the game down to 1 / 12th of a square kilometer to fool us, I’m frankly worried about the developers. The attention to detail required to make this ambitious project a reality is truly titanic. As i expected Elden’s Ringarriving on February 25th, I’m also more than happy to wait even longer if that means the folks at From Software aren’t killing themselves to get him out the door.

Anyway, my short time with Elden’s Ring showed me that From Software is fully capable of owning the open world video game genre. I don’t know how I’ll get back to huge tracts of land where there is nothing to see between points of interest other than environmental details that appear to be copied just to fill the space. Even being unbending Dark souls fan, I’m amazed at what the developers have been able to achieve with this small snippet of the full game and worried about my free time coming next February.

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