I left elden ring A bumbling yet earnest rookie. I cleaned up Stormville Castle after much death and despair; So I set out on adventure, and soon found myself on top of a tower, next to a chest. Someone who came here before me left a message asking for help: Treasures ahead!
I opened the chest, sucked through a portal, and woke up in a nightmare area of the game, full of misery. This was the moment when something clicked for me; I suddenly felt like I in On FromSoftware Experience.
elden ring One of the biggest titles of the year, with sales of over 12 million copies as of March 2022. The game has proven to be both a commercial and critical success, and while developer FromSoftware has recorded some hard edges from previous titles, it is still very familiar to long-term fans of the studio. FromSoft has been tinkering with many of the same mechanics and design principles over the years, and the scale of elden ringIts success is largely thanks to the fan base cultivated by the Japanese developer through the first release. And it’s the same community that not only keeps me hooked elden ringBut it also piqued my interest in playing FromSoft’s past games and digging deeper into their lore.
Image: From Software via Polygon
FromSoftware is probably best known for the Dark Souls series. demon spirits, a 2009 release that would be rechristened as a PlayStation 5 launch title later in 2020, was a cult hit. The Dark Souls Trilogy to be released in the 2010s alongside Victorian Gothic Horror bloodborne in 2015 (hence the term “Soulsborn” many fans use, a way to casually refer to the developer’s list). FromSoft also released Sengoku-era adventure Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice In 2019, that departed from familiar elements like persistent, troubling patches.
Dark Souls influenced game design more widely, with “Soulslike” becoming a shorthand to identify a certain game ethos and set of mechanics. There are games like Soul which, on the surface, appear nothing like FromSoftware’s majestic, eerie settings. But makers of games like tunic FromSoftware has cleverly learned and explained the developer’s mechanics through its own lens.
I’m the kind of player who likes to dig into lore, discover little secrets about the world and its characters. First of all, I missed a lot of it elden ring, until I started paying attention to the flavor text on the item description. Much of the world is up for debate, shrouded in short riddles and unreliable storytellers. It is freshly open to discovery and interpretation; There are no in-game codecs full of world-building or dialogue trees full of technical information about the world.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco
Many of FromSoft’s games share the same gameplay core: punishingly difficult combat until the player puzzles out specific attack patterns and enemy movement styles. But it was the character and world-building that really intrigued me, and got me interested in the whole FromSoft canon. Enemies are often deeply tragic, whether they are cheerful, sun-loving warriors who eventually succumb to madness and frenzy or desperate demon-hunters who stumble and collapse upon inexplicable elderly horrors.
There is a limited amount of information about the game’s world, provided in cryptic lines of dialogue and item descriptions. A FromSoftware game follows an intrinsic consistency to its design and logic, even when the developer experiments with larger aspects.
This consistency and scope has helped build one of the most enthusiastic fan bases in gaming. For years, it was almost a plague; “Git good” was a persistent stereotype of the gamer who would dispel all criticism or concerns about Soulsborn games with one proverb: just get better at video games. That conversation is still ongoing — and we’ll see debate over whether FromSoftware games should have an Easy Mode until the inevitable heat death of the universe — but it will fade away over time to allow for a more accessible, welcoming fan experience. has gone.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
take a look at elden ring subreddit, and you’ll see players share repeated trials and tribulations fighting Starskjorge Radan, or GIFs of their gruesome, comically inexplicable deaths at the hands of birds or suspicious-looking rocks. For everyone who claims to use summons or shields isn’t the “real” way to play the game, dozens more celebrate the wild strategies—like intense spells, blood-building, or good ol’ cheese—they survive. used to live.
elden ring This is the first FromSoftware game I’ve ever played, and that’s partly because I was so intrigued by FromSoftware fans’ deep sense of identity. I watched friends go through cycles of frustration and fury, slow realizations, and victorious vengeance on boss fights. I’ve seen people share gorgeous fan art of FromSoft characters, or share their lore theories on social media. I also got to know about the communities built around these franchises.
FromSoftware games are based on communication with collaborators and other players, whether through in-game messages or gathering around creators who explain lore and share their theories. There is a shared vocabulary and understanding among fans of the developer, and they work together to understand the world of FromSoft craft. And there are local legends that inspire their own fan works, such as Let Me Solo Her, a player who exists only to be summoned into the world of a lucky ally to single-handedly defeat the game’s toughest boss – Even when it’s bad and ridiculous amounts of damage.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco
elden ring Fans have already built many fascinating projects around the game’s lore and setting. The developers have created the Elden Ring dime trailer and Game Boy adaptations. Players joke about the difficulty of the game and create their own challenges by playing the game on a Fisher Price controller or running at nine minutes of pace. Of course, there’s also an incredible amount of fan art.
While the scale is surprising, adept observers can see the game’s popularity from afar. even before elden ring came out for the public to enjoy, FromSoft fans held a watch after every game convention, where elden ring was not displayed or previewed. For a time, they went completely insane and created their own lore, including bosses like “Glav Master Hodir”. And when an additional trailer is finally released in 2021, revealing more elden ringLore of lore, fans immediately rallied around a favorite character: the humble pot boy.
elden ring I had a similar grip on me. Later elden ring, I was hanged; I was never into the idea of ”being nice”, but I was absolutely down to explore games like this. bloodbornePicking up the game and eating it yourself—as well as digging into fan-made resources like Redgrave’s novel “The Paleblood Hunt,” a 90-page dissection bloodborneExplore videos of the themes, enemies, and characters, or enemy models to get a complete understanding of their designs.
elden ring Opened the door for many fans, who were caught up in the giggles of this community here and there, but were intimidated by the game’s reputation for “get well” dialogue and incredibly tough bosses. But FromSoftware fans have championed the game over the years by sharing the best bits on social media and promoting subsequent releases. It is worth noting that elden ringIts success is due to those combined efforts, jokes and analysis. I’m already looking forward to potential DLC that adds more puzzles for fans, but I think I’m going on a winning lap around the lands between the new game as well.