Elden Ring revisited…

Elden Ring is arguably one of the best games of the last 5 years, taking that open-world to the next level, adapting the souls-like gameplay to a massive, open and flexible environment. Elden Ring was many people’s and outlets Game of the Year in 2022, however, I fell off the game relatively quickly. I decided to go back to Elden Ring and today I’m going to let you know how I got on.

I am sad to say, I never made it out of Limgrave in Elden Ring. For those who don’t know, this is the starting area of the game. It’s not small by any means, Limgrave itself could easily be the same size as some other games. It has a variety of enemies, caves, NPCs, giants, and a whole load of secrets to discover. I really enjoyed Elden Ring when I played it, however, I wasn’t very good at it. I kept dying over and over again, and it felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall. I played for about 12 hours, then unfortunately other games came along and I moved on, always with the intention to go back to Elden Ring, but I didn’t manage it until recently.

I’m not a Souls expert by any means. I’ve played through parts of Sekiro, Dark Souls and Demon Souls, but I’ve never really clicked with any of them. I want to love these games, but I never appear to have the time to dedicate to get good at the games. I play a wide variety of games, and I feel like you really need to dedicate yourself to these games, learn enemy patterns, and really stick with it and not get distracted. That’s really down to me, and the way I play.

While I only played for 12 hours when I first played, I did achieve a few minor wins. First of all, I got my hands on the Twinblade, which still is one of my favorite weapons to use given it’s speed. I made my way through Agheel Lake and met Patches, got Margit’s Shackle in prep for the battle against Margit. I beat the Demi-Human Chief to get my starter staff, and also faced off against Margit. Margit handed my ass to me on more than one occasion, so I decided to go back into Limgrave and level up as much as possible. That’s where I fell off, best intentions and all that, then along came other games to play and that was the end of my first Elden Ring journey.

Since then I have tried to avoid spoilers for Elden Ring. One thing that was hard to avoid was the enthusiasm related to the coverage. I remember Dan Tack at Game Informer talking about their preview time they had with the game, absolutely glowing reports, and you simply knew this was going to be a special game. I follow the Destiny Community Podcast, they mainly cover Destiny in their primary podcast, however they have another podcast called SideQuest which covers other games. SideQuest was entirely taken over for about 3 months talking about Elden Ring, and it was such a joy to listen to Tefty, Ms5000Watts and Briar talk about their love for Elden Ring.

I felt left out. I looked at my own play time and wondered what was wrong with me. I didn’t know why Elden Ring didn’t click with me, or why I wasn’t finding time to play it. I felt like every time I loaded up the game, it was beating me back, and it felt like a very negative experience. I am happy to report that has all changed over the last few weeks.

I jumped back into Elden Ring and have managed to find my groove in exploration and combat, so I now feel like I am having a much better time than I did previously. I found my way to the Third Church of Marika, where I found a portal, went through it and found a decent rune farming location to help me level up quicker. My previous rune farming location had been in Limgrave with the Giants on the field, but that was pretty dangerous and time consuming and I ended up dying more than collecting runes, and I’ve found this new location called The Bestial Sanctum in Caelid. I also found Sorceress Sellen near Waypoint Ruins in Limgrave which has opened up my world to magic.

One of the areas I have been struggling with is where to put my upgrade points, and into which stats. I started putting my upgrades into health, so I could survive longer in a fight. Then I picked up the Twinblade and needed a reasonable amount of Dexterity, so I switched and started upgrading that stat. Now I am getting into magic, Intelligence and Faith seem to be very important. I haven’t had a clear idea in my mind about what type of character I want to be in Elden Ring, therefore I haven’t focused my stats in a particular area. I am level 26 now, which means I still have a way to go, and I can still choose my path, but that’s something I struggled with from the start… not really knowing which stats to prioritise.

Some good news to end on before I go. I went back to Margit, at level 27 and much more adept at battle and I beat him. I let out an audible cheer when I did beat him, and I do have to be careful because I tend to play very early in the morning and I don’t want to wake up the family. But it felt good, and it only strengthens my newly found bond with the game. Elden Ring has managed to get its hooks into me, and this time I look forward to coming back and getting into that world again.