Watch our Elden Ring review. Elden Ring is a massive iteration on what FromSoftware began with the Souls series, bringing its relentlessly challenging combat to an incredible open world that gives us the freedom to choose our own path.
Elden Ring Reviewed by Mitchell Saltzman on PC. Also available on PlayStation and Xbox.
Elden Ring takes place in the realm of the Lands Between, sometime after the destruction of the titular Elden Ring and the scattering of its shards, the Great Runes. Once graced by the Ring and the Erdtree which symbolizes its presence, the realm is now ruled over by the demigod offspring of Queen Marika the Eternal, each possessing a shard of the Ring that corrupts and taints them with power. As Tarnished—exiles from the Lands Between who lost the Ring’s grace and are summoned back after the Shattering, players must traverse the realm to ultimately find all the Great Runes, restore the Elden Ring, and become the Elden Lord.
Director Hidetaka Miyazaki explained that players start with a linear opening but eventually progress to freely explore the Lands Between, including its six main areas, as well as castles, fortresses, and catacombs scattered throughout the open world map. These main areas are interconnected through a central hub that players can access later in the game’s progression—similar to Firelink Shrine from Dark Souls—and are explorable using the character’s mount as the main mode of transport, although a fast travel system is an available option. Throughout the game, players encounter non-player characters (NPCs) and enemies alike, including the demigods who rule each main area and serves as the game’s main bosses.