Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s newest – and by multiple accounts, biggest – offers, finally launched. Much of it has been made up of the game’s trademark challenge and the beautiful and terrifying large open world that charts the similarities and differences between it and previous Soulsborne games. But there’s one thing that hasn’t been talked about enough, something that has firmly cemented the Elden Ring’s place in Soulsborne’s sanctuary: it has a mischievous sense of humour.
Sure, ‘funny’ is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you explore the map or die for the hundredth time. The Lands between is filled with mighty enemies and deadly traps, and it’s easy to shuffle this mortal coil as you explore. Drill past the surface level of grit and gravitas, however, and you’ll find a supple center of monstrous form.
He’s behind you
Take, for example, meeting design. Elden Ring, which continues the style of creator Hidetaka Miyazaki’s previous games, lives up to player expectations. Many encounters with enemies in the game world are set up almost like an elaborate prank. Upon completing the game’s prologue and stepping out of Limgrave, one of the first things you’ll likely see is Sentinel tree, an armored horseman. It’s tempting to fight him – after all, it’s literally the beginning of the game. How bad can it be? After being flattened out quickly and disproportionately, you realize you’ve had it, and Miyazaki is probably somewhere laughing.
Dozens of combats are structured in the same way, the equivalent of a bucket of water perched atop a slightly ajar door. Attempts to kill a few tiny crab enemies have been derailed by the sudden appearance of a giant, which humorously jumps out of hiding and almost lands on your head. Tempted by the glare of an item ahead, you’ll miss a ridiculously weak monster lurking just inside the doorway, stabbing you in the back.
The visual design of that many enemies also often creates an air of absurdity to the proceedings, the overtly jumbled stories on the display becoming increasingly amusing. Consider Godrick is grafted, one of the first big story bosses you’ll encounter on the important road. His original form had become uncanny upon sight, with dozens of arms sewn into his body waving indifferently in the wind. Hit the halfway point of the fight, though, and the sheer excitement shoots through the roof.
In a move that, on paper, sounds like it was lifted from a fever dream, Godrick tore off his own arm and replaced it with the head of a dragon that can not only breathe fire with difficulty. understand but can also bite you if you get too close. While the man himself continues to scream and curse at you. It’s ridiculous. It’s actually funny.
Could this be the dog?
Then, of course, there’s also the social element. Community has been a core tenet of the game Souls since day one, and one of the main ways players can interact with each other is by leaving messages. The limitations of the messaging system – players can only use certain words and message structures – offer a certain amount of creativity and silliness. Yes, there are countless convoluted cases of things like “try finger but hole,” but we’ve also seen a proliferation of the inexplicable “can this be the dog?” written with horses, turtles, crabs, etc.
After rolling into some furniture, I was once greeted with a sudden and soothing message “You have no rights! Why is it always destruction? ” below, and it seems every pile of crates has “can this be an item?” or “why is it always desperate?” messages to illustrate the inevitable lack of items hidden within. That’s even before joining the series’ penchant for ridiculous speed runs, like the guy who defeated one of the Elden Ring bosses. with Ring Fit controller. It’s silly and bizarre, and that goofiness is indelible into the design of those multiplayer mechanics.
Arriving at the Elden Ring, expecting it to seriously, in many ways, missed the point. Yes, it’s still a high-end fantasy epic that features moments of brooding darkness and heartbreaking tragedy, but FromSoft’s games have always had an alternation of that with elements of the absurd and human. much more. Those pretending to be on the throne of the Soul often have trouble with that: the appeal of these games is more than “it’s hard” or “the world is locked in an endless cycle of destruction”.
There is a specialized item (or spell in previous games) that allows you to transform into a chair. There’s a recurring character whose sole purpose is to lure you into an extremely obvious trap and then try to buy back your affections by selling you items that, that imply a lot, he was oppressed from his previous victims. There is a magic horse that can double jump. There are dedicated huggers. There’s a lot more to the Elden Ring than what you initially see. Have fun with it – Miyazaki definitely did.
https://www.gamepur.com/features/elden-ring-is-actually-pretty-funny Elden Ring is actually quite funny