Elden Ring - Dunkview
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is the biggest game ever made. When you start, the map is like this, and you go, "Damn, this game is big." Then you get teleported to the other side of the map and realize, "This game is big." Then you get teleported to the top of the map and you go, "This game is big." Then you realize there's an entire other world underground, and a floating island, a massive city, and an entire secret castle.
Two of them, actually. There are secret zones within secret zones within secret zones. So the absolute highest compliment I can pay this game is to tell you that I have beaten this game four times now, right out of the gate. We're ripping off Zelda. You literally wake up in a tomb, open a big door, and the game says "Go." No hand holding, no shit, just go wherever you want to go, except don't fight that guy, don't go over here because you'll die, and don't follow the beam of light because that's a shit scam.
Eldon rings the bell: playground loot is to put a shitboss in front of you and say, "Okay, now go into the world and find something to chop his head off." Having a concrete goal like defeating a scumbag boss makes exploration feel that much more meaningful. And visually, this is a world worth exploring.
Walking around in this game is like stepping inside of a painting. There are hundreds upon hundreds of scenic vistas which look impossibly curated and intentional, and the spaces in between are populated with an absurd array of creative enemies and bosses. Fromsoft is famous for its enemy designs, and they are really bringing the heat here, not only in sheer quantity, but also in terms of moves and variety.
The Penguins are in this game. Doggy statues Doggy wizards Giant lobsters Vampire bats sing the halo theme. They got pumpkin heads to be in this stretchy lizard man's company. The list goes on and on and on, and you're saying to Dunky, "Please don't spoil this game for me," but I can't. This game cannot be spoiled because it does not end.
Okay, this is Dark Souls 4 no end credits edition, but what's frustrating about Eldon's Ring is that for all the effort that has gone into the world and enemies, it feels like they only spent 10 seconds balancing this game. The difficulty in this game is best described as what I'm looking for here.
Total shite this is an evil game made by an evil man, and whoever's job it was to balance the damage scaling on enemies did not show up to work for the entire making of this game. Just from saying that, already people are pissed off at me. They're saying donkeysucks. I hate your donkey nitpicking and bias.
You only like xbox, but always remember. I beat this, and this is shit stupid, and I begged to ring one, two, three, four times, because why not, because I'm the greatest gamer of all time, and I say it's too hard. I am calling this game out not because it's a bad game, but because it's an incredible game that is held back by very poor balancing.
Many of your deaths in this game do not feel earned, like dying to this stupid shit or losing 70 000 runes to the wonky platforming. So many enemies in this game can kill you in one or two hits, or kill you with a combo that comes out so fast it feels like one hit, or they can stun you into another hit, which also feels like a one-hit kill, or they can just kill you in one grab.
Straight up, having super aggressive enemies with crazy combos and unpredictable attacks is the fun kind of difficult, but making those moves hit for your entire health bar is shit lame and cheap reward. Now, what's fun about Eldon Rings rewards is that you never know what you're going to get. Look at this guy.
He can not actually turn around to attack you. He is worth 3300 xp. Then you have this guy who can do this, and he can say this, or he can say this and he has this move too. This guy, who has a ton of health by the way, is worth 3800 xp, only 500 more than the guy who can't turn around. They're literally sleeping.
Watch what happens when I hit l2. I just got 20 000 xp for that. There are so many different weapons and spells and summons and special moves in this game that should make Eldritch a wonderland for experimentation. But because the upgrade system is so rigid and stingy, you feel discouraged from creating wacky builds, and then, on top of that, you have this late-game difficulty spike where it feels like your character just got reset back to level one.
The end game bosses are so brutal and so fast that it ultimately funnels every player into using the same broken builds. It's probably starting to sound like I hate this game, but try to remember, I beat this big ass game four times. Four and a half. Clearly, they did something right. Games like this aren't far and few between, so I want them to get this one just right, and the good news is that most of the problems with Eldrn's Ring can be fixed by one with a slider tool.
I mean, just turn enemy damage down by 20, you know, 30 or 70, and we're back in business.