Elden Ring is a conservative innovation preview
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Elden Ring is a conservative innovation. preview

The game was launched on a remote PC via a cloud service the shade

At first glance, the world of Elden Ring is drawn almost entirely from the Dark Souls universe. Other names of familiar things – not fire, but lost grace (Lost Grace), not souls, but runes, not estus, but bloody tears (Crimson Tears) – will not confuse the experienced veteran of the “spice”. The recognizably mysterious storytelling, the usual combat components with the dynamics of battles (almost entirely in keeping with the third “souls”) and the setting reminiscent of the European Middle Ages leave no room for doubt. And yet Hidetaka Miyazaki’s new game has its own special face.

First association: Tolkien!

First association: Tolkien!

(Here and below are screenshots provided by the publisher.)

bright souls

The first thing that caught my eye during the gaming session was the color scheme and lighting model. The predominance of bright colors and bright accents, closely intertwined with the visual design, immediately created a mood more in keeping with the adventures of Middle-earth than the somber tones of Dark Souls. And that’s despite the fact that Elden Ring lets you wander through the medieval ensembles so loved by Master Miyazaki, mysterious, dearly loved ruins and, of course, poisonous swamps.

Another feature of the Elden Ring world order is a very spectacular dynamic change in weather conditions and the time of day. A rainy morning gives way to a sunny afternoon that fades into a windy dusk, with sharp squalls evoking a frightening sense of imminent threat. And while I couldn’t capture the direct impact of natural conditions on gameplay, one thing is certain: it’s visually intriguing.

Although the names of the classes differ from those of Dark Souls, their essence is generally the same and depends on the characteristics distributed and suitable weapons in the hands

Although the class names differ from those in Dark Souls, their essence is generally the same and depends on the characteristics distributed and suitable weapons in the hands

Under the roofs of castles, in narrow tunnels or in dark caves, Elden Ring turns into the good old Dark Souls – which I find not bad at all! Unless the protagonist here knows how to jump (not as famous as in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, but still), which made the appearance of additional obstacles and features on the ground and made the gameplay significantly more “vertical”. But in a simple fight, this feature will hardly be useful – only proven parries, blocks and rolls will save you from certain death in gloomy casemates.

The usual inhabitants of the Souls series with familiar attack series try to kill us: swordsmen, archers, spearmen, knights, cultists, dogs, rats and, of course, bizarre creatures of various monstrosities. And of course, monstrous bosses won’t take their attention away from us either! In the allotted time I managed to meet five top representatives of the local fauna. As usual, they hit painfully, are visually fascinating and require an individual approach. I particularly remember the fight against a giant horseman in golden armor (slightly reminiscent of the fight against Gyobu Oniwa from Sekiro). This skirmish is characterized by the fact that you can fight both on your own feet and while sitting in the saddle. The second option turned out to be more attractive: circling around the boss turned out to deal him one blow after another, quickly moving away from retaliatory attacks. And the trusty steed is also associated with the main feature of Elden Ring.

The mood of the musical compositions evokes pleasant associations with Bloodborne

The mood of the musical compositions evokes pleasant associations with Bloodborne

Mysterious expanses

The main intrigue of Elden Ring: can the open world harmoniously coexist with the principles of the Souls game? And I still find it difficult to answer unequivocally. With a brief acquaintance with the game, it was this part of the project that caused the most mixed impressions.

The rooms here really amaze with their scope and picturesque effect. We’re free to ride in the saddle wherever our eyes look – at least at high altitude distances where even the weakest opponent will in one fell swoop send the seeker of mishap into the fire…in the sense of lost favor, or the next checkpoint. Yes, in addition to the “bonfires” there are also here – in case of death, for example, during the cleaning of the camp, the game either takes the hero to the nearest “bonfire”, or lets him rise not far from the place of the battle.

Various misadventures await in the open world of Elden Ring. You can come across enemy stops and patrols where fighting to the death is not at all necessary – if you don’t want to test your powers, you can just walk around; amusing points for study come across; there are sudden bosses that are easy to evade; wild animals and birds live in forests and meadows, which can also be provoked; And yes, there really are camps here. Their main purpose is to knock out some runes for pumping and clashing with enemies just for fun. Besides frontal attacks, you can also resort to stealth… And yes, that’s still the description of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s new game.

But well, his...

But well, his…

And at any time (except in combat and in the danger zone) you can go to the next Lost Grace. — not at the expense of spells, without finding the Great Chalice, without spending any consumable item: just open the map and click on the desired “bonfire”. It seemed to me that this decision weakened the sense of danger and the emotion overwhelming, for which Souls games are so popular. Yes, perhaps rapid movement is justified by the size of the locations, but whether the increased scale is itself justified in an artistic or a playful sense is a big question. After several hours of racing around the world, the impression was that it was still a little empty, there was not enough life. Although, I repeat, this world is incredibly beautiful.

***

After six hours, the impression was that the best thing about Elden Ring is what it inherited from the excellent previous series. But their own finds don’t look so grandiose. It is possible (and hopefully) that in the release version the game will still reveal its full potential and we will get another great canvas from which it will be impossible to break away. Luckily the wait isn’t long.

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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