The wait is nearly over: Elden Ring releases next week on PC and consoles, bringing with it the epic adventure that players have been hyping over for years. It has been my most anticipated game for a long time now, especially since I’m a big FromSoftware fan, so the pre-release buzz has hit a new high for me. With that in mind, I’ve listed five reasons why I’m HYPED to play the game down below – check them out and see if you agree.

It offers a vast open world to explore

Whilst FromSoftware have brought huge worlds to life in their games that offer multiple routes to take, they’ve always been more confined from a design point of view. Whilst never quite linear, there was always a point A to B to follow, with shortcuts opening up along the way to make life easier for those who manage to persevere through the challenges in front of them.

Elden Ring completely shakes things up by offering a full open world to explore, with the player able to pick a direction they want to go and see where the adventure takes them. Of course, there will be guidance for those who want to follow the story, but more adventurous players are free to venture into the unknown and see what they come across. Will it be treasure? Will it be a side quest? Will it be a weird little character? Or will it be a big nasty boss that’ll smash you to pieces? Who knows, but I can’t wait to embrace the freedom and travel across the world and find out.

Elden Ring

George R. R. Martin’s involvement will add more depth to the lore

To FromSoftware’s credit, they’ve always pumped their games full of intriguing lore for players to discover, so I wouldn’t say that their storytelling has even been weak. However, having George R. R. Martin on board to help out with the narrative can only be a good thing, especially when you consider the depth he went into when building worlds such as Westeros, Essos and Sothoryos.

Players can expect a more fantasy-driven story, but also one that is interwoven with darkness, atrocities, and a ton of depth that stems back to the very origin of the world (if his previous work is anything to go by anyway). It’s exciting, especially since discovering more about the narrative has always been one of the most rewarding aspects of a FromSoftware game.

Elden Ring

You get to ride a horse (and it’s a badass)

Now I know that you’re thinking ‘I’ve gotten to ride horses in plenty of games, what’s so good about this?’, but there’s something about riding a horse in a FromSoftware game that feels special. Not only does it make it easier to get across the game’s more expansive world, but it can also be used in combat or to trample down enemies. In fact, there’s a big emphasis placed on horseback combat, with some enemy encounters embracing the mechanic and being designed to specifically involve your equine companion.

It just feels so graceful to stride across the world and face off against enemies on horseback. Plus, remember how Gyobu Oniwa would play hell with players by attacking them when riding a horse in Sekiro? Well, you’ll get to do that too, now. Elden Ring offers a lot of things that players couldn’t do in previous FromSoftware games, but riding a horse feels like it’ll bring a significant change to the overall feel of the experience.

Elden Ring

– Nothing beats the mysterious sense of discovery that comes with a FromSoftware title

I’ve played through the Souls games, Bloodborne, and Sekiro multiple times, but nothing ever beats that FIRST playthrough. You know, the one where you discover the secrets, face off against bosses for the first time, and witness the dark yet wondrous sights of the world.

I can’t wait to feel that sense of discovery all over again with Elden Ring. There’s a strong sense of community amongst FromSoftware fans, where players go out of their way to find secrets or share tips and tricks as to how you can tackle some of the trickier challenges of the world – it’s exciting to feel all of that buzz all over again. Best of all, with the massive open world and promise of taking around thirty-hours to simply beat the game, there’s going to be so much to discover in Elden Ring to keep players invested for a long, long time.

Elden Ring

We already know it feels brilliant to play

This feels like a bit of a lazy reason to give, but after playing Elden Ring’s network test, I already KNOW the game is absolutely brilliant to play. The combat, the world, the sense of discovery… everything about it felt sublime, and that was after spending just a few hours with an early build of the game.

It left me with a desperate urge to see more, not only to uncover the secrets of the world but to feel those brilliant instances of combat all over again. Elden Ring feels completely different to previous FromSoftware titles, but it also feels like it surpasses them in quality and immersion. Only time will tell if that will carry over to the full game and across the entire adventure, but based on previous experience, I’m very, VERY confident that this may be FromSoftware’s best work yet.

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More about Elden Ring

Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between.

A vast world where open fields with a variety of situations and huge dungeons with complex and three-dimensional designs are seamlessly connected. As you explore, the joy of discovering unknown and overwhelming threats await you, leading to a high sense of accomplishment.

In addition to customizing the appearance of your character, you can freely combine the weapons, armor, and magic that you equip. You can develop your character according to your play style, such as increasing your muscle strength to become a strong warrior, or mastering magic.

A multilayered story told in fragments. An epic drama in which the various thoughts of the characters intersect in the Lands Between.

In addition to multiplayer, where you can directly connect with other players and travel together, the game supports a unique asynchronous online element that allows you to feel the presence of others.

Elden Ring is coming to the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on February 25th 2022. Find out more on the official website through this link.