Elden Ring is the Dark Souls evolution fans have been waiting for

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Ancient ring is Dark souls located in an open world. This is the general elevator pitch that FromSoftware decided to settle on when creating its latest action game. While this might seem like a fairly simple idea, after playing a few hours of Ancient ring, I’m much more anxious to see what the studio is actually doing within this structure.

As part of the recent Ancient ring Network test that took place, I was able to verify about three hours of what the game will have in store. These three hours were mostly spent exploring, killing and, finally, so much more. It may go without saying that Ancient ring is again going to be a difficult endeavor for many, even those who might be more experienced with the Soulslike subgenre.

If you have experience with previous FromSoftware games, namely Dark souls, a large part of these competences should be transferred transparently to Ancient ring. By comparing other titles to Dark souls has become a punchline in recent years, Ancient ring is literally inspired by the beloved action franchise in almost every way. Specifically, almost all of the combat tactics seen in Dark souls came back in some form here with Ancient ring, which really cements the idea that this is FromSoftware’s first formal return to the genre since Dark Souls III released in 2016.

(Photo: Bandai Namco)

That being said, it’s clear the studio is also looking to implement some of its teachings from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice also. Comparatively, there are not many by Sekiro DNA that is found in Ancient ring – at least based on what I’ve played so far. Despite this, the game seems to give players a greater focus on traversal and mobility, which was an important aspect of Sekiro. A dedicated jump button in Ancient ring is perhaps the most obvious example of this, although I admittedly didn’t use this mechanic much in my own playtime.

Speaking of more mobility, however, since this is an open-world game, Ancient ring includes a stand that allows you to move from place to place faster. It is the only element of the game that seems entirely unique to Ancient ring in FromSoftware’s largest catalog of work, and, honestly, I really like the way it’s been implemented. Getting on and off your mount takes less time than any other game I can think of and the added ability to also jump while riding is quite unique. In fact, for a while while playing, I stumbled upon an area of ​​the world that at first I didn’t think I could access at all. When I remembered that my “horse” could make its way through this place for me, it opened up a whole new dungeon that I didn’t expect to explore.

By far the most exciting part of my time with Ancient ring came up with the handful of patterns that I discovered. I have faced three bosses in total in my short experience in the game, although not all villains are equal to each other. Two of the three I found were sequestered in their own dungeons which I had to intentionally do my best to find while the third fell along the main demo path. The real big boss, who was called “Margit the Fell Omen”, gave my face away more than once, which eventually caused me to turn around to try and level up a bit before I left. Conversely, defeating the two bosses I found hidden gave me items that improved my overall character better. Even though I didn’t need to face these villains at all, it made the rest of my time in the game a lot easier. In all my time with Ancient ring, that’s what really sold me the experience.

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Being able to explore this weird new land to find plenty of one-off dungeons that may contain unique boss fights or obtainable items gave me an idea of ​​why FromSoftware wanted to work in this open world structure to begin with. While previous games like Dark souls, Transmitted by blood, or even Sekiro had linear sections where you had to keep trying again until you advanced, Ancient ring seems more open to allowing you to approach this world at your own pace. And while every square inch of the world can be covered in danger, the game as a whole feels a bit more accessible since you’ll never be stuck in a specific area.

Ancient ring was already one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 simply because, well, it’s another title from FromSoftware. And while that’s all I need at a basic level to get excited about the game, after seeing more of what FromSoftware is actually looking to accomplish in Ancient ring, my excitement increased again. If you are someone who has loved what the Japan-based studio has done in the past, then Ancient ring looks like this will be absolutely another game that you will have to pick up again in just a few months.

Ancient ring is slated for release on February 25, 2022. It will arrive on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC platforms when it launches.


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