The most upsetting thing about Elden Ring is not the difficulty, it’s the sheer imagination of the world building.
A lot of games are like here’s the snow zone, here’s the forest zone, here’s the desert zone. They’re really not much more than aesthetic changes, a touch of paint really.
But Elden Ring says no.
Behold! A half-built city emerging from the bark of an enormous golden tree! Or a winter landscape where giant creatures have been frozen into the landscape! Or a cloud city surrounded by tornadoes and made entirely of dragon bone! Here! Here! Here!
Every five minutes you bump into one magical location after another. And whenever I hit that infamous, impassable wall of difficulty, it was this feeling that kept pushing me forward: What’s behind that wall? What’s under this castle? What’s up on that hill? In most games you know the answer before you ask the question, but in Elden Ring dear elden lord anything is possible.
I worry this game has broken me though. It’s set a new bar for what a world should feel like in a video game; an interconnected, unknowable place.