While the closed network test for Elden Ring has yet to begin, streamers and journalists managed to play the test early, and their impressions have hit the internet. Based on their reactions, FromSoftware's latest title is ambitious, stunning, and an absolute joy to play. Glorious was not given access to this early test; we'll be in touch, Bandai Namco. But here are key takeaways we gleaned from influencer impressions that have us unbelievably excited to die repeatedly in Elden Ring.
Elden Ring's Network Test Garners Massive Praise
November 10, 2021
Massive & Dense Open World
Being a massive departure from FromSoftware's previous games, Elden Ring's open-world setting could cause concern. However, it appears that the game is impressively large and filled to the brim with enemy encounters and places to explore.
Bucking the industry-standard open-world model established by Ubisoft, Elden Ring does not have a fog of war or tower structures to climb. Instead, your job is to not only navigate the land, collecting and killing as you go but also keep track of where you have been. This may be overwhelming to some players, but to us, it makes Elden Ring more of an adventure than just checking boxes and clearing areas.
Elden Ring's massive world is a large departure from FromSoftware's previous titles. Credit
Players can enter smaller caves and other locations that feature more traditional dungeon crawling gameplay as a callback to Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons. Tight corridors, traps aplenty, and challenging mini-bosses give these areas a unique feel vastly different from Elden Ring's more expansive open-world gameplay.
Fextralife mentioned in their impressions video that the area they could explore in the closed test was roughly 1/12th of the game's total landmass. Needless to say, the world of Elden Ring is massive in scale, and we cannot wait to explore firsthand all of its areas, encounters, and secrets.
Expanding Upon Familiar Gameplay
Elden Ring uses an enhanced version of the Dark Souls 3 engine, and streamers mentioned how it felt incredibly similar, even using the same animations for some moves. However, this is not necessarily a negative. Dark Souls 3 has satisfyingly responsive and fluid combat, and Elden Ring appears to extensively expand upon it with additions like Bloodborne-Esque weapon arts, horse combat, and more.
Weapon arts can be obtained by completing the previously mentioned dungeons scattered across the game's open-world, and they open up impressive customization options for players. Seeing videos of player characters flipping in mid-air, pulling off stunning magical feats, and destroying groups of enemies with just one swipe has us so excited to perform them ourselves. It seems these arts can be applied to a wide variety of different weapon types, so we're sure that insanely creative builds are inevitable.
It feels like a scarier, bloodier version of Ocarina of Time riding through Elder Ring's open fields. Credit
With Elden Ring being a much larger game than its counterparts, enemy encounters rely more heavily on ranged combat than ever before. Magic especially has seen a buff unheard of in the series since Demon Souls. On top of the magical weapon arts, people with early access to the test showed off incredible spells that included raining magic arrows and forming a massive fire-breathing dragon head. Gone are the days of shooting dinky fireballs at enemies, it appears.
Game of Scrolls
Gamers went ballistic upon hearing the news that FromSoftware was teaming up with non-other than the Game of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin, mainly because we immediately thought the game would be delayed indefinitely. Just give us the damn final book, George!
But alas, those worries were unfounded, and it has been made apparent that Elden Ring's story and characters are improved due to his involvement. The good people over at Fextralife mentioned how the NPCs no longer speak in cryptic phrases followed by unsettling cackling.
Instead, they work to flesh out the world of Elden Ring in a way none of the Dark Souls games tried to do. Additionally, the new game carries over the longstanding tradition of lore-heavy item descriptions. So, longtime fans still have something to pore over.
There are going to be a lot of NPCs to talk to in Elden Ring. This abomination is likely not one of them. Credit
There is so much to discuss when it comes to FromSoftware's new game. Seeing all the early access players release their observations and gameplay only made us more excited to get our butt's kicked on repeat. Elden Ring releases February 25th, and after we get through writing this, we plan to cryogenically freeze our bodies until that date. Let's hope it does not get delayed another time!
What did you think of the reactions to the closed network test? Who do you think gave the most concise rundown of the demo so far? Let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear from you!