When I first saw FromSoftware’s announcement of “Elden Ring” at E3 2021, I was lukewarm. I have always enjoyed challenging games — “Hollow Knight” and “Cuphead” are two of my favorite games of all time — but I could never get into “Dark Souls,” another game by FromSoftware. Whether it was the difficult bosses or the long and treacherous paths back to them, the series was never my cup of tea. However, “Elden Ring” completely changed that for me.

Before I hop into what worked, I have to get to what didn’t. For my fellow PC nerds, I was playing on an rx 570 and an AMD 1700x, which is technically below the minimum required specs. Due to this, the frame rates at some portions dropped, especially when it was raining, but the game never became unplayable. Another issue is the repeated use of some bosses. For the most part, I enjoyed the boss fights in the game; however, I sometimes noticed I was fighting a more difficult version of a boss I had already beaten, except now, it had more health and did more damage.

My biggest complaint about this game — and from what I gather from FromSoftware games in general — is the number of bullshit deaths you have to put up with. Invisible enemies or cheap attacks that will lock you in place and take out your entire health bar are frustrating enough and expected, but sometimes it’s not the enemies that kill you, it’s the camera. Because the game relies on an over-the-shoulder view as well as a lock-on-target system that keeps enemies in front of you, sometimes I couldn’t see anything that was happening, especially facing off against large enemies. This prevented me from seeing what attacks they were about to perform, which inevitably got me killed. For example, the final boss of the game had a flame breath attack that I couldn’t see half the time because I was standing behind him trying to whack him with a sword while his fatass was taking up my entire screen. Although it wasn’t a big issue for a majority of enemies, I did feel cheated when it happened repeatedly against the same boss.

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