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February 10th, 2022, 20:14
PCInvasion, among many others, played the game for 6 hours and shared their first impressions.

Elden Ring preview -- Ringing in a new age

One Elden Ring to rule them all.

If there's one thing I can easily state after six-ish hours of Elden Ring hands-on preview time on PC, it's that the game is very definitely a 'Soulsborne' game. In fact, I can go one step further: it's pretty much a Dark Souls game. Shields are useful. Combat is… well, not ponderous, but weightier than Sekiro or Bloodborne. Poise, staggering, and item weight are things of huge importance.

In a lot of ways, Elden Ring feels like Dark Souls 4 with the names swapped out. I mean, the spell styles (Sorceries and Incantations) have different names and are mashed up a bit, but they're effectively used the same way. Bonfires are Sites of Grace, and Souls are Runes, etc. But for all of that? If this is Dark Souls 4, then it's had a lot more meaningful additions than we saw at any time between Souls and Souls 3.

[…]

Because this is both a bit long and because I don't want to spoil anything else, I'll finish here. I normally try to end previews with "but it might be a bit shit," and there is always the possibility that it'll fall apart a bit after extended play. Equally, if you've never enjoyed the Dark Souls combat or challenge, then Elden Ring isn't likely to change that. It's as hard as ever: it just gives you plenty more options in terms of what to deal with and how to deal with it to let you play at your own pace and with your own style.

However! I played the Elden Ring preview for six hours without so much as taking a break for food, and I could happily have played for six more -- not least because when I was banging my head against a boss I could easily just go explore somewhere else in this gorgeous, horrifying world and bang my head against something else. If the fact that I couldn't put the damned thing down isn't an indication that you should really pay attention to Elden Ring, then I don't know what is. While Bloodborne and Sekiro tried different things, Elden Ring feels like the natural evolution of Dark Souls: familiar, but fresh.
More information.
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February 10th, 2022, 20:20
A few others I saw

And for the videos (spoilers!), for ex. Fextralife, but you'll find many others. They couldn't capture footage but were given an official one.

EDIT: Fextralife manages the spoiler part quite well, making it easy to bypass it.



Timestamps in the video description:
0:00 - Elden Ring Preview
0:27 - Spoiler-Free Summary
2:20 - Let’s get started: Classes, Gifts & Character Creation
04:16 - Opening & Limgrave West
6:40 - Exploring Limgrave East: Welcome to Mistwood
8:22 - Mystical Siofra River
10:11 - The Phantom Stag
11:40 - Exploring Caelid
14:12 - The Roundtable Hold
16:37 - The Weeping Peninsula
17:23 - Heading North to Liurnia of the Lakes

19:36 - Final thoughts & Spoiler-Free Hands-On Experience Summary
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February 11th, 2022, 16:30
As someone who has never been playing to Dark Soul, I have no clue what's most of this preview is trying to say except for the fact that it similar to Dark Soul….
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February 11th, 2022, 19:20
I haven’t watched or read too much trying to avoid spoilers. From what I’ve gathered it will be and expanded version of dark souls combat in an interesting world. Sounds like exploration is excellent. There will be many more quests and NPC’s, more weapons and armor more than dark souls 3 and several mini bosses and regular bosses. I’m glad to hear that Despite the focus on “reducing stress” I have read that bosses are still nasty and as difficult as ever. One thing I read even said the first boss they faced was harder than any boss they faced in the other souls games. that will vary from person to person obviously but it’s good to hear.

I don’t usually get too excited about game releases but must admit I’m feeling a bit of my childhood giddiness over taking me. I may shut down the shop on release day and give my guys a long weekend to play. Of course they would all probably die of shock and not get to play anyway.
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February 12th, 2022, 20:55
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
As someone who has never been playing to Dark Soul, I have no clue what's most of this preview is trying to say except for the fact that it similar to Dark Soul….
I'm sure there are many online sources that can give you a full rundown on what people mean when they say 'souls-like game'. But for me the two main points are (1) a pretty unique save/progress mechanism. You can't really save your game, and so dying is way more painful. And then really hard boss fights with tactical elements to beating each boss. Some love the challenge. Some find it tedious.
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February 12th, 2022, 21:01
I don't want to bring more negativity to this forum. Just curios: set a side the bunnies, why do people like these sorts of games?

Is it the atmosphere, the challenge, the mechanics, all of those, and something more?

I cannot live with check-point based save systems. Most often I can play max 1 h per day. I need to be able to stop when somebody is looking for me. If I loose 15 min of gameplay because I just pull the plug, that hurts. The Kingdom Come type save system with expensive potions did work for me and made me appreciate my game-life more, so I can see that.
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February 12th, 2022, 21:23
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Is it the atmosphere, the challenge, the mechanics, all of those, and something more?
Yes, exactly those things.

I am, and I cannot stress this enough, a wimp when it comes to failure. I hate to do things over again. I hate to be stuck. I'm the sort of person who when I play a puzzle game quickly starts to become anxious that I will never solve a puzzle and struggles to not look up solutions. Then I end up doing so and am mad at myself because the solution wasn't that difficult.

But I love FROM games. All of them. Of course I still get anxious when I'm fighting a boss that I'll get stuck on that boss. But the mechanics in their games are so meticulously considered, so tight, so fair, that I don't get as frustrated as I would with most other games. 99.999% of the time I feel like failure was because of something I did or failed to do, and 100% of the time I feel like there's something I can do better or differently to improve my chances the next time. It feels like challenge that's fairly issued and can be fairly met.

I love them because of their atmosphere. I love the NPCs who all feel like they exist outside of whatever it is I'm doing. I love how it has mysteries that aren't mysterious because they're arbitrary and random, but rather because you haven't pieced them together yet. I love the unparalleled exploration that makes the world feel larger than it is. It's one of the few games that has not only secrets in terms of the environment but also in terms of the mechanics: you're constantly figuring out not only what exists in their worlds, but new ways to interact with them.

I don't like checkpoint save systems, either. Not generally. But their save systems aren't like any other save systems you've experienced in any other game just like their multiplayer isn't like the multiplayer in any other game. I don't know if I can explain exactly how and why right now… maybe once I've played Elden Ring for a while it'll remind me sufficiently as to allow me to articulate it. Just know that I'm with ya, but FROM games don't feel the same.
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February 12th, 2022, 21:39
Thanks @JFarrell71. Which one should I try if I only could choose one?
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February 12th, 2022, 21:44
Dark souls series have a unique atmosphere especially the first one which is way more dark and sad, and harder ofcourse. Didnt watched many videos of this one, so im wondering if they nailed it again with the atmosphere in such a large open world. I mean DS series is made for tight corridor like levels where you walk with fear of losing your souls when mobs jump out of nowhere lol but in such a big world here you could see the enemies from afar; maybe not much happens in the big ass spaces and alot more is concentrated is small map areas.
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February 12th, 2022, 21:46
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Thanks @JFarrell71. Which one should I try if I only could choose one?
That's a good question. Personally, I like the Souls games the best. I like the settings the most, the pace of combat the most, the emphasis on having lots of different gear, I like having magic.. though I obviously haven't played it yet, it seems like Elden Ring will be most similar to Dark Souls (just a lot more open ended), so I would say that would be a good first choice.

Bloodborne is great, but it has fewer NPCs, fewer weapons, more samey outfits, etc. It might appeal to you more if you prefer faster paced combat and the gothic horror setting. Another thing I didn't like but you might is that it's the only game with a significant randomized component in its dungeons.

Sekiro has the most different combat style. It's heavily block/timing based (I mostly dodge and roll in the other games so it was an adjustment for me). Whereas the other games require more patience and planning, Sekiro is more about actual skill and reactions. It was the most frustrating game for me personally. I also didn't care for the setting as much because of its familiarity, but it's very well done and by no means bad or uninteresting.
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February 13th, 2022, 18:22
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Thanks @JFarrell71. Which one should I try if I only could choose one?
I think original Dark Souls would be the one to pick up and play. I think it is basically 'gaming hall of fame' type caliber. An amazing piece of art in my view in terms of atmosphere and how the world unfolds. Just so very, very cool and I think very unique. I just looked and it finished around top 20 in our Game of the Decade vote a few years back.

I am not a huge fan of the brutal gameplay and save mechanics. Although many clearly love that aspect. I definitely felt great sense of accomplishment when I made it to a new checkpoint or area, but more often than not I wanted to throw my little PC controller thru the wall. Can be insanely frustrating.

If you do pick up Dark Souls, one word of advice. I think they made the very beginning way, way too hard. I wouldn't be surprised if half of the people who bought that game quit in the first week. I did. And then I came back to it like 6 months later, read a little online guide on how to get from basically 0 to 1, and never looked back until I finished. So unless you are really excited to beat your head against a wall for a long time, I would basically read a guide that shows you a few tricks out of the gate. Or maybe start out totally uninformed just to 'feel the pain' for a day or two, and then go read a guide. Just firing up that game without any research and trying to find your way around has to be one of the hardest startups of any game on the planet.
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February 14th, 2022, 00:39
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
I don't know if I can explain exactly how and why right now… maybe once I've played Elden Ring for a while it'll remind me sufficiently as to allow me to articulate it. Just know that I'm with ya, but FROM games don't feel the same.
I'm looking forward to you playing Elden Ring and sharing your thoughts. I've never played Dark Souls as I'm fairly certain (having read a lot over the years) I would find it too difficult, get stuck, really stuck, on a boss. I have got Elden Ring on my wish list but I think I should hold out as if it's too souls-like I might possibly regret it.
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February 14th, 2022, 03:23
I'm not a fan of check point saves either, but unfortunately they have become more common, even in good games that I want to play. So I just deal with them. But my preference is always save at any time.

Sure, it makes the game easier in general, but it also takes lots of potential for frustration away.

Like, I'm playing Serious Sam 4 right now, and there are some really difficult end of level fights, and so I just play and keep dying at various times, but when I finally do relatively good in one small section/time period of the huge battle, I run around and find a good place to quick save, so I can make slow but steady progress that way, without having to keep repeating the difficult sections.

Eventually, if I keep dying, one nice feature I have come to appreciate is the game will suggest to lower the difficulty after a certain number of player deaths, and if I'm feeling bored/frustrated with the battle, I will say yes (not all the time - sometimes I enjoy the challenge), which then makes it easier.

I play at normal difficulty usually -- I don't consider myself that good at shooters and Serious Sam does seem tuned for a higher difficulty than other games, so "normal difficulty" is good enough for me.

Anyway, I know this Elden Ring game is definitely not for me, as I don't like this type of "fight huge and difficult monsters" type game, and having to keep repeating the fights from step one with checkpoint saves only would drive me crazy, lol.

Still, just the amount of hype this game is generating is remarkable (close to Cyberpunk 2077 level), so just as a general gamer, I'm interested in it, even though I won't play it.
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February 14th, 2022, 15:56
Originally Posted by Qayto View Post
I've never played Dark Souls as I'm fairly certain (having read a lot over the years) I would find it too difficult, get stuck, really stuck, on a boss.
That's definitely happened to me in Dark Souls. But the weird thing is that you can summon other players to help you defeat bosses when you get stuck, which usually makes the fight completely trivial.

It's actually one of my least favorite things about the game, because summoning another player is basically an auto-win button and removes any challenge from the boss. It's such a weird thing to have in a game that's otherwise meant to be so challenging, and I'd much prefer a middle ground of some sort. But on the flip side it's much better than having to quit the game because I can't handle a certain boss.
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February 14th, 2022, 18:15
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
That's definitely happened to me in Dark Souls. But the weird thing is that you can summon other players to help you defeat bosses when you get stuck, which usually makes the fight completely trivial.

It's actually one of my least favorite things about the game, because summoning another player is basically an auto-win button and removes any challenge from the boss. It's such a weird thing to have in a game that's otherwise meant to be so challenging, and I'd much prefer a middle ground of some sort. But on the flip side it's much better than having to quit the game because I can't handle a certain boss.
In Dark Souls II and III, there are NPCs that you can summon (not online) - they vary from 1 to 2 depending on actions in the game. They don't make most boss fights trivial and are more of distractions. I think that is a very nice middle ground.
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February 14th, 2022, 18:32
You can summon npcs in all 3 games though there are bosses which you have to fight solo; also you cant summon the npcs all the time, for instance in the first game you have to be human to do it which requires to use the item humanity which is fairly limited.

But there is a unique satisfaction when you beat a boss solo; i remember when i played the first DS at launch and died countless times at S&O, even ran out of humanity at some point, threw the keyboard away when i finally beat them, didnt even had breath left when the remaining fat guy needed 2-3 more hits
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February 14th, 2022, 18:38
I feel like a lot of the NPCS had specific requirements to be summoned for a boss though, like you had to be at a certain stage of their story and to have used them for previous fights as well, or something like that. Since I tried to avoid summoning unless I was completely stuck, I never had NPC summons available for the fight I was stuck on.

I agree, summoning help from other players completely removed any satisfaction I got from clearing a boss. I tried everything to avoid doing so and hated when I had to do it. But still better than quitting the game.
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