Although the games by developer FromSoftware are set in different worlds, fans have grouped them together as the Soulsborne series because of the DNA they share. Elden Ring, like Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die, is the newest addition to that family. This monster-filled open-world RPG, which has already been released twice, is a famously challenging game that even the most experienced player would struggle to beat. This reputation, though, creates a divide: for some, completing the Soulsborne games is a badge of honor; for others, it’s a series to avoid.
While the Soulsborne games are as difficult as veterans claim, they’re also fair, and a game that punishes you for your mistakes isn’t the same as one that simply punishes you. Even so, it’s aggravating when someone on the internet advises you to “become good” but doesn’t explain how.
The community around Soulsborne games, including Elden Ring, can put you off trying the series for yourself by glorifying their prowess. And it’s easy to get bored with these games, especially when each new one deviates from the rules you learnt in the previous one. Each Soulsborne game emphasizes a particular combat style: Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls reward cautious defensive play, Bloodborne necessitates aggressive, close-quarters assault, while Sekiro pushes you to perfect your parries.
If you persevere with a Soulsborne game long enough to master it, you’ll be rewarded with a horrific fantasy adventure full of strange sights, unusual monsters, and a world that lures you deep into its depths with enticing lore.
It’s tempting to start from the beginning with a series as storied as the Soulsborne titles, and The Demon’s Souls remake for PS5 makes that option more accessible than ever, but I’d recommend starting with Elden Ring.
The combat is better than it’s ever been
The combat in all of FromSoftware’s games is what draws people in. The worlds and story are excellent, but you’ll be fighting for the most of your time, so start with the most developed game.
The intricate fighting mechanisms of Elden Ring may appear confusing at first, but they will quickly become evident. After blowing past the early game’s Cave of Knowledge and completing a combat lesson, you’ll be able to master all of the fundamentals, like rolling, blocking, and knowing when to go on the offensive against your foes. These strategies apply to all of the Soulsborne games, but Elden Ring stands out because of its open world: if you encounter an enemy type that’s too much for you, you may back up and move somewhere else to discover a new foe and try out a new battle approach.
Bosses are no longer roadblocks that prohibit you from moving forward until you’ve mastered them. You often have a choice of who to fight and when to fight them. You can take a break, level up your character, switch gear, and return stronger.
There are many various types of weapons to find and learn, each of which behaves differently. There’s a bewildering number of factors to consider, even with the smallest, most inconsequential scuffle, when you consider the different perks and skills you unlock, as well as your weight limit (decided by your stats and the equipment you’re wielding). That’s what makes Elden Ring so enjoyable to play: you have to figure it out on your own, and you’ll be glad you did by the end.
You can go at your own pace while playing
There are just a few bosses in Elden Ring that you must defeat if you want to complete the game. Aside from that, the Lands Between are yours to explore at your leisure. If you’re confident in your ability to defeat that big pot-shaped foe despite your low level, go for it. You can usually bypass an entire sector if you know you’ll die before you can make a move. There aren’t many games that give you this much flexibility, let alone Soulsborne games.
It eases you into Elden Ring and its obstacles as a beginner, giving you a sensation of control over a deadly world.
It’s filled with foul, unsettling things
Elden Ring is a bizarre nightmare that needs to be investigated further. The people of the Lands Between are all living with their own distinct, exquisite anguish, which reveals itself in the form of bizarre creatures, manic dancing, and strange behaviors. These weird monsters pique your interest rather than repulse you, drawing you further into this odd realm.
Elden Ring’s environment is interesting, and it encourages you to explore every nook and cranny, improve your strength to beat tough adversaries, and open up every aspect of the map to find answers to all of your questions. There’s a world to discover with an undeniable pulse of life, and creativity oozes from every pore. And, despite the strangeness, decay, and death, there is hope at the end of the tunnel. That stands in sharp contrast to many of the previous Soulsborne games, and it’s one of the best reasons to enter the Tarnished’s weird and fantastic universe.