Rolling Credits on Elden Ring
I’m finding it almost hard to believe — but I did it. I finished Elden Ring. It feels like it has been a lifetime, although Steam informs me that it was perhaps somewhere closer to 120 hours of play, 85 of which were in March. Since that heavy play in March, I’ve taken it in dribs and drabs. An area here, a boss there. Before today, though, I’d left my game to languish after having made it to the start of Crumbling Farum Azula.
I’d decided that after Malenia, I wasn’t going to head out and hunt down any more optional content. I was done and was ready for the game to be over.
But I’m uncertain whether that’s down to the length of Elden Ring as a game causing the overstay of welcome or whether it’s just down to how I’ve ended up distributing that length over almost half a year. I actually suspect the latter. I could have been comfortably done in April if life hadn’t reared up and socked me one.
Whatever the truth of that matter is, I’m in no hurry to either jump my current save ahead to Journey 21 or to start a new character.
Having said that, I certainly do see a day I go back. Certainly for DLC, but even without. I loved Elden Ring for the most part and found so. many. things. that I would like to try out in a different build in the future. I think roughly 97.6% of them were for some form of Faith build, too. … Look, it’s possible I got a bit grumpy about the seeming dominance of Faith items. I can’t say with any certainty whether they’re truly that plentiful, whether I just happened to find a bunch more of them than anything else, or whether they simply stuck in memory more than the Intelligence items I found but didn’t want to use.
Whatever the case may be there, it seems likely my next playthrough would include some degree of Faith. Perhaps a Strength / Faith hybrid? We’ll see.
Possible itemisation skew aside, I also found it interesting how my views on the open world and legacy dungeon elements of the game shifted over time.
In my early impressions I was quite enamoured with the open world. I recognised I’d probably have been disappointed with the game if that was everything there was, but in conjunction with the legacy dungeon areas, became something quite magical.
I noted in that linked post the opening hours of the game had me jumping out of my skin at might lurk around every corner. This was ratcheted up to 11 in the legacy dungeons. Perhaps to the point where, early on at least, I was afraid of ’em!
Not much past those early impressions, I refound my love for the tension the ‘classic’ Dark Souls formula brings with it. This didn’t immediately diminish my enjoyment of the open world, but over time it did.
The open world was just too big.
I love the sense of place it gives things, though. Dark Souls II and III relied on trickery to provide views of adjacent areas, adding in viewable models of recognisable structures in places they can’t actually be to create a sense of continuity. … Er, sorry if you didn’t know that, and I spoiled it for you.
I think there is room in the world for both styles, though. I wish for both a Dark Souls 4 and an Elden Ring 2.
But if the FromSoftware team decides that Elden Ring 2 can do with a more compact world space, I certainly wouldn’t object!