Elden Ring Review: Figuring Out the Story


screen capture image of Steven Ledezma playing Elden Ring provided by Steven Ledezma

Marlene Herrera, Staff Writer

On Feb. 25, the fantasy game Elden Ring was released after approximately 6 years of development. This action role playing game was developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.  

Although directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game was developed in collaboration with George R.R Martin, fantasy writer recognized for his book series A Song of Ice and Fire.  

The game was released for use on PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, XBox One, and X-Box Series X/S. 

The features include a third-person perspective where players are able to roam around in an open world called Lands Between. Whereas other games typically follow a linear approach to developing the story and players advancing or leveling up, this open world allows players to jump from one place to another. CSU Bakersfield student alumni, Steven Ledezma, states, “Other fantasy games have open worlds of empty space, but I am enjoying this design because Elden Ring’s open world feels so intentional even though it’s open and a lot more space than the map provided in the Souls series.”  

Another feature is that players are able to pick their avatars. Among the options are characters like, samurai, a prophet, a prisoner, a confessor, and even an astrologer. When players are choosing avatars, the characters appear as Type A or Type B, as opposed to male or female assigned to body figures. Each character varies in story background and skills or weapons they utilize. For example, a confessor is a well versed church spy with skills in both sword use and incantations.  

The game was highly anticipated because avid users were aware of the resemblance with already released and loved games, like the Souls Series, which is also a fantasy game series that Elden Ring takes inspiration from.  In the article, “So What the Hell is Going on in Elden Ring’s Story Anyway?” Typer Colp (2022) states, “it doesn’t go out of its way to explain its story unless you sift through item descriptions and exhaust every character’s dialogue.”  

The article explains that the fantasy game just like its predecessor, Dark Souls, the best starting point for the development and understanding of the story is the intro cutscene. Although they are similar in plot and story development, the games differ in accessibility and difficulty. Ledezma states, “Elden Ring is more accessible. You’re going to have an easier time. It’s a smoother experience. The checkpoints are scattered around in such a way that allows you to revive and have rest points. But it’s still with its difficulties.” 

For Elden Ring players wanting to keep track of the story, the best ways to get context clues is based largely on paying close attention to the description of features like weapons, magic spells and items acquired after defeating enemies.