From Software has gone from protagonist to legendary game developer in a couple of generations. Demon’s Souls became an unlikely sneak success in 2009 when it came to Playstation 3. Slowly but surely, more and more fans joined during the then unknown Japanese game studio. And when the spiritual sequel Dark Souls came in 2011 there were enough hungry fans that the game immediately broke through and became a timeless classic.
Over the years, several sequels have been under the name Dark Souls fed masochistic gamers hungry for ruthless games with dark worlds and minimalist storytelling. In the wake of the popularity, hundreds of games emerged that drew inspiration from Dark Souls and the Souls-like genre became a fact. But From Software continued to develop its playing style and genre. Bloodborne gave the formula an aggressive appearance and changed the shape to Victorian horror – also a timeless classic. 2019 com Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, with refined and cold sword art and a shift to mobility and profitability in a magical Japanese world – a masterpiece according to many!
Now we face the next big title from From Software, Elden Ring, who has longed for expectant fans for several years. Last week, the studio showed the game in a hearty presentation and this weekend a closed network test awaits. But today we are going to point out the important features that take From Software’s beloved game design to the next level.
What can potentially do Elden Ring to their best game ever.
An open world
The biggest change to From Software’s previous work is the world layout. All previous games in their genre have been intricate labyrinths linked via shortcuts and hubs. Although they have given the impression of being part of a larger world, the paths have been linear. This became extra clear in Sekiro which tuned the tracks to delimited arenas that instead had more verticality to accommodate the player’s new mobility.
Elden Ring will instead allow players to freely explore a large open world with varying landscapes, secrets and bosses. To navigate this world, players have a map that they can use to explore new places and adventures. Players will also be able to put out markers to map their own finds such as enemies, materials or caves. The map is divided into fragments that the player must find before the area becomes visible in the atlas.
All this sounds like old cupboard food, but for a game series that previously focused on laser precision, the freedom of open landscapes is a monumental change – and risk. From Software’s games have always had clear and well-thought-out situations. Enemy placements have been fixed and the player’s route written in stone. But with the freedom to choose the approach, From Software faces the challenge of maintaining its characteristic ruthless design. If the studio finds a way to give the feeling of a well-thought-out and living world, where the dangers are many and the challenges driving, then Elden Ring the potential to become a classic.
The open world in Elden Ring will house several so-called Legacy Dungeons, demarcated areas reminiscent of their previous courses. These are linked to the overall story and contain powerful bosses and treasures – as well as deadly threats. In addition, there are several smaller Dungeons for players to find and explore. Thus, we know that Elden Ring does not completely rule out From Software’s traditional game design.
How well they balance freedom and precision remains to be seen, however.
Get help from monsters
A central mechanic in From Software’s games has been the ability to call on the help of other players. Online collaboration has been a way for players to connect with each other, share knowledge and objects. Jolly Cooperation was born out Dark Souls collaboration mode and in turn gave rise to different roles and tasks players could assume online in the sequels.
IN Elden Ring players will be able to collect and develop a new type of magic that evokes monsters and creatures that fight alongside you, so-called Spirits. We have seen that they can be anything from a bunch of wits, birds of prey, human warriors to trolls with pots on their heads. These spell out the player and their effectiveness is directly tied to the player’s characteristics, much like magic and miracles. So if the player wants to be able to conjure up many and stronger monsters in battle, he needs to spend valuable attribute points to upgrade the associated trait.
An important limitation is that it is only possible to summon Spirits in “difficult” areas. An icon shows when they can be called.
This further develops Dark Souls cooperation mode and gives the player more choices to use support. It is unclear whether players will be able to both summon help from other players online and at the same time summon Spirits, but it is likely. In that case, players who are not as comfortable with From Software’s combat philosophy can use both other players and Spirits to tackle more difficult situations. Spirits is also an option for those who want to play offline, but still have some back up. Or just role play as a spell!
At the time of writing, the idea of Spirits is something that directly affects Elden Rings degree of difficulty. But as in all From Softwawres games, it is optional features and mechanics that allow the player to influence the difficulty. Spirits are voluntary, as is the collaboration mode. In the same way, it is possible to make the experience more difficult by consciously using certain builds and weapons. As Dark Souls ger Elden Ring player choices. Play as you like!
Collect and carve objects together
Something closely associated with open worlds is the availability of resources and materials the player needs to create supplies. IN Elden Ring will be the first time From Software implements a craft system. In the past, players have used key items that they exchange for powerful weapons or magic (via bosses’ souls in Dark Souls or medallions in Bloodborne), but in Elden Ring players need to actively seek out and gather various resources if they want to be able to use bombs, poisons and projectiles.
In the game presentation, we got a glimpse of how the system works and we can find out that the crafts probably go in different levels. Simpler objects use more available resources while better objects (such as the sleeping arrows) require one or more resources that are unusual. This creates a clear limit to how easy it is Elden Ring can be, while encouraging the player to manage resources.
Resource assets also create dynamic adventures when the player sets out to search for a specific material. Trina’s Lily which is necessary for the sleeping arrows may only be found in crypts or caves. This puts the player faced with the choice of either entering a dangerous situation without sleeping arrows, or searching the landscapes for caves where the flower grows – and other challenges await. Maybe the expedition leads to an unexpected treasure or a side mission? Spontaneous discoveries like these are what make open worlds so exciting!
In all probability, there will be traders who sell the same or similar items, for those who do not have the energy to bother with crafts.
A brave runner by your side
It would be quite tedious to get over large, open landscapes without any means of transport. Fortunately, players get a magical riding animal in Elden Ring which not only takes you over long distances but also carries you into battle. The runner, named Torrent, appears out of nowhere and can both double jump and climb high altitudes via magical air currents. The equestrian characteristics are not only used when the player explores the world, but also in battle!
In both trailers and the game presentation, we get to witness the horse animal’s smooth movements. Ridden battle looks especially cool! The horse turns and stops very softly and seems to have a good response to the player’s inputs. It is possible to use both weapons and magic attacks from the saddle, but we doubt that you have access to the same range of combat mechanics as on foot. Either way, the possibility of mounted combat is an awesome extension of From Software’s well-known combat mechanics. And considering that they are incredibly careful with just mechanics, mounted combat will most likely work well.
As it is said at present, it will not be possible to use the horse when you have called on other players. And of course you can not ride inside Legacy Dungeons or regular Dungeons.
In addition to Torrent, players will be able to teleport freely between activated Points of Grace.
Jump across borders and find new paths or sneak past enemies
Everyone who has played Dark Souls know the awkward and cumbersome method of getting the character to make a small shot. The jump was not something that was directly taken into account when the courses were designed, but was mostly a method for some fun shortcuts and attacks. Ten years and a ninja game later, hope becomes a real feature that allows players to explore environments designed with hope in mind. This is to the extent that the fall damage is greatly reduced and players will be able to jump from ledges whose heights in previous games have been fatal.
Being able to jump in is not as important as the actual track design with hope in mind is. From Software are incredibly skilled at designing compact courses with winding roads and stairs that lead around fairly small areas. If there is one developer who can handle the transition from static paths with linear paths to complex, open maps that are exciting to explore, it is From Software.
Perhaps most exciting is how the jump and the track design will affect the PvP feeling in Elden Ring. The PvP players The Souls games are very inventive and cunning, so to see how it all behaves (or degenerates) into Elden Ring will truly be exciting to experience!
A somewhat unexpected feature that Elden Ring inherits from Sekiro is profitability. Players in Elden Ring will be able to sneak in and around enemies. Enemies that are attacked from the shadows take critical damage and some battles can certainly be avoided completely by tipping their toes. Exactly how profitability works mechanically is a bit unclear at present, but tall grass should provide better protection than open areas. The weight or material of the equipment probably matters, but it is speculation.
To sneak and be insidious has in Dark Souls has not been a remarkable strategy. Although there have been magic and traits that make you more sneaky, it has simply been better to invest in combat capability. It was first in Sekiro as profitability became a useful strategy in battles. What role does it play Elden Ring is hard to say, but it would be nice if it was feasible to play thief or assassin. We can simply hope that the function plays a meaningful role that broadens the player possibilities.
Fire Ring – is the circle closed?
Elden Ring will be released on February 25, 2022 for Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X | S as well as for PC. It is without a doubt one of the most anticipated games next year. The idea of one Dark Souls with open world and next gen power makes most fans drool, but the question we want to be able to answer is about Elden Ring lives up to the notion of a next generation Dark Souls?
What do you think? Did you get access to the network test? Feel free to share your hopes and if you believe that Elden Ring will be another glorious sequel to Dark Souls.