‘Eldenring:’ a perfect game and veracious test of will

     Software’s newest game, “Eldenring,” is an impressive fantasy RPG with beautiful graphics, a detailed story and more exploration than one knows what to do with. 

     The same company that brought us “DarkSouls” released this new experience that can only be described as a nightmare version of “Skyrim.” But if players can work  past the frustration of its difficulty, “Eldenring” will provide hundreds of hours of gameplay and one of the most engaging experiences gamers will have. 

      Players begin “Eldenring” as a “Tarnished” in the “Lands Between,” and they are sent to explore the massive open world in search of the shattered pieces of the Eldenring. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t explain much of the story, and players are encouraged to read all the item descriptions and NPC dialogue. 

      “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin wrote much of the story in “Eldenring,” and the reward is worth the effort. 

     If you are looking for a typical game that holds your hand along the main storyline, “Eldenring” is not a good choice. This game is truly open world, and due to the lack of any in-game navigation, the player is left to wander the massive six-region map with only a single stationary arrow to point you in the general direction of the next quest. 

     The graphics in “Eldenring” are unrivaled, and on 4K, one can almost get lost in the artwork and beauty of the environment during exploration. Each region is a different biome with new enemies, massive dungeons and unique bosses. 

     Each boss you face is something out of a Lovecraftian nightmare and encountering them can get frustrating. Unfortunately, FromSoftware did not make “Eldenring” for casual gamers, and the unscalable difficulty can be brutal for some. 

     The game does have multiplayer features where players can summon a companion to help with challenging bosses. Players can also use this feature to “invade” other worlds for player vs. player action. 

     Explorers should be wary, as there is no enemy scaling in this game. So, if you find yourself in a new region or wander into a later world, the enemies may be stronger than you can handle. But that’s all part of the fun of “Eldenring.” 

     Combat is engaging and changes with each enemy the player faces. One strategy will not work for all enemies, so players looking for a casual playthrough should run in the opposite direction and never look back. Any person who has played a Dark Souls game knows that you have to be okay with  dying frequently to survive  these games. 

     As someone who hasn’t played many Dark Souls games, this aspect was the hardest to get used to. However, if the pain is your forte, “Eldenring” is your game. 

     The game offers many different characters to fit any play style you choose. The ten starting characters all come with unique armor, weapons and base stats to accommodate any strategy. 

     However, players shouldn’t worry too much about what starting character they choose since the game doesn’t lock in your playstyle based on your initial decisions. The level progression system in “Eldenring” allows you to customize the character should you want to try a different approach. 

     “Eldenring” received a perfect score from IGN and many other gaming networks, placing it among other gaming titans such as “GTA V,” “Red Dead Redemption (one and two)” and “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” This perfect score was not mistaken, and “Eldenring” earned its place among the legends of video games. 

     Overall, if you are a fan of RPGs, tend to get bored once games get easy and don’t mind yelling at your T.V. occasionally, “Eldenring” is the perfect choice for you. If you can get past the frustration of dying habitually, “Eldenring” will give you a remarkably satisfying experience in one of the most stunning displays of fantasy I’ve experienced in over 20 years of gaming.