- let's be real, this is the most copy and paste we've ever come across in a From game, from enemies, bosses, dungeons and collectible bosses (that's what I'm calling the dragons). Usually every from game has had purposely created everything and everything felt fresh and new as you progressed or had a reason for being there. This at times felt it was there for the sake of padding the world.
The Bloodborne chalice dungeons worked as they were outside of the main story and were optional, but here they were part of the main game.
Could you tell me which non-optional main story bosses in Elden Ring you're referring to, and how you feel they were similar?
Because Elden Ring has few bosses you need to fight.
Rhadan (Or two Demi gods of your choice)
And I'd say only one of those are similar to another, and only during phase 1. After that it's a completely different boss.
Regarding non-optional bosses that are repeated or similar, I feel like there was a purpose for them on top of the fact that the developers can't reasonably be expected to design unique bosses every time for this massive game that's much larger than any other From Soft game, and that was to measure the distance I've gone since I last faced them.
The Tree Sentinel for example kicked my ass many times at the start of the game.
When I ran into the Draconic Tree Sentinel again guarding the capital 65 hours later, he had dragon powers which let him use shoot fire, cause a thunderstorm, imbue his weapon with dragon electricity, his main weapon was a hammer instead of a spear which caused an aoe blast whenever he swung it on the ground, a thunderstorm, imbuing his weapon with dragon electricity, etc.
All the timings I had practiced against the original Tree Sentinel were now essentially completely different, but in spite of that I was able to adapt much quicker than the first time around, and beat him with relative ease.
It was a nice reminder of how far I've come since the beginning, as I now have an established playstyle and specific build.
But when it comes to the dragons, I found there to be too many similar ones. Though some of the unique ones are really really cool.
3) cookie clutter weapons, spells, spirits, ashes
- Bloodborne I think had the best weapon set. Switching weapons, using the tricks, all of it was amazing. I never felt that in ER. Tina of weapons, spells, sorcery, etc but most of it just put aside as as they weren't worth it. Even Nioh does a better job here, but When ring again in these areas felt more like clutter for the sake of padding.
This is an interesting statement to me, because this is something I think Elden Ring does better than any game I've played.
NiOh is not even in the conversation for me.
This is because of
1.) The insane amount of items, gear, spells and skills they let you access right from the start.
2.) The many unique Ashes of War attached to that gear, or the ways you can customize them.
3.) From Soft bringing magic into the center of the gameplay.
4.) And the fact that after 120 hours, I'm still hunting down those unique items, and I'm highly motivated to do so.
That has never happened to me in any other game.
It's especially the magical abilities that have the most visually appealing animations to me, which is why I've primarily focused on those. And 120h in and I have barely scratched the surface of the things I want to do and try.
People are coming up with new crazy builds every day that turns a previously rarely used piece of gear into something potentially game breaking, or a previously popular and powerful item even better (and many of them have been patched since.)
Here's are a few examples.
The Dark Moon Greatsword is a popular From Soft weapon making a return in Elden Ring, but not until 2 months after the game's release did people discover it could do this kind of damage.
Infinitely. Because that skill costs zero AP.
And that is indeed a jellyfish shield.
And here's one spell vs a dragon.
Here's Kamehameha one shotting a boss:
(You can one shot them by yourself too, but that looks more flashy.)
Here's the current weapon I'm loving at the moment, Wing of Astel, and it's Nebula skill:
It doesn't just do huge damage and looks pretty, but it tends to stagger bosses in 2 hits.
It also lets you shoot two different styles of mid-range projectiles for 0 FP cost.
I find new amazing weapons and skills like this every time I play, literally. And it amazes me just how much of these worthwhile things to do From Soft has packed into this game. I'm 120 hours in, and next time I play I'm going to get the necessary items for a very cool Frost + Bleed build I saw.
So when you talk about weapons/skills and mention NiOh and Bloodborne, it's like we played different games.
And I'm not saying that as a jab. That's actually a thing with Elden Ring. Because when people talk to others who have played the game, they tend to describe a very different experience.
This is because unlike other From Soft games, if you encounter something that you're having trouble with, you can just go do something else to have fun, or fight any of the other 60+ bosses you have access to, because bosses in this game are rarely roadblocks until late/end game.
So an area that one person didn't discover until the end of their game, another person got to at the very start of it.
It's a make-your-own-adventure.
This includes weapons and gear you'll come across. If someone opts for a sword and shield, they're probably going to have an extremely different experience with weapons than I did. Both mechanically and visually.
4) diminishing returns on leveling up
-Again, if this was not an open world game, it would be fine, but here you are completing tasks and doing things and you got a wall where leveling up does nothing. You already have pointless weapons, spells, sorcery, spirits, ashes and then your levelling up starts to mean nothing. Maybe this is another reason why I stopped caring about doing more and just wanting to rush through the game.
Again, very different experience. And I've spent a good amount of time farming EXP/runes.
I only hit the last soft cap on one single stat (INT) about 70 hours into the game (and you need to be at least level 80 for that), and I still haven't reached even the second soft cap on any other stat. Let alone the hard cap.
I'm level 160 for reference. And every time I level up my Vigor, my HP bar grows noticeably. It recently passed the first soft cap, which is 40.
Before 40, each level up raised my HP by 26. After 40 it increased it by 13.
That's still a valuable increase, and that's after level 80+40 (120)
The rest of my stats aren't even near their first soft cap.
So I'm not seeing diminishing returns on any stat except for INT and to a lesser degree HP.
And obviously I won't be leveling my INT any more, so just HP then.
At 120 hours, and 160 levels in.
And for reference, the hard caps in Bloodborne for each stat were at 50.
In Elden Ring it's lv 99.
And there was only one softcopy in Bloodborne, while each stat has 3-4 softcaps in Elden Ring.
5) difficulty spike when you hit the last quarter of the game.
Easy peasy, and then you hit the last quarter / third of the game and the difficulty jumps for NPC's and bosses. Fuck the fire giant and Melania. The Haligtree journey to the bottom was a piss take with the trumpet enemies (not difficult, but a piss take) and in the end I just ran through it. A lot of the final third / quarter of the game I treated this way including the snow area.
Many people have said this, and I agree: Elden Ring is as difficult or easy as you want it to be.
There are so many ways to absolutely trivialize every enemy in the game. If you want to.
Although generally, Melania is always going to be a very tough opponent. But she's optional.
Anyway, I can't speak to Horizon as I haven't played it. Though I do own the game as we got it for free from Sony a while ago.
But people's enjoyment is always going to be very subjective.
I didn't enjoy the other From Soft games much (though I haven't tried Sekiro, which I may like), while I do enjoy Souls-like games such as NiOh and Code Vein.
One big factor there was that those games don't make you farm HP potions after you die.
While Elden Ring has been one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had, along with Chrono Trigger, Metal Gear Solid, Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil 4, Nier: Automata, etc.
When I'm not playing it, I'm often talking about it with others, thinking about playing it, or watching people play it on Youtube.
It's been an absolute blast these first 120 hours, and I feel like I need another 50 hours to finish it the way I want to.