Dark Souls By a Different Name

New game ‘Elden Ring’ Sweeps the World


Photo by Madison Shields

While the graphics in game are beautiful, the difficult bosses and continuous deaths make “Elden Ring” unenjoyable. The open-world aspect leaves a lot of unknown places to explore, but also makes progressing in the story harder since there’s so many things to interact with along the way. The only people thoroughly enjoying “Elden Ring” are die-hard “Dark Souls” fans and people who appreciate hard games.

Madison Shields, Reporter

Powering on my PC and running a game I spent $60 on that I would only play for one day is how I spent my Saturday. “Elden Ring” is one of the most difficult video games I’ve ever played, with many difficulties surrounding the mechanics of the game and character building. The game was created for gaming consoles as opposed to PC, and they haven’t updated their keyboard controls. So all of the controls are mis-titled, which made learning how to play confusing.

When you first load into the game, you’re asked to pick a class. You can choose among: Vagabond, Warrior, Hero, Bandit, Astrologer, Prophet, Samurai, Prisoner, Confessor or Wretch. Vagabond is the easiest player to learn as a beginner since you start on level nine and are given buffed statistics to start with, like 14 strength and 11 endurance. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is the wretch, and starting on level one, you aren’t given a weapon or clothes. Safe to say, I went with Vagabond and stayed far away from the Wretch.

After slowly customizing my character to look exactly like me, I was ready to start the game. You load into an abandoned cathedral, where there are numerous places where you’re taught how to move in game like, jump, attack and perry, which is a jump backwards. It took me a little longer than expected to learn since the labeling was created for a controller and I was playing on PC. It would tell me to jump with the A button, but you use the A key to move left with a keyboard. Overall, it took me about 20 minutes to finally figure out every control that was explained in the old cathedral, while also matching them to the keys they belonged to.

Soon after, I walked down some stone stairs and across a rope bridge. Then, I’m met with a huge spider boss that I thought I had to beat, so I tried my best, but ended up dying not even three minutes after beginning the fight. The gameplay felt fairly smooth, but it was my first time fighting a boss in-game, so it resulted in my dying fairly quickly. Turns out, you didn’t have to kill the spider to progress, so it transitioned to a cutscene of a girl finding my character unconscious on the ground.

After my character awoke, I ran through some stone cave-looking hallways, and I was led to an open vast view of the game, with the gold glowing tree in the distance and a big church that seemed small due to the distance it was from me. The animations were honestly breath-taking and I took a couple minutes just to look around me. The trees looked very realistic while still holding a fantastical vibe.

In-game, there’s a gold glitter trail that floats in the air, leading you to the next place you should be to progress to in the game. The gold glitter led me to an open field, where I was met with a large horse and what seemed to be a knight on top. I was under the impression that I was supposed to kill this boss in order to move forward with the story. I was very wrong.

First of all, you don’t even need to kill, what I learned was named the ‘Tree Sentinel’ in the first place. You can literally just sneak past it and progress that way because the ‘Tree Sentinel’ is actually a boss you’re meant to come back to after you’ve buffed up your character. But of course I didn’t know that, so, I spent an entire two hours trying to kill the stupid horse man.

Spoiler: I didn’t kill it. I finally gave up and tried to run past it, but it instantly spotted me and killed me. I had to take a breath and gather my thoughts because, to put it lightly, I was peeved. Finally slowly, very slowly, I snuck past it and sprinted away to the nearest save point.

The glowing gold glitter led me to a base camp of numerous soldiers who clearly weren’t on my side. A voice that had been guiding me through the whole game hinted that I should take them out one by one instead of trying to kill them all at once. And that’s exactly what I did. It was honestly really fun and one of my favorite parts about playing. Crouching around the exterior, slowly killing them off. Taking the last one out felt really refreshing. After looting the base camp, it’s easy to find the next save point which is right in front of an entrance to an unknown place. Overall, an easy and enjoyable mindless side quest.

As much fun the previous mission was, I couldn’t handle the thought of taking on another boss. So I closed the game and turned off my PC. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t played the game since, and I don’t have the urge to. I might in the future, but as of now, I’m tired and annoyed with the game play.

Madison’s ratings:

Gameplay: 3/10

Visuals: 10/10