Why is Elden Ring Legendary!?
As gamers, we experience so many different types of games over our lifetime, but a few transcend all the rest. They are placed on a pedestal being labeled as an all-time great. In this video, I want to make my case as to why Elden Ring should be considered a legendary game.
What makes this game transcend the rest? How does it compare to others in the same genre? Should it be considered one of the best open world games ever?
Setting the Stage
How successful would Elden Ring be?
Elden Ring was released back in late February of 2022, and up until the game dropped, there was a lot of hype behind its release. I’ve gotta say that when I first heard about a FromSoftware game being worked on by George R.R. Martin, I was like, well, this might be a bust. As much as I love Game of Thrones, Martin has been unable to finish his renowned book series, and now you are telling me he is working on a video game.
Then, when there were several reports of difficulty during the development of the game, the likelihood of the game being a dud did go up for me. But I’ve got to say, when they dropped the first gameplay walkthrough, I did feel like this would succeed but the question was to what level.
Winning all the Awards!
Well, you know what happened when it dropped. Elden Ring straight-up took the gaming industry by storm. There were people out there that did try to come up with BS hot takes that make absolutely zero sense in an attempt to bring down the success of Elden Ring, but that came crashing down at the Game Awards.
Winning the game of the year for 2022 and surpassing The Last of Us Part 2 for the overall highest-awarded game of all time within a two-month span is pretty nuts. But with all that being said, it’s important for us to analyze Elden Ring and break down why it deserves to be considered a Legendary Title. In my analysis will discuss the story, gameplay, customization, atmosphere, and impact of the game on the industry.
Now, this for some can cause issues since a more traditional method of storytelling usually consists of more cutscenes and dialog to explain the story in a more straightforward linear path. Elden Ring doesn’t follow that method and would rather have the story experienced through gameplay and investigation. For those that tell you that Elden Ring doesn’t have a story. You are sadly mistaken.
The number of content creators and lore fanatics of Elden Ring will tell you otherwise. The basic story of Elden Ring isn’t too complicated but there are times when it can get confusing. It takes place in the Lands Between, which is pretty much a kingdom divided and war-torn completely. The land is filled with monsters, dragons, undead soldiers, and many dungeons. This area wasn’t always like this though, because according to the story, a long time ago the realm was once beautiful and peaceful while under the leadership of God Queen Marika ‘The Eternal’ and her children the Demigods.
God Queen Marika
She was chosen as the protector of the Elden Ring, which was a magical object containing runes that keep the world at bay, that was located inside a giant golden mystical tree called the Erdtree. However, the Elden Ring was shattered into multiple runes after a clan of assassins had damaged the Elden Ring and killed one of Marika’s children. Marika had broken the rest of the Elden Ring and pieces of it were taken by each of her children. From here on out the entirety of the Lands Between went into complete chaos since Marika has disappeared and the Demigods are now facing off in a massive civil war over who will be the next God and Elden Lord reigning over the land.
The “No Story” Argument
This is all that happens before you even start the game. You are a soul in the Lands between that is not accepted into the Erdtree and your ultimate goal is to reunite the Great Runes and become the Elden Lord creating peace. One by one you go to the different regions of the realm facing off against the different Demigods. Each with its own background and lore which honestly is pretty badass. The Lore behind Elden Ring is actually incredible due to the fact that there is just so much you can uncover by investigating the different key items and locations of the game. There have been so many content creators like VaatiVidya and SmoughTown that have really invested so much time breaking down the various story components of the game which is why when I hear crappy takes like “Elden Ring has no Story” makes me wanna puke.
The best part about the story has to be the Demigods you meet and face off against along the way. Each interaction has some really badass moments where you either meet them for the first time or level up their strength to stage two. I think the best part about each boss is that they all have a back story. Almost all of the Demigods were children of one of two characters Marika or Radagen. General Radaan and Melina were considered to be the strongest of the Demigods and before you face them in the game, they discussed the ultimate battle they had in the opening cutscene.
By the time you face the bosses in the game, most of them are not even at their full strength so it gives you the idea that, damn. If I am getting my cheeks clapped by these bosses now, I can’t even imagine the power they were before. This just shows how much work was put into the lore of the game because Elden Ring has so much story that the cutscenes are just a small piece of what they have.
The Narrative is Legendary
This story is considered legendary mainly because it sticks with you for a long time. You could go through the basic story of the game and you will feel satisfied with what they are trying to tell you, but if you invest the time to go deeper into the lore then you will really feel how in-depth and interesting the story of Elden Ring is. Like you can get lost for hours investigating different parts of the game.
Even now there are more lore elements being discovered by gamers and the best part of it all is that there are chunks of the story that are up to interpretation, meaning that depending on your own perspective you can come up with your own ideas about certain aspects. Elden Ring’s narrative is legendary in the way it’s crafted so for god’s sake don’t ever tell me that it “has no story”.
Elden Ring’s game play is also top tier in my opinion. I think the basic idea of its combat is to slice, dodge roll, throw some spells, and dodge again. But to be honest there is so much more to the way you battle average enemies. What makes the system so interesting, and fun is the weapons you get to choose from and master along the way. 14 weapon variants with 371 weapons to find and use is incredibly impressive. Each weapon has its own methods of fighting which can drastically change your strategy in combating foes.
For example, using Beefy Two handed swords means your slices will be slow but deal massive damage especially if your character has enough of the strength stat to use them properly. Smaller blades like knifes or standard swords can be quicker but obviously will take longer to kill opponents which opens up more agile methods of combat. Then once you start using mythical weapons that have magic runes attached to them it opens up the floodgates of possibility
Maybe its because I’m so basic, but since I’m more a close combat fighter, in Elden Ring I had prioritized strength, endurance and dexterity which means more often I would use Katanas like the Hand of Melania which would have me fly into the air doing a 100 blade slice which would devastate enemies. Or even the Rivers of Blood blade which basically would slice blood flames which would greatly injure enemies when they are hit enough times. But what is cool about these types of mythical weapons is that there are many different types that give the player so much possibility.
If you are looking to go down the more magic based route you have the Blasphemous Blade which creates a wall of fire in any path. You have the Bolt of Gransax which turns you into Zeus throwing red bolts of lightning. The point is that the gameplay really gives you a wide array of possibilities which makes the game feel so much more open compared to anything else I have ever played.
One of the biggest criticisms that Elden Ring faces is that it is too difficult to play for any new gamer first introduced to the franchise. FromSoftware games have always been known for being difficult, whether it is Dark Souls, Demons Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro and Elden Ring, each has their own level of difficulty and can be frustrating at times.
However, most Souls fans will tell you that Elden Ring isn’t even the most difficult of the series. Sekiro seems to be the general consensus of being the most difficult due to its style of combat being different from others in the series. What makes Elden Ring way more manageable is the inclusion of concepts like summoning. In the game you get to summon spirits to help you in a boss battle and you can even include other tarnished in multiplayer that can join you in the fight. This is something that really helped when combating against bosses since it made it more of a cooperative experience
Does this mean that everyone can dominate this game? No, but it does give a lot more players an ability to progress through the game with the help of others. Yes. Plus on top of that, Elden Ring players are more than willing to help others through certain portions of the game. I remember when me and the crew were live streaming our playthrough, there were several times other players would either offer help or ask us for help in certain sections. Creating a multiplayer aspect of the game opens up more reasons to at least give the game a chance.
Why Elden Ring is legendary!
When someone tells me that Elden Ring is too “niche” in its system of gameplay I am sort of confused because I feel that it is way more diverse in its combat compared to most other games in this genre. I personally feel that games don’t need to have you be able to fly at lightning speeds in Dragon Ball Z like styles of movements for gameplay to be fun. Elden Rings basic combat loop seems simple in its design but what makes the gameplay fun is the diverse possibilities you can take when engaging an enemy.
Think about the amount of different weapons, spells, and tactics you can use when fighting against a boss? Then you add in multiplayer, Its nearly endless. Most Open World RPGS following the same basic concepts of combat mainly focus on counters and dodges. Elden Ring takes that and give you variety with choice which is its biggest strength.
Along with the wide array of weapon choice is the customization of Elden Ring. This is by far one of the most diverse I have seen in a long time. When I had made my review of Elden Ring when it was first released I had mentioned how once you boot up the game you have so many options of how you would want your build to be right out of the gate.
With a total of 10 classes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, you get to pick the path you want your character to walk at the very beginning. You can choose between more direct combat classes like, Vagabond, warrior, hero and samurai which prioritize stats like strength, dexterity, endurance which will enhance movements and attack power, or you can focus more on magic based classes, like astrologer, prophet, and confessor , which build up ranged stats which help you learn spells early on.
Along with picking your builds there is also the armor and look of your character. Before you even add armor you can make your character look anyway you want to. I’ve seen some outrageous stuff since the game was first released. People looking like shriek, Jon Snow, even the Elden Lord himself Bill Clinton. I think that RPGs that give the gamer full control over their appearance and the way they play is just such an overlooked feature in games.
Once you start finding armors in the game that’s where the variety of the game comes full circle. There are a total of 559 armor pieces in this game which means you can have so many different combinations that gives the player much more choice in what they want to show off in their playthrough. Each armor type gives buffs to specific stats which will obviously help with specific builds and defenses that you want to build on.
Why it’s so great
Whats so badass about the customization is that for every major boss you defeat in this game you can purchase armors that are variants of the enemies. This means you can essentially rock armor that shows off which bosses you have beaten up until that point. My chad like character must rock the black armor that gives off the dragon killing vibes since I was dragon hunting since the beginning of the game.
Rarely have I seen any RPG, let alone any game go this far with its customization. I mean if you want to go as outrageous as possible you can. Want to become Bill Clinton and become the Elden Lord? You honestly could. People need to remember that games that give the player choice are the ones that people remember forever.
Atmosphere and Environment
Map Design Excells
One of the best aspects Elden Ring that nearly everyone has agreed with being top tiered is the Map and Environment. One of the best parts about an Open World game is the first moment you get to walk out into an open area and just gaze upon what’s around you. Elden Ring’s , the Lands Between, sets the bar so high for future open world games. The world looks phenomenal, and it just seems endless in its scale. I always find myself looking at the map and try to guess how far it really is, but what’s crazy is that as you continue in the game the map just gets bigger and bigger.
According to the devs, the map is approximately 79 square kilometers in distance which is massive. It is on scale with legendary games like Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild and Skyrim which is definitely impressive. Within the map so are so many different environments that make the experience feel so diverse with watery marshes, snowy peaks, deserts, caverns, and common forestry.
The best part about the map is the fact that there is so much stuff to find and enemies to face that it feels even bigger than it already is. One of the biggest issues that Open World games have the most difficulty with is creating a large map with enough activities to make it feel whole. Finding the best combination between having a large map and enough activities to complete that make it feel fun throughout your experience. Games like Horizon Forbidden west, Far Cry and even Halo Infinite struggled with these problems. It seems like Elden Ring found the perfect combination of always having a story to tell and things to find throughout your exploration.
Never a Dull Moment
Whether it is the major bosses that would show up out of no where like Randy Orton dropping RKOs or even side quests with NPCs, it just feels like a living world with so much to do. There were several times I would be traveling by some open area then out of nowhere the music starts getting intense and a dragon just drops in ready to square up against me. I would just be shocked because this would happen daily. It was almost a standard trend of mine to play with the volume up so I can hear some possible ominous music playing in the background because it would mean something is about to attack and kill me.
Not once have I heard a single doubter make the claim that Elden Ring’s map is “dull” or “lifeless” just because if I honestly heard some bull like that I don’t know if I would either laugh or get into a fight instantly. This map is something that devs should always strive to be.
One thing I feel that is looked passed with Elden Ring is the amazing sound track that this game has. Obviously we have to give respect to Tsukasa Saito for delivering the epic tracks for this title. People have to understand how important music is to the reception of a game. If the music does not land on the intended goal of the game’s mood, then it could ruin some really dope moments. Elden Ring does a great job at magnifying every section of the Land’s Between with a track for each area as well as for every boss battle and encounter.
The boss fights were already epic but once you drop a tune in the background to amplify it. Oh that’s just bliss. If you don’t believe me, then lets look at a quick example. Look at how bad this moment is with the wrong ambiance. Now look at how its done. There is no equal to devs that do this the right way. You have to give a lot of credit to FromSoftware for not only landing on such a great environment but for also setting the mood right with some killer tracks.
According to Critics, Elden Ring is ranked as one of the highest rated games of all time, being put on par with other titles like Half Life, Bioshock, GTA 5 and Resident Evil 4. Of all the FromSoftware games it is considered the best based on sites like Metacritic. With this level of popularity it wasn’t surprising that it won Game of the Year for 2022 with a continued growth in sales well into the second year of the game.
Legendary games usually have a profound impact not only on the consoles ecosystem but on other games as well. Elden Ring seems right now like a trend setter when it comes to how Open World games are supposed to be. Even if it is a relatively new game people can already see the impact of the title on the genre itself and I can guarantee that as years go on you will see the influence this game has on others that strive to be open world games.
Long Lasting Impact
Personally, I feel that Elden is one of those games that really stick with you for awhile. There are a few games that really pull you in and have you wanting to continue playing all the way through till the end. There were times that this game had frustrated me due to difficult boss battles or dungeons, but the satisfaction you have when completing that difficult level or conquering that boss was pure joy.
I feel like Elden Ring will be one of those games that people will talk about for a long time as being a major influence going forward and I am really looking forward to seeing what FromSoftware does with this IP especially with the level of popularity that it has.
For as much as people want to attempt to throw crap claims at Elden Ring, to be honest it comes off as pure salt with no real backing. Sure anyone can have their opinion on Elden Ring as they wish but I think its clear as day that even if you don’t think Elden Ring is for you, it still should be considered a Legendary game.
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