After what seemed like an eternity, the gaming community finally got a peek at some new Elden Ring gameplay. And I, being a massive Soulslike fan, couldn’t be happier. That said, I do plan on breaking down some of the gameplay that was seen today, but I want to get this out of the way. Yes, Elden Ring does share several similarities with the Dark Soul series. Sure, you could call this Dark Souls 4, but that would be wrong, as this is much more than that.
Thoughout this gameplay preview, we were treated to several different segments of the gameplay, with several other classes being used. Each of these provided us a preview of some combat using a sword and shield combo, dual blades, magic, summoned spirits that can help the player during combat, and, surprisingly, some stealth that was taken straight out of Sekiro. There’s a lot of gameplay in this short 15-minute preview, so much so that I had to go back and rewatch the preview several times.
In the Dark Souls series, you would come across a small number of NPCs that you could assist, and following the chain would reward you. Here, in Elden Ring, it looks as if this will continue. During the first open moments of the preview, we saw a stuck NPC that required some help. However, it was off the player’s path who heard the cries and went to investigate. Indeed, there will be more of these moments in the game, and if you choose to help, will it also end up rewarding you or perhaps making you wish you hadn’t? That’s existing stuff to me.
It was also nice to see that our old friend, the Estus Flask, has made a return. I wasn’t sure how the healing would be handled, but now that’s been answered. What also caught my attention is that you’re also able to craft items in the open world. The preview didn’t go into much detail over this, so it leaves me wondering just how complicated this can get over time. I think I also underestimated just how vast this world of Elden Ring was going to be. Just looking at the footage and getting a look at the in-game map, well, it says it all. Up until now, you had to rely on maps created by yourself or others to get around in Soulslike games. Now, because of how large this world is, we need an in-game map. Stumbling across a catacomb is a nice touch as well, as they’ll provide the player with more content while not worrying about having to deal with a final boss. Just tossing a bunch of those into the game and letting us go crazy finding them is all I ask.
While it was mentioned previously, I loved that you can be out in the world, exploring, and could happen across a world boss. This, to me, gives the game an open-world feeling, similar to, dare I say it, World of Warcraft. In Dark Souls, that wouldn’t happen. Here, you still have the main bosses, but you could be out chilling and minding your own business and come across a boss. While Fromsoftware hasn’t said much about this, I hope there are more than a handful of these bosses in the world.
Speaking of boss fights, that last boss fight to cap off the preview was the chef’s kiss. I need to see more of that guy, and while our adventurer ended up roasted, we know who our first obstacle is going to be. I’m going to kick that guy’s ass so hard. Or at least I hope.
After reviewing all of this, this aligns with several of the videos I’ve seen on YouTube following the hands-on preview. So what we witnessed was the playable build, and after watching those videos so many times, it was nice to finally see some gameplay. There’s so much in this preview that I’ll go back and rewatch it a few more times, but my interest was already piqued when the game was announced. Now that I’ve finally watched more than a few seconds of gameplay — damn, I can’t wait for the release date.
Elden Ring is an upcoming action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for those who haven’t been following Elden Ring. The game is a collaborative effort between game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin. While the game may look similar to the Dark Souls games, with many calling it Dark Souls 4, there’s more to it. The gameplay has seen some changes, such as riding a mount, dungeons that can be found while progressing through the game storyline and is less linear than the Dark Souls games. The game also has a significant emphasis on customization and exploration, unlike previous games from Fromsoftware.
Elden Ring will be available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, on February 25th, 2022.
For more Elden Ring coverage, check out the following: