preview The Elden Ring: Our Impressions of an Amazing Open World
You probably haven’t missed out that Elden Ring, from Software’s Next Project, will be released in just over two weeks. While expectations are growing among gamers and discussions are also growing about what one might be tempted to call “Dark Souls 3 in the open world”, we are lucky, we were able to play again for 6 hours in the game, hours that we were missing out on in the enormity of this universe.
Before moving forward, let’s define the terms of this overview. So we were able to play the PC version of Elden Ring, which streamed this preview version from Bandai Namco’s headquarters. We were able to clear the Entre Terre for about 6 hours and controlled our character at the start of the adventure. If you had the opportunity to participate in the public beta a few months ago, know that we have access to the same content, with one exception: The white smoke walls that prevented players from going to explore beyond certain limits disappeared. So we were free to go where we wanted or almost which is also why this preview won’t go into detail about all the game’s mechanics, which are still solid, which we’ve discussed at length in this overview.
An open world with big ambitions
Needless to say, our first instinct was to try to see as much of it as possible and see if the excellent first impressions we got when we connected to the first area of the game could be confirmed extensively. The answer is yes, without a doubt. If we don’t yet know the exact number of environments we’ll have the chance to cross, know that the ones we saw were as elegant as they were formidable. We have to realize that surprise seems to be From Software’s keyword to govern the rules of its open world and it even starts with a map of it, which is only revealed by recovering certain parts. They are personified by an obelisk on the game map, and once the latter is reached and the part is recovered, the corresponding part of the map dispels the fog of war and details the surrounding reliefs or structures. There are no points of interest here, let alone search marks, only careful observation of the map will eventually guide you towards what appears to be an interesting place to explore. There are still, of course, Lost Grace locations, which are the equivalent of campfires, that you can quickly travel to as long as you’re not in combat or dungeons, and also the kind of glowing trail that gives you the pointer to point you toward the progression of the story, but that’s it. Note that, again to keep some sense of wonderment, the dimensions of the world map frame increase as you discover new areas. So just because you feel the maximum map zoom is quite limited at the beginning of the game doesn’t mean it won’t get bigger with each new discovery.
Without trying too hard to lose the player, Elden Ring manages it all perpetually to invite him to think outside the box and without any worries succeeds in his goal: to surprise the player and arouse their curiosity. In addition to pushing the boundaries of the first play area, we were able to explore large portions of two additional areas and a few “old” dungeons, which are more in line with the traditional Souls level, which is about unlocking shortcuts and facing the game’s main bosses. It is clear that each new part of the Elden Ring world has its own identity, with its own story to tell, its own animal, re-inspired, and bosses, whom you may or may not choose to confront.. With its high-level artistic direction and dreary atmosphere, immersion in the world of Elden Ring is immediate and above all constant, even if the amount of things to explore, whether to recover things or fight monsters to level up can be daunting at first.
It’s pretty clear that Elden Ring, despite its hints of where you should head to advance toward the final credits, won’t necessarily be played in a straight line. It would be like losing areas with really changing atmospheres, some of them peaceful, some really threatening. We were also able to appreciate the fact that the world is full enough to always have something to do there, and empty enough to feel the weight of the sinister atmosphere of the place. Even better, by digging into every nook and cranny, we were able to discover a large part of the particularly amazing game., which leads us off the main map, which we won’t reveal anything to surprise you, but it pretty much proved to us just how ambitious From Software is. The game world is really taken care of, and is therefore full of hidden (and sometimes mismatched, bosses), items to collect or mysterious characters to meet. It will be up to the player to choose his way of playing, but it’s hard to imagine some straight line progression when the call to exploration is so strong and beautifully rewarding.
“These few hours we spent getting lost in the open world of Elden Ring allowed us to see the great ambitions that From Software has in its new game. Benefiting from an astonishing sense of detail, a crystal clear identity with each new area he discovers and methodically maintaining a sense of wonder, Elden Ring should in no way disappoint fans of the studio behind it, as it seems to have mastered its subject matter well and will leave players the freedom to discover or not to discover. Oh, the many secrets of this undeniable magnetic universe. Almost all lights are green. All that remains is to wait for February 25 to confirm these excellent impressions.”