Playing Elden Ring when you hate difficult games, what does it give?

Attracted by its universe, we tested the game Elden Ring, despite our dislike for difficult games. Did we enjoy the experience?

From Software’s games have a reputation for being tough on anyone who dares to play them. It’s such a well-known fact that we had a hard time embarking on the adventure Elden Ring, the latest nugget from the studio. Indeed, despite our tough looks, we are among the people who hate games that are too punitive, and that also includes bosses like Dark Souls present at the four corners of the map ofElden Ringamong other notable difficulties.

Nevertheless, Elden Ring has sold more than 12 million copies to date, which is usually achieved by much more accessible licenses such as Pokémonor Animal Crossing. The proposal of a collaboration with George RR Martin, but also its open world have visibly seduced many players, who have overcome their apprehension to conquer the lands ofElden Ring, as is also our case. Did this effort pay off? On our side, the feedback is mixed.

It started well though

Game of the year for many, RPG too complicated for others, Elden Ring has a legacy that can be scary. Finally, it is all the mystery granted to the story during its promotional campaign that convinced us to try the experiment, and to leave feathers in the process. But has this taste for risk been rewarded by gambling? Not necessarily. Once the first cinematic has passed, which transports us to the fantastic universe that we have been sold so well, we find ourselves in a gigantic area to explore… without knowing where to go.

We quickly understand that we must follow the light that emanates from the sites of grace, even if we do not know where it will lead us. So we get caught up in the game, we look for clues, and we end up “understanding” what is expected of us. Then we quickly come across the first human enemies, we defeat a few of them, we finally don’t feel so bad, then we take two hits, and we die.

It is at this moment, from the moment when we experience our life bar for the first time, that we realize that the path will be long. Ditto during our first encounter with a stronger enemy or a mini boss, which defeats us each time in just one or two attacks maximum. In fact, we did not understand anything.

frustration fire ring
Credits: Towfiqu barbhuiya via Unsplash

From seasoned exploration to frustration

Two options are then necessary: ​​persevere at the risk of being frustrated after the tenth minute of play because chaining the dead is a funny way, or exploring to have more runes and buy equipment worthy of this. name. Of course, regulars know that only the first option is really useful, but those who are not fans of difficult games turn to exploration more quickly, so that’s what we did. But you still have to know how to explore well in this kind of game.

After only a few minutes, the observation is obvious: it is very long. Indeed, the open world is full of gameplay possibilities but the lack of information given to players slows the pace even more. We are transported into a world without really knowing where to go or what to do and we are absolutely not helped. For example, it took several hours to unlock the horse when in reality, with the right information, it is possible to do it in just 10 minutes.

If we were expecting a difficult but interesting game, it turns out thatElden Ring is actually more appreciable in its arduous fights than in anything that surrounds them. There is no question of playing this title like any open world of any adventure game.

Isn’t that where we should go?

It is really the lack of communication that will play on the appreciation of all our experience. Without going so far as to say that we like to be taken by the hand, there is all the same a minimum of information that we would have liked to have had when starting the game: rest at the sites of grace and not only unlock them, not all bosses are required, etc.

We therefore find ourselves wandering most of the time, always killing the same enemies that we make appear in a loop to accumulate the runes. At this point, and after several hours of play, either we give up – which a large majority of the casual audience had to do – or we make up our minds and put our lives on the line with each game. Despite everything, the game never really leaves us with a pleasant or positive feeling, even in the event of a victory, since we automatically think back to everything we had to do to get there.

And it goes even further than that. Even after understanding a number of mechanisms and having assimilated the method to get there, we do not take more pleasure in playing, since we approach each step as one more chore. We can not count on the history of the game and very little on the beauty of its environment to make us pass the pill. Elden Ring Above all, it’s a challenge, a way to push your limits, but at what cost?

Saved by multiplayer?

Fortunately, From Software has still found an effective way to alleviate suffering, although it is not accessible to everyone: it is online gaming. Without that aspect, we don’t think we would have bothered to continue. Indeed, the online mode allows you to show the places where many people died but especially the messages left by other players.

These are very important because they often tell you about upcoming situations or places to explore. Even if they are sometimes hijacked in a malicious way, they are often of great help since they indicate if there is a boss straight ahead, a treasure, or even sometimes an invisible wall, famous element of torture from From Software , which today drives all the players of Dark Souls. Small note for beginners, be aware that typing for hours on all the walls will not help you in your quest for learning.

beginner video games
Credits: Afif Kusuma via Unsplash

This collaborative aspect is also found in the invocations, which allow you to “call a friend” before the fight of certain bosses. If you can access default summons – given by the game itself with an NPC as an ally – it is much more interesting to bring in a real player who is often much more experienced than you.

For the bosses, what is most complicated is to understand that you are never in control of the situation. It only takes a little too much misplaced bravery to be called to order. Once you take a hit, you spend the next few seconds suffering without being able to do much about it. In addition, we have to deal with game mechanics that are quite punitive as they are realistic: the dodges are slow, the jumps unimpressive, the heaviness of the character the more equipment we have. Without forgetting that it is necessary to control the weapon which one has in hand, which is not an easy task.

However, with a little practice, nothing is insurmountable. But again, should we just overcome a game instead of really enjoying it? We must admit that with a narration that lives up to our expectations and more interaction with the world around us would frankly not have been a luxury.

Ultimately, Elden Ring: make or break?

After a difficult start, and many hours of play where we were able to familiarize ourselves with the environment, the mechanics but also the operation of this title, we are not quite sure that this is a game suitable for all types. of players. The difficulty of the title coming mainly from the fact that it is necessary to know how to organize and persevere, in addition to being precise during the fights, it requires a lot of time and investment for in the end very few rewards.

Elden Ring therefore has a demanding gameplay, but sorely lacks a constant narration that could really entertain its players. We would even go so far as to say that most fans of the game are not for its history, but more for the legacy ofElden Ring since it uses the mechanics of the old From Software games. Too bad, especially when you think of the immense work upstream to make us appreciate its history.

Ultimately, we’d much rather spend time discovering more impactful storytelling adventures than trying to get my hands on Elden Ring. But what is a “failure” for us will not necessarily be a “failure” for you, or all the other beginners. Ultimately, Elden Ring doesn’t have huge development or accessibility challenges, but it’s not a pleasant experience for us.

Indeed, being able to do something is not enough to love it. To really enjoy playing a game, or doing anything else, more conditions need to be met. It’s never really pleasant when you think about everything you’ve had to go through to get to this point. Elden Ring Although it has an open world, under its air of revolution, the game forces us to adopt a single way of playing: that of difficulty.

Source: Journal du Geek by

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