Elden Ring: A Game for the Ages

Jackson Murphy ’25 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

It seems almost pointless to review Elden Ring at this point. The game, created by Fromsoftware, the legendary developers of the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, has received critical acclaim across the board. In fact, it’s already one of the highest rated games of all time, and its sales are equally impressive, being the second best-selling game of the past year. 

With that in mind, the critics are right: Elden Ring is a fantastic video game, and anyone even slightly interested check it out. 

Is it perfect? Of course not. Technically, the game’s performance was inconsistent, and, despite the year being 2022, the PC framerate is capped at 60 frames per second. Yet, the rest of the game is so incredibly constructed that it makes up for any problems.

There was never a dull moment. 

In a world where an “open-world game” (of which Elden Ring is) often means a game that either has nothing to do in it or nothing enjoyable to do in it, Elden Ring is neither. The world of the Elden Ring is not just crammed full of things to do, but fun things to do. Literally more than a 100 bosses, dozens upon dozens of enemy variants, engaging main and side stories, and complex and addicting gameplay, one of the biggest challenges you’re likely to have in Elden Ring is not encountering something for more than a few minutes. 

Despite there being so much, most of the things to do in Elden Ring are outside of the areas you’re directed to beat by the game’s map and are entirely optional to find and explore. However, everything in the game feeds into its main gameplay loop: discover a location, explore and defeat its enemies/bosses, and level up and become more powerful from that experience. That’s the game’s centerpiece, rinsed and repeated hundreds of times, and always fun. 

What really speaks to the quality, enjoyment, and addictiveness of this loop is that, to maintain a game length this long, bosses and enemies are reused throughout. While in the main story content this isn’t the case, in optional content, bosses, enemies, and even locations, are often used again, sometimes with slight modifications. 

Yet, determination when fighting a boss for the first time remains just as strong for the second, third, and even fourth it was used again, as does the pride when finally beating it. Do you always have fun fighting these bosses? No. Do you always think they were fair? No. 

However, the magic of Elden Ring’s gameplay loop is that the more frustrating and less fun bosses deliver the most pride in finally defeating. Of course, that’s the main reason you play Elden Ring or any game by Fromsoftware: to face a challenge and triumph over it. 

Technical issues, content reuse, and questionable design choices are sins in every open-world game, but what makes Elden Ring remarkable is it’s one of the few where the rest of its content atone for those sins. 10/10.

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