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.

Inside the Dragon Temple in Crumbling Farum Azula

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.

One of the bosses I did today. He took more than a few tries, and I did use my Mimic — but relative to Malenia, wasn’t too bad.

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.

Despite what it looks like, Hoarah Loux isn’t actually performing a jig. Although he probably is pretty chuffed with himself for killing me with so little HP of his own remaining. Pro troll move, right there.

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!


This was posted during Blaugust 2022, the annual blogging event hosted by Belghast. Blaugust is an event aiming to welcome new blogger blood into the fold and revitalise those who’ve been at it a little longer.

The Blaugust Discord is still available to join in year-round!

Footnotes

  1. Largely because I don’t want to have to play through again in order to do the inevitable DLC.

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

6 Comments

Tipa · August 4, 2022 at 1:00 am

Grats!!! I did an Arcane/Faith build focused mostly on dragon magic. I had to switch that out for the final boss(es). I still haven’t done Malenia, though I could pretty quickly get through the first phase, I don’t think she’s beyond me.

Also thinking about what I would do if I went back sometime…

Grats again!

    Naithin · August 4, 2022 at 1:09 am

    Thanks Tipa!

    I almost gave up on Malenia to be fair, her hp steal was rough, especially with the Mimic not being smart enough to even try get out of it. xD

    But once I could get through Phase 1 alone, I’d summon it for Phase 2 to be a distraction, and it became a bit easier after that.

    No idea how many attempts. It was… too many… xD

    Int build was fairly strong. I could switch between raw casting or the Moonveil or Astel depending on the situation and what felt most comfortable.

    Still; very different from my ‘usual’ straight strength builds.

Frostilyte · August 4, 2022 at 1:19 am

I find it incredibly amusing that I started the game well after you, and finished my playthrough before you did. I understand now why some of my friends say I binge games.

I also had a similar relationship with faith based items, which was especially disappointing as I was running an int build. For the first little while I kept getting magic items and thinking to myself, “oh goodie. Here we go. A new toy” only to find out that the item required faith instead of intelligence. I still had fun with my build, but if I ever playthrough the game again I’ll be running the other side of the magical spectrum for sure.

And fwiw, I played the game across 3 weeks and also felt like it outstayed its welcome. Kinda want to write an article on as much, but I’m not sure I have the energy to argue with internet randoms if the article falls into the wrong circles.

    Naithin · August 4, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Hah. I had planned to put basically everything else aside until I was done with Elden Ring. If Mum hadn’t required and care and hospitalisation over this period, would’ve done it I think, and finished up early April fairly comfortably.

    Even with doing the relatively full completion run that I did. I definitely didn’t get everything (I’m missing all the collect all legendary xyz achievements, for a start) — but I did as much as I could without resorting to guides.

    If I started a NG+ run or just a new character, I’d probably go full guided run, try get everything that has an achievement attached. xD

    re: Your article on this — do it! Internet randoms ain’t got nothin.

meghanplaysgames · August 4, 2022 at 1:45 am

Congrats on getting to the end!! I just hit 130 hours and I’m still going, haha. I haven’t been playing consistently at all, so kind of in the same boat as you were. I’m still generally enjoying the game, but I do kind of want to wrap it up at this point. Hoping I can hit all the optional/end game bosses and roll credits before the end of August. ((also agree that the world feels a bit too big))

    Naithin · August 4, 2022 at 1:55 am

    All the best in getting to credits yourself, soon!

    OH! Also. Going back to convo on your blog re: annoying enemies, I can’t believe I didn’t immediately think of them, but an area I was at earlier reminded me in the most painful way…

    …BIRBS. THE BLOODY BIRBS! D:

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