Alright folks, now that we’ve all had a couple of weeks to dive in, it’s finally time for the Elden Ring community review.
First, let’s quickly assess the reviews situation: Elden Ring is almost universally adored. It’s pulled in a 96 critic rating on Metacritic, with most reviews calling it an immediate Game of the Year front runner. The user score sits lower at 7.9, though the overwhelming majority of reviews are positive. A quick browse of the negative reviews reveals a crowd of people looking to be contrarian for the sake of it. Over on Steam, the game is pulling a Very Positive rating from over 182,000 reviews.
Between numerous life events over the last couple of weeks, I’ve not been able to put as much time into Elden Ring as I would like. The time I have had with it, however, has been pretty magical.
Very early in the game, I came across a ruined town under heavy guard. The problem was the guard captain, who carried a huge horn. If alerted, he would blow the horn and call for reinforcements. After several attempts at darting in and out to pick off enemies with backstabs, I tripped over myself, alerting Horatio Hornblower to my presence with an errant roll into the open. He grabbed the horn and gave it a good blow, which was my cue to leave. As the atonal wail from his stupid trumpet echoed around me, enemies came from all around. I don’t know if the game spawned them in or if I’d missed them in the ruins. I’d come from a heavily wooded area to find the town, so I pelted back that way hoping to lose the guards in the treeline. No such luck — more enemies, alerted by the clarion call, were emerging from the forest and running down to meet me.
One of those classic FromSoft moments where you connect another systemic dot and file it away for later. “Ok, the horn can be heard from REALLY far away.”
This is the kind of thing I love to see in an open-world game. It didn’t feel beholden to some strange twist of “video game logic”, like enemies that give up the chase after breaking line-of-sight. It felt sensible and consequential. The horn blows > everyone within 500 metres can hear it > they will hunt for you until satisfied you are gone. I know people are already tired of the comparison, but Breath of the Wild did this very well — rather than a set of clear rules, the world is built with connected systems in mind. If you understand these systems, you can combine them, or force them to collide, in ways other games aren’t built to accommodate.
Even Ruby installed Elden Ring, such is its compelling power. Ruby. The one who, by her own admission, is bad at video games. Miyazaki wins again.
But, hey, this is Community Review. We want to hear from you! Do you love Elden Ring? Hate it? Tell us why! While you’re here, please tell us about your craziest Elden Ring adventures. Have you bent the world to your will or has it found ways to bend you instead? Spin us a yarn in the comments below.