Elden Ring’s Brilliance Speaks For Itself | Best Games Of 2022

Elden Ring PS5 review
Elden Ring

Somehow, we’ve managed to make it to the end of 2022, so with that in mind, we’re celebrating some of the best games to have launched in the past 12 months. Today, it’s the one you’ve been expecting as soon as you saw “Best Games of 2022”: Elden Ring.

It’s been about 10 months since the launch of Elden Ring on PC, PlayStation and Xbox, and even now, almost a year later, it’s still tough to find the words to describe FromSoftware’s open world adventure in the Lands Between. There have been countless op-eds, deep dives, lore explainers, guides and other forms of content that have delved into brilliance that is Elden Ring, but ask me to some up what makes this game special, and it’s hard to go beyond some vague hand gestures and the occasional “cor” or “phwoar”.

You see, it’s not really about what makes Elden Ring special. Elden Ring just is special. It’s both a continuation of the foundations that FromSoftware have been establishing since their work on Demon’s Souls back on the PS3, while also being an open world experience unlike any other. It’s a constant challenge for players who are looking to be tested like never before, but gives players so many tools and options to tackle the game however they like, making difficulty feel more like a barrier you’ve artificially placed in front of yourself. In short, Elden Ring is simply undeniable.

Elden Ring level up 1
Elden Ring

Perhaps there’s an element of bias behind my feelings on it, considering my experience with Elden Ring was akin to a surprise, whirlwind romance. Despite everyone’s excitement for the game pre-launch, I wasn’t too bothered by it. I’d played some of FromSoftware’s Soulslike games in the past, like Dark Souls or Sekiro, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t gel with what they had to offer. I’d get a couple of hours in, bounce off a difficult boss or section then retreat to games like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden.

After seeing the nigh-on universal praise and acclaim Elden Ring received, I decided to give FromSoftware another shot, and it paid off in a huge way. From the massive open world filled with secrets, bosses and treasure to discover, to the abilities, weapons and items that help you on your quest, Elden Ring’s adventure felt both grand and rewarding. Sure, I had no idea what was actually happening (something about a Dung Eater?), but that’s for VaatiVidya to explain after the fact, right?

Elden Ring
Elden Ring

If anything, Elden Ring has fundamentally changed how much I appreciate open world design in video games. The Ubisoft method of climbing towers to unlock bits of the map just seems so formulaic and bland when Elden Ring’s extreme open-endedness allows for so much more interaction from the player. Being able to skip certain boss fights and carve your own path towards the same destination, meaning each player can have their own unique experience within The Lands Between, makes Elden Ring stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Again, there’s either not enough words, or too many, to describe why Elden Ring is such an all-time classic. It just is. Even if it’s not for everyone, you’ll probably still come away from it with an appreciation for what went into making this masterpiece. While the chances are that you’ve already played it if you’re reading this, on the off-chance that you haven’t, give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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