Elden Ring (PlayStation 5) Review

By Neil Flynn 02.06.2023

Review for Elden Ring on PlayStation 5

Elden Ring is the first time that a From Software title has drawn in such a large, mainstream mass-crowd, including this very reviewer. That is not to undermine the back-catalogue and pedigree of their preceding titles, but the very ethos of having George R.R Martin, of Game of Thrones fame, help write the backstory and setting for this fantasy exploration open world title certainly built-up expectations. It is time for Cubed3 to open the book on Elden Ring and find out how it shapes up.

Right from the get-go Elden Ring offers the freedom to choose a character class. Moulding a character to each and every player's preference is on display, not too dissimilar from a WWE Create a Wrestler, from being able to edit hair, eyebrows, skin features, eye shapes and all sorts. The class of character is a different story entirely from the character customisation elements and helps shape the style of approach to combat and gameplay going forward.

Certain class types are far more agile and strong in their approach which lends to a melee style close quarters combat method, whereas others take a long-range tactic to fighting. Meanwhile, there are other classes that are perfect for sneaking around stealthily and those that have magical casting capabilities for ranged combat.

Ultimately the class system sets the stats to one advantage or another, but that doesn't mean that throughout the journey that these can't be upgraded. Have in mind that character selection is really important to a particular playstyle and realistically each character has their own strengths and weaknesses in approach that can certainly make a players' first playthrough feel like hell on earth or an exploratory dream.

Screenshot for Elden Ring on PlayStation 5

Elden Ring does very little to direct the flow of traffic, there aren't huge way points to head towards, but the map does ever so point out the direction that should be travelled towards at rest spots known as Sites of Grace. The thing is, the world, the NPCs, enemies, and backdrops are a sight to behold. There is a huge open world to be explored, and, similar to both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it is very easy to be heading to a landmark in the distance to only get distracted along the way by something else in the path. This style of play may not strike everyone as being fun, after all the never-ending tangent thought process of "what is that over there?" can only ever go on so long without really feeling rewarding, right? Well, that is certainly not the case in any of the aforementioned games.

Elden Ring is teeming with life and reasons to be inquisitive. Going off the beaten path will often mean encountering new enemies, locations and side quests. Encounters can vary wildly, often finding higher level enemies that are far too seasoned to be fought at the start of the quest, but conquer that challenge and reap the rewards.

The challenge in taking down an enemy that is designed to be fought later on the game has always been something gamers yearn for, whether that be via sequence breaking or just trying to do something the opposite of what game programmers are trying to force upon a player. Eventually, one way or other it easy enough to find the path that the developers most likely intended, but theoretically there isn't anything that prevents progression to any part of the open world map.

Screenshot for Elden Ring on PlayStation 5

Combat is difficult to get a grip of at first, perhaps more so for newcomers to From Software games. In general, it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how to beat enemies, especially given the wide variety of creatures to take down. The approach taken to slay enemies varies from class to class, and sometimes it will be more than obvious how to take an enemy down and others may need a bit of practice. Elden Ring is no walk in the park, prepare to die an inordinate amount, no matter the approach, or years of experience with video games. The difficulty can be brutal at times, and enemies can be utterly relentless with their attacks, but taking these goliaths down is what makes it feel ever more rewarding.

Speaking of which, the bosses in Elden Ring are of epic proportion. Battles feel almighty, and very much a slog fest. One wrong timed move or misplaced attack can be the difference to death or to victory. There are other methods to attacking, such as by guard countering, which allows for a reversal that can help change the tide of battle. Summoning creatures, known as Spirit Ashes, can be used to help assist in battle and often enough help provide much needed respite to catch a second of rest. There is nothing like having a bit of backup in a game like Elden Ring.

Screenshot for Elden Ring on PlayStation 5

Considering how gargantuan the open world of Elden Ring is, it is surprising to see how vivid the world has been brought to life. There is huge reverence for how striking the world of The Lands Between looks, from sprawling fields and hills to serene lakes and bodies of water. Buildings and monuments are either grandiose in scale or derelict beyond repair, either way the detail is always present. Character animations, whether they be humanoid or large giant beasts are awe inspiring to watch in motion.

Performance can take a slight knock during certain moments, even when prioritising frame rates, but this is never so bad that it is a detriment to the game, but in performance mode Elden Ring won't hit a solid 60fps and in quality mode won't hit a consistent 4K. During the review frame rate was prioritised and preferred as it doesn't feel like such a big difference to the visuals playing in this mode compared to the slow down in the alternative mode.

Screenshot for Elden Ring on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Elden Ring serves as a testament to open world video game design. There is a true sense of accomplishment once that rock-hard enemy has been slain, and something that compels a player to relentlessly do it over and over again until they succeed is truly rewarding. The world is humongous and an epitome of how exploration should be encouraged by intriguing players to see what is over the hill. Elden Ring is an unmissable, must-play gaming experience with surprises galore.

Developer

From Software

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, juzzy, Ofisil, Sandy Wilson

There are 4 members online at the moment.