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A Critical discussion on Elden Ring and Innovation

GermanZepp

Member
I'm not gonna get suck into this. Even with some flaws Elden Ring kick f*cking ass. DEAL WITH IT. I'm 140 hs in and i keep finding new very well crafted levels with awesome art desing and challenging foes, new spells, new weapons, new armor.
EDIT: F*CK MALENIA
 

Guilty_AI

Gold Member
EDIT: F*CK MALENIA


On a side note, i get confused since i didn't have nearly as much difficulty with her as people report. Sure it wasn't a first try kill, but i had a much easier time with her than when fighting some early bosses with my underleveled clueless self, or the Elden Beast.

Granted i used the mimic, but i see no reason to hold back on a game thats considered hard.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
I played for well over 200 hours across PC and console. I didn't notice this outside of scripted encounters; it certainly isn't what I would call a feature instead of a happy-accident (at worst exploitable AI).
Enemy vs enemy feature

And as said you can find enemies already fighting as well, area around impassable bridge and war dead catacomb are obvious since the soldiers are blowing the horn to fight the monstrous dogs and ghost soldiers are clashing their swords in some eternal war.

You're not really "listening" to what the OP is typing out. Where did they say you can't use a controller?
They didn’t say you can’t use a controller but said asigning the controls to the buttons is ridiculous. But it’s done automatically.
 
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The artful mincer

Gold Member
I think the main thing that's elden rings open world apart is the staggering amount of unique content it has.

Honestly without that, all the fluff about it not guiding the player etc would be pretty meaningless.

The idea that it's doing anything drastically new or innovative is laughable. At its core it structure is oddly similar to the old far cry games.

You go to a location find a tower ( in this game map fragment) and instead off clearing markers off a map you put icons on Map. When your nearly done you check out any areas without a markers and something will likely be there.

Obviously there's other major differences between the games and elden ring is miles better than any ubisoft game. But innovative or groundbreaking hardly.

It's souls gone open world and that's as good as its sounds.
 

Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Frankly, I don’t understand this thread.

One can enjoy Elden Ring without having to hold the opinion that it is innovative. And that’s besides the point of whether it is or it is not innovative.

Personally I don’t think Elden Ring is innovative but rather it goes against the established patterns in a genre that for quite a few years now has been very popular and very stale. And on top of that, aesthetically it’s a very ambitious game. The result is a game that despite its flaws it is very compelling.

If you crave actual innovation on the genre, play death stranding - the game might not be up to your alley, but it’s certainly innovative.
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
On a micro level, maybe. On a macro level, not even close. FROM's environmental design is second to none and this greatly influences enemy placement and type. Add to that actual build diversity and any engagement can be wildly different in ER.

Horizon may have flashier combat, but "should i use zappy arrow or fire arrow" isn't more dynamic than ER's combat.

EDIT: To be fair, there are plenty of bog standard encounters in ER.
The second game has a fuckload of different weapons, skills, etc.

Even in the first one wasn't really a matter of choosing only the element...do you even played the games?

You can use various types of traps, you can use stealth, you can use enviromental traps, you can use gatlings, fast bows, slow bows, shotgun bows, spear launcher, disc launchers and many other stuff, and every weapon has different fire modes to unlock, you have melee with combo, you have super moves etc.

And enemy variety is through the roof for an open world game, second only to elden ring basically.


The games are flawed and far from perfect but don't just bash them if you have no idea of what are you talking about dude, tps combat wise there is no open world with the same variety of horizon 2, not even close.
 
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Got the plat in Elden Ring on PS5, ran through it again on PC. Its nothing innovative about it, and at no point did I ever feel like I was doing something I hadn't seen in some other game - in some form or fashion...but I still loved the game. Does have some flaws like damn near anything - ever *shrug

My fave 'From game is still Sekiro, hence the avatar :messenger_sunglasses: - but Elden Ring is still great.
 

The artful mincer

Gold Member
On a micro level, maybe. On a macro level, not even close. FROM's environmental design is second to none and this greatly influences enemy placement and type. Add to that actual build diversity and any engagement can be wildly different in ER.

Horizon may have flashier combat, but "should i use zappy arrow or fire arrow" isn't more dynamic than ER's combat.

EDIT: To be fair, there are plenty of bog standard encounters in ER.
Not true at all. Elden ring and souls in general has crazy breath but very little depth.

I.e . There's huge build variety but very little choice in the moment to moment combat. You can easily beat these games by spamming r1 or L2 or whatever you can't really weapon switch to form combos and each weapon has a very limited moveset.

The one exception is sorcery builds but they are extremely clunky to control and the spells are extremely unbalanced.

Horizon FW has a WAY more depth in its moments to moment combat. In the end game your weapon wheel has potentially access to 20 to 30 different ammo types which can be accessed easily mid battle. They all feel different and have different strategic strengths and weakness. The machines are way more complex than anything in elden ring. Have way more interesting AI and the weakspot gameplay adds a crazy amount of depth.

And for the record overall I probably like elden ring more than forbidden west both are excellent. But elden ring deeper more dynamic combat? Not a chance
 

Chukhopops

Member
Not true at all. Elden ring and souls in general has crazy breath but very little depth.

I.e . There's huge build variety but very little choice in the moment to moment combat. You can easily beat these games by spamming r1 or L2 or whatever you can't really weapon switch to form combos and each weapon has a very limited moveset.

The one exception is sorcery builds but they are extremely clunky to control and the spells are extremely unbalanced.

Horizon FW has a WAY more depth in its moments to moment combat. In the end game your weapon wheel has potentially access to 20 to 30 different ammo types which can be accessed easily mid battle. They all feel different and have different strategic strengths and weakness. The machines are way more complex than anything in elden ring. Have way more interesting AI and the weakspot gameplay adds a crazy amount of depth.

And for the record overall I probably like elden ring more than forbidden west both are excellent. But elden ring deeper more dynamic combat? Not a chance
You can actually switch weapons on the fly in ER and that’s a valid strategy, you can also dual wield, do combos with weapon arts, jumping attacks, counters etc. There are also multiple magic hybrid builds where you mix melee and magic (like Faith builds). And obviously enemies have elemental resistances and weak spots.

Meanwhile HFW has one melee weapon and only a few combos unlockable from one talent tree… and the most efficient way to do melee is to play like a GS with autolock, dodge an attack and charge R2 while you pray the lock system doesn’t change your target to a prairie dog.

There’s nothing special about AI in either game too, just patterns. HFW just has a lot less enemy variety, barely any boss fights and overall less depth.
 

The artful mincer

Gold Member
This thread is dead but you made an effort with your post so its worth a reply


You can actually switch weapons on the fly in ER and that’s a valid strategy,
Its very Limited the weapon switching is to slow to do combos and the weapons are unlikely (not impossible) to be different enough to justify swapping mid fight.
you can also dual wield, do combos with weapon arts, jumping attacks, counters etc
There's some depth there for sure but not as much as Horizons. I think its way more unbalanced as well some Ashes of war and spells are ridiculously overpowered that you don't need to use anything else.

. There are also multiple magic hybrid builds where you mix melee and magic (like Faith builds).
Agree faith builds have the most depth. Spells have different strategic use like buffs, applying status effects, ranged vs melees attack etc. They still suffer from lack of balance and being to slow to change.( On console at least)
And obviously enemies have elemental resistances and weak spots.
The weak spot gameplay was very limited I.e. hit a dragons head for more damage nothing like horizons
Meanwhile HFW has one melee weapon and only a few combos unlockable from one talent tree… and the most efficient way to do melee is to play like a GS with autolock, dodge an attack and charge R2 while you pray the lock system doesn’t change your target to a prairie dog.
You can do better than that. You gonna pretend Horizons ranged combat doesn't exist? Let it be known though Horizons melee combat is complete shit. I think Forbidden west made it worse than zero dawns.
There’s nothing special about AI in either game too, just patterns.
I think HWs is more varied on average. Too many enemies just bum rush you in elden ring. There are some good acceptions like the dragons and of course boss fights
HFW just has a lot less enemy variety, barely any boss fights and overall less depth.
Agree on enemy variety Horizon forbidden west's is still very good though. There's not many boss fights but the machines are alot more complex than most other games end boss fights. Obviously I disagree on depth buts that's fine.
 

Swift_Star

Member
Doesn’t it play differently? ER solved my issue with most from games - if I was stuck at a boss I just went and explored a bunch of other shit and came back or didn’t come back. Save points are more generous, you get summons a horse - I feel like people acting like it should’ve just been a typical from game are missing what being open world really added to the experience.

Also re: the complaints about exploration and activities - there is so much optional weird shit to find that you don’t have to do at all to progress. Just because they’re set in one location and not a random event never made It less engaging.
That doesn’t mean the game plays differently, it just means the game gives you more options.
 

Swift_Star

Member
Elden Rings innovation lies in the open worlds stripped back nature. The contrast between it and modern open world games is quite striking. Mostly because of how it goes back to the roots of what open world games originally were about. The ubifying of open worlds have been happening for a while now and its been ruining the overall experience that open world games as a genre found strength in. That was exploration. The line between good exploration and bad exploration is a fine one. Mostly because the idea of getting lost can both be an opportunity and a great fear for the designer. You want the player to be able to navigate a world with it feeling mysterious whilst also be able to get their bearings. This can be done with landmarks that the player sees. Most open world games these days rely on markers and mini maps. I think this is down to bad world design, its a crutch to get the player from point a to point b. What Elden Ring did was go back to basics and also create an amazing world that facilitated both the feeling of mystery and progress. The reason why it feels like a breath of fresh air is because the industry hasn't been doing this for a long time and the genre greatly needed it. Especially at a AAA level. When people talk about Eldens Rings innovation I think this is to do with its success in a market place that had mostly abandoned this type of design. Yes its been done before but now with its proven successful its looking quite positive that studios like ubisoft will now follow suit and stop hand holding their players everywhere. There are so many great open world games out there that have been completely ruined by treating these worlds like a shopping mall or a zoo. Elden Ring throws you out there and guides you with your own eyes. The genius lies in the landmarks and the world they designed

I remember watching interviews from valve talking about how they would try and get the player to go to different places by designing the world a certain way when designing half life. Like having a flickering light above a door way or a sound you might hear down a corridor. The designers were trying to appeal to peoples senses so they unconsciously would be lead down a certain route. Its cute to listen to today because designers now are overwhelmingly just relying on quest markers and minimaps. I understand not everyone comes to souls games for the exploration, for a lot of people its just down to the combat. But i have enjoyed every single souls game simply for the exploration. Sure I love the combat but the exploration is what i'm coming back to these games for.

Where ever you travel in Elden Ring there is always something off in the distance, always something to be discovered if you just have a little faith in yourself to overcome the next hurdle. You can say its not innovative or try to dismantle its efforts but its overwhelming success lies in the industries failure to properly grasp what originally made open world games great. Maybe its just an argument of semantics. Maybe innovation is the wrong word, but Elden Ring is so good in these respects that it sure does feel like innovation and that's something to be respected.
BOTW did it first. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
This thread is dead but you made an effort with your post so its worth a reply



Its very Limited the weapon switching is to slow to do combos and the weapons are unlikely (not impossible) to be different enough to justify swapping mid fight.

There's some depth there for sure but not as much as Horizons. I think its way more unbalanced as well some Ashes of war and spells are ridiculously overpowered that you don't need to use anything else.


Agree faith builds have the most depth. Spells have different strategic use like buffs, applying status effects, ranged vs melees attack etc. They still suffer from lack of balance and being to slow to change.( On console at least)

The weak spot gameplay was very limited I.e. hit a dragons head for more damage nothing like horizons

You can do better than that. You gonna pretend Horizons ranged combat doesn't exist? Let it be known though Horizons melee combat is complete shit. I think Forbidden west made it worse than zero dawns.

I think HWs is more varied on average. Too many enemies just bum rush you in elden ring. There are some good acceptions like the dragons and of course boss fights

Agree on enemy variety Horizon forbidden west's is still very good though. There's not many boss fights but the machines are alot more complex than most other games end boss fights. Obviously I disagree on depth buts that's fine.
Oh cmon, melee is still shit but way better than zero dawn, i actually used melee for 85% of enemies on very hard.
 

The artful mincer

Gold Member
Oh cmon, melee is still shit but way better than zero dawn, i actually used melee for 85% of enemies on very hard.
Sorry dude I can't stand it☹

To correct myself calling it worse is wrong it's definitely got more depth than zero dawn. But it detracts from the overall experience more than Zero Dawns did.

Zero Dawns melee was wonky as hell but I think it served its purpose better as a supplement to the ranged combat. My memory's bad but I don't remember being forced to use it and it was pretty straight forward.

In forbidden west I feel like your supposed to use it against human enemies and its so bad. It just so unsatisfying hitting dudes in this game the extra combos just add a level of complexity I have zero interest in learning.

Honestly I been avoiding it as much as possible I have been playing on a mixture very hard and hard. Every time I feel forced into it I whack the difficult down to story to get through it as soon possible.
 

Barrico82

Member
Played Horizon Platinumed it then went to Elden Ring, finish the game and new game plus, then went back to check all the updates they made to Horizon, the difference between the 2 game are like day and night.

I heard and read alot of comments about the open world in Elden Ring and how it didnt brought anything new and I have to disagree, just from curiosity and visual impact, going from the open world to a legacy dungeons gives you a feeling no other open world game gives you the same feeling, especially in this comparison with Horizon where the world is moslty Horizontal with no depth no good use of the terain and the cities doesnt give any impact.

This beside the hidden things in the world and the other activities you could do in Elden Ring, compared to Horizon even though it has maybe larger world but really lacks character in it, depth and good use of terrain.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Played Horizon Platinumed it then went to Elden Ring, finish the game and new game plus, then went back to check all the updates they made to Horizon, the difference between the 2 game are like day and night.

I heard and read alot of comments about the open world in Elden Ring and how it didnt brought anything new and I have to disagree, just from curiosity and visual impact, going from the open world to a legacy dungeons gives you a feeling no other open world game gives you the same feeling, especially in this comparison with Horizon where the world is moslty Horizontal with no depth no good use of the terain and the cities doesnt give any impact.

This beside the hidden things in the world and the other activities you could do in Elden Ring, compared to Horizon even though it has maybe larger world but really lacks character in it, depth and good use of terrain.
I liked what I played of HFW before I started with Elden Ring but I agree. What Elden Ring is doing with the open map reminds me of A Link to the Past, you have no markers showing you where to go and there are distinctive areas very different from each other, dungeons and actual worthwhile loot are littered all over the map, the verticality means you can look down at previous areas when you’re higher up, it’s fun. Instantly and on-the-spot spawned horse with double jump is awesome too. Could’ve had a paraglider though…
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
Sorry dude I can't stand it☹

To correct myself calling it worse is wrong it's definitely got more depth than zero dawn. But it detracts from the overall experience more than Zero Dawns did.

Zero Dawns melee was wonky as hell but I think it served its purpose better as a supplement to the ranged combat. My memory's bad but I don't remember being forced to use it and it was pretty straight forward.

In forbidden west I feel like your supposed to use it against human enemies and its so bad. It just so unsatisfying hitting dudes in this game the extra combos just add a level of complexity I have zero interest in learning.

Honestly I been avoiding it as much as possible I have been playing on a mixture very hard and hard. Every time I feel forced into it I whack the difficult down to story to get through it as soon possible.
Nah dude, you can use the fuck you want against humans, even the melee arena is optional.
 

Amaranty

Member
I think that From Software kinda overdid it with weapon arts in this game. I think weapon arts should be more utility focused, kinda like the skills in Sekiro. I'm 70 hours into the game and some weapon arts are ridiculously overpowered. Once you get high enough lvl to have more comfortable stat distribution, you can basically spam weapon arts with almost infinite poise and face tank the boss.

Also you can summon ashes in most boss fights, who are also overpowered if leveled up. Especially the mimic. I find bizarre that FS hasn't nerfed it.
 
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I too got the platinum for this game a few weeks ago, it was a pretty cool game but i did dislike a couple things:
The copy/paste dungeons. They all looked the same, had the same enemies, same basic premise of find a lever to open the boss room, and of course.. Repeat bosses. One crystal maiden, two crystal maidens, 1 sphynx cat, 2 sphynx cats.

The overtuned boss damage. Now i understand they had to make the fights difficult, sure, but there's more ways than one to make a fight difficult than just to make every boss attack be full screen and take 70%-100% of your hp. All that boss attack variety went to shit and every boss became the same when i realized all i had to do is walk sideways or backwards slowly and spam jump attacks with the guts greatsword while the boss was in the recovery animation & stagger it till it died. The boss fights mostly sucked. Sekiro was much better in this regard and forced me to play much more aggressively than ER.

Repeat bosses in the overworld.. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck ulcerated tree spirit. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck the tree spirit too.
 
After doing a full 150 hour playthrough and starting another playthrough where I got like 50 hours in and got burnt out at Caelid, I think I fall in the camp of “the open world doesn’t add much to the Souls formula.”

Yeah I enjoyed my time, but I feel like it would’ve been a better game if they took the best “dungeon” bits and designed it like Dark Souls 1 with interconnected Metroidvania design. Yeah the vistas are nice, but after a while exploring to find everything becomes just as grindy as any other open world game. Yes I realize that you can B line to main areas, but that just furthers my point that it would be better as a more condensed experience.

But it is what it is. I can always go back and replay older Souls games that are designed more to my tastes anyways.
 

engstra

Member
Did you wasted 50 hours idle or what, How can you after 140 hours not have found everything?
Just finished the game, exploring everything without doing much backtracking or any grinding and I finished on 140 hours. Depending on how long it takes someone to beat certain bosses, I can see how it could take people longer
I will say after Morgott and onward when all the bloat and shameless reusing of everything kicks in.
I really don't get this criticism. I'll agree the mountaintop was pretty stark (and having no visibility for half the map of consecrated snowfield was shit) but what about the Haligtree and Farum Azula? Those areas were visually very cool but also had intricate layouts
 
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