Elden Ring: fantastic but frustrating

 

Video game fans saw a lot of games this year. Pokémon fans got a bland but fresh open world experience, Call of Duty fans got another call of duty, and overall the majority of releases this year were underwhelming. Free to play games are still updating their games with hours of free content while EA and Activision still charge $60 for a game with a one year lifespan.
One game stands out of the pack this year though, Fromsoftware’s Elden Ring. A masterful work of art, Elden Ring is what happens when a game studio is self run and has little to no deadlines. Fromsoftware have been infamous for the Dark Souls series, which, like Elden Ring, is big and bold. However Elden Ring is bolder and much, much bigger.
Most people have heard of the legendary game series Dark Souls, and everyone who has heard of it has also heard of its difficulty. There has been much criticism on whether these games should have an easy mode, but Fromsoftware in their Fromsoftware-like fashion ignores them and continues to make games that make players want to throw their keyboards at a wall.
Though it is difficult, Elden Ring is a truly an experience. The wide range and variety of enemies is enormous, with the game boasting 122 unique boss battles and hundreds of lesser foes.
Fromsoftware has gone open world and the size of the map is best described as the word, “big”. This game is very, very big and beats out games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”. The map is just a little bit bigger than “Los Santos” from “Grand Theft Auto V”, and remember you don’t have a multi million dollar supercar to traverse the terrain with.
Elden Ring did not win game of the year because it was big, it won it because it was bold. Developers pushed the boundaries and let their creative minds fly, producing one of the most consistently diverse open world game to date. No location is like another, and the map has an entire underground section, with hundreds of secret rooms. Even its secret rooms have secret rooms.
Elden Ring is hard, but rewarding. It is massive, yet compact at the same time. The idea of learning how to beat a boss for hours and then being rewarded with very little may seem unappealing to some, but the game makes people ask themselves the question that other open world games convey so well. Is it really the reward that one enjoys? Or is it the journey, the part one takes for granted, the real artistry hiding beneath?
The public, critics, and players all seem to be unanimous. There is no game more deserving of the game of the year award than Elden Ring.