From Software / Bandai Namco Europe (YouTube)

One can feasibly expect a modern, open-world game to be a collection of cool landmarks with little of note in-between apart from some lush visuals to make traveling from Point A to Point B at least aesthetically pleasing. That’s not the case with Elden Ring, though I must say it’s incredibly beautiful. No, From Software’s devs went the extra mile to ensure every moment is a crafted experience despite having exponentially more area to cover with the studio’s unique flair for making fantasy come alive.

A wooded lane isn’t simply window-dressing between waypoints but a set piece for learning the intricacies of stealth combat.

The entrance to a castle isn’t just an awe-inspiring example of the world’s architecture but the beginning of a breathless chase sequence.


A random gathering of worshippers in a swampy field isn’t merely a chance for you to mow down a group of enemies on horseback but the catalyst for a surprise boss fight against a man-eating dragon.

Unless the Elden Ring demo condensed everything cool about the game into 1/12 the square mileage to fool us, I’m frankly worried about the developers. The attention to detail that must be going into making this ambitious project a reality is nothing short of herculean. As much as I’m anticipating Elden Ring’s arrival on February 25, I’m also more than happy to wait even longer if it means the folks at From Software aren’t killing themselves to get it out the door.


In any case, my brief time with Elden Ring showed me that From Software is entirely capable of owning the open-world video game genre. I don’t know how I’ll go back to massive plots of land with nothing to see between points of interest apart from environmental details that feel copy-pasted to simply fill space. Even as a diehard Dark Souls fan, I’m blown away by what the developers were able to accomplish with this small slice of the full game and worried about my free time come next February.