I can still clearly remember the moment I fell in love with games. I was playing Portal 2, and coming to the supposedly final confrontation with GlaDOS. I thought I was getting to the end of the game. I thought it was almost over. And then it wasn’t over at all, was it? One quick betrayal later and you’re falling through all the floors of Aperture Science only to discover a whole other, even more ingenious layer to the game. I was enamoured. I was stunned that games could take me on such an incredible and unexpected journey and recounting that moment still makes me smirk.

From then on, you would frequently find me flicking through the preowned titles in gaming shops. I’d be looking for copies of Mass Effect or Uncharted and seeking out my next mind-blowing adventure. All these stories, all this fun could be possible on that little box on a desk. I kept chasing that hair-raising high.

But as I got older, games surprised me less and less. I know their tricks, and I have expectations. Like many others I’d been heartbroken by games like Fallout 4 or Assassin’s Creed Unity when they didn’t deliver what I expected from them. I began to limit my expectations and distance myself from the hype. And although I still love games, I haven’t had a hard, butterfly-inducing crush on a project in a while. But I think Elden Ring has changed that.

Elden Ring's potted NPCs

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

I recently got to play six hours of a preview build and oh my goodness, Elden Ring looked and felt phenomenal. Though in recent years I’ve found myself unable to commit to open-world games, FromSoftware’s newest Soulsborne has its scaly claws in me. I’m hooked on how the world of Elden Ring felt. I literally dreamed of the game that night after playing, desperately rebuilding its architecture in my head to try to revisit those shifting, shimmering fields.

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