Elden Ring is finally here. The huge game, from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware, is set in a world created in part by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. It largely lives up to the massive hype, but it hasn’t had a perfect launch. Bandai Namco issued a PSA on the day of release promising updates to fix a PS5 save bug and some PC issues. And The Verge’s Ash Parrish wrote about how the game’s character creator fails Black players.
We’ll be covering Elden Ring closely as Bandai Namco releases updates and as players discover the many secrets hidden in the Lands Between. You can find our stories about the game right here.
Oct 13, 2022
Huge Elden Ring update will seemingly make players a lot harder to kill
Elden Ring, the game that feels like it was released several years ago but was in fact launched just this February, has announced a massive update. According to Bandai Namco on the game’s website, the patch intends to “encourage more versatility in terms of gameplay” — if “encourage” also means “make you a nigh unkillable god in single player.” A lot of weapons and spells were buffed, very few things were nerfed, and it seems like it’s going to get a lot harder to kill your friends in PVP. The patch notes are indeed massive, but I’ve picked out a few highlights.Read Article >
Glintstone Pebble / Shard Spiral: increased attack power
Apr 4, 2022
All hail Elden Ring’s ever-growing map
One of Elden Ring’s most polarizing features is its willingness to withhold information. While it’s less arcane than earlier FromSoftware titles like Dark Souls, the game constantly hands you items, quests, and mechanics with very little explanation. But after 130 hours and counting in the Lands Between, I’m in love with how well it sometimes deploys that obscurity. And there’s no better example than Elden Ring’s map, which has transcended a simple open-world convention to become one of my very favorite pieces of the game.Read Article >
If you’re still in the early areas of Elden Ring, you might want to skip this post because I’m going to talk about a mechanic that relies on mystery. But if you’ve played a bit of the game, you might know what I’m talking about. Elden Ring’s map offers a constant give-and-take of showing players new spaces to explore, then pulling back a curtain to more places that they didn’t even realize could exist. It withholds information only to reveal it in a way that’s delightful, satisfying, and entirely in keeping with the world’s vast scope. It’s not just an interface element — it’s a meta-game in its own right.
Mar 15, 2022
Elden Ring speedrunners race to the bottom
Elden Ring is just so massive and its bosses are so tough that the average player will probably take over 60 hours to beat it. But speedrunners, assisted by some traditional speedrunning tricks and the game’s own open design, have somehow managed to beat the sprawling game in under 30 minutes.Read Article >
For a speedrunning enthusiast, the first days of a game’s release are extremely exciting. New techniques and optimizations are constantly being discovered, as boss behaviors and the runner’s own luck work with or against them, making almost every run a possible world record. While every runner is ostensibly competing against the clock, two runners have emerged in the Elden Ring speed community, each racing to post lower and lower times.
Mar 11, 2022
I’ve made a huge mistake in Elden Ring
In Elden Ring, it’s killed or be killed — brutally. The game is designed to put you ever on the defensive, ready to lash out before you yourself can be lashed. But that shoot first, ask questions later mindset led to an event I truly and deeply regret. I killed a dragon, and I feel really awful about it.Read Article >
In Elden Ring, even the damn flowers are dangerous, but contrary to the game’s reputation, not everything in the Lands Between wants to kill you. There are those cute rodents that scurry about and delightful little donut-rolling sheep that exist only to bleat at you as you zip by them on Torrent. I’ve had so many peaceful moments sitting on the edge of a cliff, gazing in wondrous awe at the golden Erdtree with a convocation of eagles for company. I’d never think to kill any of these creatures because, for one, they’re worth a pitiful amount of runes, and secondly, they’re harmless. (Editor’s note: killing the calm, wise old tortoises should be punished by a full game restart, even if it’s an accident.)
Feb 28, 2022
Elden Ring’s world is full of mystery, but I’d rather wait for a guide
It seems like everyone, even people who don’t usually partake in FromSoftware games, is playing Elden Ring. It’s currently the seventh most played game on Steam based on number of concurrent players and has a score of 97 on Metacritic, putting it on track to be this year’s highest rated game.Read Article >
And while I have enjoyed the bits of Elden Ring I’ve played, I’m not too keen on joining the rest of my Tarnished colleagues in the Lands Between just yet. I’m gonna wait for the guide writers, speedrunners, and wiki editors to catch up, because from my dabblings in FromSoftware games, I know that in order to truly enjoy Elden Ring, I’m gonna need a lot of help that just doesn’t exist yet.
Elden Ring’s character creator fails Black players
Most of you playing Elden Ring are probably knee-deep in the Lands Between, getting your shit rocked by that asshole on the horse, but my mind hasn’t left the game’s first menus. Though the many classes present a paralyzing wealth of options, it’s not the question of what class to play that has me stuck. It’s the character creator. I’m stymied by the bizarrely incongruous system that allows for an unprecedented level of control of every minute detail of facial feature but only has one kinky hair option.Read Article >
I didn’t expect much from Elden Ring’s character creator. FromSoftware games have a bit of a reputation for being kinda bad at character creation, especially regarding skin. In Bloodborne, skin colors and textures were distinctly unnatural-looking. My character was this orangey-looking mess of a human, and there were precisely zero kinky hair options.
Elden Ring PSA: Bandai Namco warns of PS5 save bug
As Elden Ring rockets up the charts, amassing some of the most glowing reviews this side of Breath of the Wild, Bandai Namco has issued a PSA letting players know it’s working on ironing out some of the day-one kinks.Read Article >
In the PSA, Bandai Namco said it’s working on correcting some issues related to mouse over-sensitivity, PC anti-cheat bugs, and frame rate / game performance issues that, somewhat annoyingly, cause the game to stutter at random moments.
Feb 23, 2022
Elden Ring is a sprawling fantasy epic so good I don’t want it to end
When I was a kid, I would look at paperback fantasy novels and dream. I was too young to read these tales of sex and violence, but those hand-painted covers, full of dragons and swords and ancient ruins, held a promise of adventure that captivated me. It’s a feeling I continued to chase when I went on my own fantasy quests in games dating back to the original Legend of Zelda. Few have been able to match my paperback-inspired imagination; they’re often too restrictive or linear to create that sense of freedom I craved. None have gotten as close to that feeling as Elden Ring.Read Article >
The latest release from Bloodborne and Sekiro developer FromSoftware, Elden Ring is, at its most basic, an attempt to merge the studio’s distinctive action-RPG formula with an expansive open world. Think of it like Dark Souls meets Breath of the Wild, and you’re close. It’s an ambitious premise, but it’s also one Elden Ring more than lives up to. It has everything you’d expect from the developer — deep and challenging combat, complex systems, lore that’s equal parts beautiful and sad — and fuses it with an absolutely gigantic world that you can explore however you like.