I grew up during a unique time in history. The 80’s saw the rise of new and exciting technologies, and through the 90’s and in to today, my generation has been able to grow up alongside many of them. I am specifically referring to video games today though (I'm letting the old nerd flag fly high today). Like many other 80’s babies you probably got your first taste of video games on Pac-Man or Pong. Atari was a blast wasn’t it!? I remember playing Frogger with my dad and Mrs. Pac-Man with my mom. From there the advances in computer chips brought us the Nintendo and Original Sega system. Then they really started making jumps in technology; we got the SNES, Dreamcast, N64, and now the new generation systems from Xbox and PlayStation and of course, the “holy grail,” PC gaming.

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I’ve seen and played it all, so I think I can say with some certainty that Elden Ring is one of the best games I have ever played (I say this about a lot of video games, but this time I mean it). Every year there is some new redefining or generational game. For example; Mario, Sonic, Goldeneye, Halo, Minecraft… you get the picture. Elden Ring is THAT game for 2022. Here’s why.

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This game is difficult.

I know most people just want a game that lets them unwind and grab a few minutes of fun and leisure here and there. I get that; that game for me is FIFA. This is NOT that game. Meticulous grinding, seemingly unstoppable hoards, wolves, trolls, dragons, and a huge sense of “I did it!” when you finally beat the boss that’s been killing you for the last 10 attempts (or more... probably more). In this game you will most likely die a TON as you figure out the controls, and your preferred play style. My play style tends to be a safer one, focusing on long range warfare with bow and arrow.

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I’ll put controls in here also. Daunting a game as it is, it is sometimes made more difficult by hiccups in camera placement, especially in tight spaces while trying to battle. To be honest though that could be down to operator error. I’m now 30+ hours in and I’ve gotten much better at understanding the games physics and how to take advantage of them.

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And speaking of difficulty, it’s not by accident. Elden Ring is the brain child of FromSoftware, the same company that brought you the original hardest games around, the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne for you PC gamers. There is even a chance to be “invaded” by another tarnished player (a real world player like yourself) seeking your character-growing runes. This game has an added bonus of spectacular lore and characters to meet with awesome backstory’s crafted by the one and only George R. R. Martin of the Game of Thrones fame.

The story

As mentioned above novelist George R. R. Martin lent his creative mind to the project; creating a new world and set of characters, and did I mention dragons (I’ve fought 2 so far). Elden Ring takes place in the Lands Between, after the destruction of the titular Elden Ring and the scattering of its shards, known as Great Runes. The realm is now ruled over by the demigod offspring of Queen Marika the Eternal and each possesses a shard of the Ring that corrupts and taints them with power. You play as a “tarnished” who must traverse the realm to find all the Great Runes, restore the Elden Ring, and become the Elden Lord. It’s very Lord of the Rings-esque, with loads of really great characters, interconnected stories, and side quests.

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The World

To think how far we’ve come from 8-bit sprites, to full Hi-Def resolution running beauties! This game is gorgeous. Design elements like the landscape itself, wildlife, foliage, and light shading make this game stunning to take in. Actually, having to use torches in some of the darkest cave and dungeons just makes sense (I mean can YOU see in the dark?) and it makes for some exhilarating discoveries of enemies and a unique atmosphere. The artists who built the imagery of the digital world around Martin’s words did a fantastic job. And hey if your paying 60 bucks for a game, at this point, it should be pretty and work right as well (call me old fashioned).

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It’s been rated highly

Seriously we’re talking about a game that’s pulled down more perfect scores, from more reviewers, than I have seen since Ocarina of Time (BTW the GOAT). In addition, the Metacritic score is off the charts across all gaming platforms; which means, most importantly, the people who are playing it, like it!

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There you have it. Elden Ring is the game that is going to consume most of my play time (probably all) until I beat it. Some games you pick up, play for a while, and get bored with. This is not one of them. I have a friend that said he put in 90 hours to beat it; so, I guess I’ve still got 2/3rds to go. I’m looking forward to it.

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