Is Elden Ring An Overrated Game?

Let’s talk about Elden Ring. It is the game everyone refuses to shut up about… and for good reason. Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s latest treat to players and serves as a spiritual successor to the beloved Dark Souls series.

Miyazaki is considered a master of his craft among gamers and his works have given rise to something that I like to call the Souls movement. Games have copied the FromSoft formula, some gaining success, others not so much. While undoubtedly, there HAVE to be some good elements to Elden Ring for this level of praise, right? But, that raises the question: Is Elden Ring an overrated game?

Is Elden Ring an overrated game? This answer might piss off some people, so proceed with caution. Elden Ring is a great game with a lot of positive elements and it deserves the acclaim it is met with.

However, the Elden Ring fans are the problem. While Elden Ring may be fantastic, it is unreasonable to call it a perfect game objectively, which is what fans tend to do. The game is one of the best to surface in recent years, but calling it a flawless masterpiece and outright ignoring the problems is a bit of a stretch.

Boy, we bet that made you a little mad, huh? Well, we got the proof to back up such a tall claim. Keep reading to find out exactly why we said what we said before you show up at our doorstep with a Glock. Let us take a look at everything that Elden Ring has to offer and answer the question: Is Elden Ring an overrated game?

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Is Elden Ring Overrated?

Now, let us discuss the salient aspects of Elden Ring and put an end to the overrated/underrated debate once and for all. FromSoftware never really disappoints with its games, but just HOW good is Elden RIng? And is it Miyazaki’s magnum opus like a lot of people are claiming? Let’s take a look!

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s latest action role-playing game that launched on February 25, 2022. It is FromSoftware’s latest and greatest project in terms of scale. It was directed by the legendary Hidetaka Miyazaki with George R.R. Martin providing the mythos and worldbuilding for the game. It was a game destined for greatness. 

Elden Ring is a standalone experience but widely regarded as a spiritual successor to the influential Dark Souls games. Let us see whether it is overrated or not.

Reception

Due to the name FromSoftware has built for itself over the years with fantastic projects like Bloodborne, Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Demon Souls, it did not take long for Elden Ring to generate quick awareness even prior to launch.

Upon launch, the game hit an astounding 12 million sales globally just two weeks after its release. As of now, it has 16.6 million units sold globally. That is highly impressive, considering the game has been out for less than a year.

Due to word-of-mouth, positive reviews, and FromSoftware’s status, Elden Ring was received very positively and even decided upon as the lead contender for Game Of The Year (GOTY) of 2022, despite being released super early into the year.

Does that speak for its quality or is it just hype? Let’s see:

Story

Elden Ring follows the story of a Tarnished in the dilapidated Lands Between where nightmares and insanity run abundant. We are tasked with reclaiming peace in the Lands Between and it is fun to see our character go from a nobody to a badass (Classic FromSoftware!).

The seemingly simple story wears its multi-layered narrative like a badge of honor. The intricate story is told with great pacing and nothing ever feels out of place. A general rule of thumb in literature is the perfectly-struck balance of vagueness and vividity. It is when a story states enough on its own while trusting the reader and not holding their hand at all times. Elden Ring manages to incorporate this into its story quite well.

On the negative side, anything deeper than just the surface-level narrative may be hard to grasp for some, especially on just a single playthrough. This strikes some as inconvenient, given how a single run in Elden Ring holds hundreds of hours’ worth of content.

Overrated? No.

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Combat

This is what all of you came here for. The combat is usually the highlight of Elden Ring and its sibling FromSoftware games. The uniquely familiar combat system sets these games apart and players usually refer to their difficulty in a league of its own. We all remember the “Is it harder than Dark Souls?” memes.

Elden Ring has a refined and engaging combat system with a ton of weapons, armor, and magic at the player’s disposal, resulting in diverse gameplay options. The combat is more fast-paced than in the Souls games and the enemies are more intelligent. Players have fewer chances to cheese their way through Elden Ring and are compelled to learn and master the mechanics, which in my opinion, is a very good thing. 

Despite this, Elden Ring rarely ever felt unfair in its combat system, especially with the numerous ways players could approach the same situation. Elden Ring’s combat encourages people to experiment and try a taste everything on the table. 

The combat is more accessible to newbies as well, being harder yet easier than the Souls games due to how forgiving and generous it is if you play your cards right. The mastery of enemy patterns keeps you on your toes and it never stops being entertaining. 

Overrated? No.

Builds and Diversity

Elden Ring offers a whopping ten starting classes for players to choose from when booting up a new game of Elden Ring. Each of these builds has a differing attribute distribution which makes it a good fit for different kinds of players, looking to create different kinds of builds.

Despite the initial discrimination, players are not locked out from any kind of content due to their build choice and can use all weapons and magic, granted they meet the minimum requirements. 

Elden Ring offers flexible build diversity and it is quite entertaining. Players can don the persona of a bulky Guts wannabe and slash their way to victory with an absurdly large sword straight out of Berserk, or they can opt to become walking glass cannons and cast spells to obliterate anything and everything in their path.

The diversity is laudable in Elden Ring and makes it more accessible to all types of players. One of the biggest reasons for the Dark Souls’ difficulty was that it was unforgiving towards fresh meat and continued to be that way until the game’s basics were instilled. 

All in all, players will find a little bit of something for everyone, and all types of players have a remarkable number of options for combat and general builds, so nobody misses out on anything. No complaints here. 

Overrated? No.

World Design

Let us dive into the fun part. Elden Ring was the first of the SoulsBorne and associated family to offer an open world for players to explore. Fortunately, this new formula was successful and Elden Ring has a fantastic world!

The Lands Between is a refreshing change of scenery (literally) from the monotone worlds of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Demon Souls. Personally, I loved the Gothic Victorian world of Bloodborne and the eerie morbidity of the Demon Souls and Dark Souls games. However, a little diversity is much appreciated.

The creator’s aesthetic sense really shines through in how one area segues into the next smoothly and every new area is as awe-striking as the last. From blood-riddled dungeons to vibrant open fields with grimly beautiful buildings holding on for dear life, Elden Ring has a wonderfully-designed open world that players will love to explore.

However, the world is more than mere looks. The world’s design marries beautifully with the core mechanics of exploration and progression in Elden Ring. Items are available in abundance so players can acquire them regardless of the path they choose to walk in the game. This mitigates the grind and makes for a far more enjoyable experience. 

The only double-edged sword here is the freedom players are presented with. The non-linear nature of Elden Ring means there is always something else to do if you hit a wall in the game. However, it also means stumbling into areas and even critical decisions without the proper knowledge and preparation. 

That arguably makes for a seamless and natural experience in an open-world game, but it can be frustrating at times when the game gives you little to nothing to go on.

Overrated? Not really.

Lore

Ah, yes. Classic FromSoftware with its many layers of immersive lore. George R.R. Martin did a phenomenal job of writing the mythos for Elden Ring which was the rudimentary building block in setting up the game. 

The lore in Elden Ring does not disappoint! It is one of the most enthralling rides for players and in my opinion, one of the best parts of the game. A game such as Elden Ring benefits from the untold stories slowly unraveled over the course of the overarching storyline and tidbits hidden in item descriptions and subtle dialogue cues when conversing with NPCs. 

It really shapes Elden Ring into a grand story, which befits the mood and suits the style of the game.

However, Elden Ring is very vague when it comes to its underlying story. It is extremely easy to miss that one important line of dialogue when a side character drones on and on and you zone out, or when you did not read that really obscure item description on that really obscure item you forgot you had in your inventory. 

I can just hear the fans and their incoming “skill issue” jokes. 

Overrated? No.

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Originality

To sum up the originality of Elden Ring in a fun little oxymoron, the game is uniquely familiar, in the best of ways. It takes positive elements from its ancestors and refines them into something faintly resemblant to those games.

Elden Ring tries a totally new formula with its open world and incorporates older mechanics into it while still retaining its own sense of originality. Everything from the visual sense of style to the exploration and gameplay mechanics has something new to offer.

This is great because it appeals to both Souls veterans and new players alike. Even if you have not played a single FromSoftware game in the past, the game does not punish you relentlessly and there is a slight sense of familiarity due to the basic nature of the game’s core mechanics. 

Even juxtaposing it to other modern titles will show that Elden Ring is original and flaunts it proudly. It is definitely one of the better titles to come out recently. It is a fresh breath of air after a suffocating number of unentertaining reskins and tedious games.  

Overrated? No.

Difficulty

I will just say this now. Elden Ring’s difficulty is overrated. The same goes for the SoulsBorne games and Sekiro. I refuse to listen to a second view on the matter. The fans are at fault for this one. 

Elden Ring, like its predecessors, is known for being more difficult than most games. In fact, that happens to be one of the main appeals of games like Sekiro and Dark Souls even after years since their respective launches. 

Is Elden Ring difficult? Maybe. The difficulty stems from unfamiliarity with these games. The game requires players to practice until the mechanics are ingrained into their noggins before they can start actually playing the game. You could say you need to wait for the game to click for you. 

That is exactly the downfall as well, however, of Elden Ring’s difficulty. The game is very routine in its mechanics: wait, learn enemy patterns, dodge/parry/block, hit, repeat. Once the player understands how the system works, it is second nature to breeze through the rest of the game while barely hitting any walls. 

Experiences might vary from player to player, but the games become unarguably easier once the system makes sense. Where the first playthrough would take hundreds of hours, it is possible to finish the next in half that time, and a lot of that can be credited to the abated difficulty. 

So, yeah. Elden Ring fans need to take a chill pill when it comes to how “insanely difficult” it is. 

Overrated? Hell yes!

Significance

Elden Ring has undeniable significance in the gaming community. Not only does it serve as one of the grandest open-world projects we have seen recently, but it is indicative of a new standard for future FromSoftware projects. This deviation from the usual linear formula was very well-received and we can expect grander things from future projects.

Does Elden Ring’s significance contribute to it being overrated? Yes. Hear me out. Elden Ring had a lot to live up to. There was insane hype for the game even at the first announcement. FromSoftware fans were counting down the excruciating number of days before they could play Elden Ring. 

The Souls series is legendary in the gaming world and holds immense influence in gaming. Therefore, a spiritual successor was bound to receive the same treatment. Souls fans have a questionable reputation for how they treat these games like the second coming of Jesus (barely an exaggeration). 

By this point, the mere name of FromSoftware is influential enough to lead to positive hype before anything else. Therefore, the case of Elden Ring being famous simply by being Elden Ring definitely exists and plucks at the fragile string of impartiality when giving it a rating.

Overrated? Somewhat. 

Objectivity vs Subjectivity

This is a touchy topic for just about anybody who has ever liked anything. I do not believe that anything is the best in this world. Personal subjectivity interferes with a truly impartial rating. Of course, there will always be people to hate the thing that you love the most and vice versa/ 

I believe that the enjoyment factor is crucial to a person’s personal rating of Elden Ring or anything, emphasis on the personal. There is nothing wrong with that. You are allowed to dislike something extremely popular or love something famously hated simply because it resonated with you. That is perfectly fine. However, that subjectivity holds no value in a critical assessment of anything, including Elden Ring.

Is Elden Ring the best game out there? No. Can it be your favorite? Of course! As humans, it is nigh impossible to be impartial towards something. 

Objectively, Elden Ring does have its drawbacks like the distracting vagueness that can lock you out of a chunk of the lore and story if you happened to stop paying the slightest bit of attention. The player’s accountability with little to go on is also somewhat extreme. 

The Elden Ring 10/10 ratings are bound to have at least one point for the enjoyment factor. I personally loved Elden Ring, but not enough to ignore its flaws and label it a pristine masterpiece from a critical point of view. 

This is where fans play into the overrated facet of Elden Ring. They love the game to great lengths (again, perfectly fine!) and then proceed to let that bias seep into professional opinions and ratings disguised as impartial.

Also Read: What Does Focus Do in Elden Ring?

Verdict

After considering all of the aforementioned facts, it is safe to say that Elden Ring is a splendid game. It is a game I wish to experience all over again with no prior knowledge but alas. 

No, Elden Ring is not overrated because it does have a lot of positive elements that make it a very engaging and immersive game. From the gripping story to the fun combat and side-content, Elden Ring is a brilliant game that makes me excited for FromSoftware’s future projects.

On the contrary, while the praise is merited, an absurdly positive laud that completely ignores the drawbacks is no better. Since that is more of a comment on the players rather than the game itself, it gets a pass from us.  

Overrated? Not really, but yes. 

Conclusion

Today, we answered the question: Is Elden Ring an overrated game? We tried to provide our opinions while mentioning the objective pros and cons of a fair assessment. But honestly, who cares? If you like or dislike Elden Ring, that should be more than enough. Just make sure to stay off the internet or you will be dragged…hard.

We hope that this guide helped you find the answer you were searching for. Be sure to leave a comment below and tell us whether you think Elden Ring is overrated or not. Your feedback is much appreciated. The important thing is to have fun with the game. Good luck, Tarnished!

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