Elden Ring: Game of the Year Frontrunner in March?

Sports+Reporter+Christian+Tate+highly+recommends+Elden+Ring.

Photo courtesy of PlayStation

Sports Reporter Christian Tate highly recommends “Elden Ring.”

Christian Tate, Sports Reporter

I want to lay all my cards on the table, right from the start: I have never played a Dark Souls game before. Heck, I’ve only barely dipped my toes into a game that you could consider an open-world title. 

When it comes to gaming, I’m much more of a fighting/simulation game lover than an action-RPG or adventure gamer. Much more inclined to spend my hours spiking people in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ than I am to run around exploring a virtual landscape. Outside of becoming obsessed with ‘Marvel’s Spider-Man,’ I don’t even know if I can say that I’ve ever enjoyed an open-world RPG. 

Because of this, I never felt the need to change up the types of games I played. Why experiment if I already know what I like from my video games? This, it seems, was the fault of me being a naive gamer, blind to the realities of what I was missing with such a closed and limited mindset. 

I had already missed the highest peaks of one of the best open-world games of the last decade when I refused to play Game of the Year award-winning title, ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,’ the nineteenth game in the ‘Zelda’ series that is widely cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. 

Obviously, I refuse to make such a mistake again, and with the immediate critical acclaim and glowing comparisons to the aforementioned ‘Zelda’ game that ‘Elden Ring’ is receiving, I’ll admit that the series has piqued my interest.

So, with all of this context in mind, what is the opinion of a pair of fresh eyes to both the FromSoftware development team and this entire genre of gaming as a whole? No drum roll needed, I’ll just tell you that I love it. A lot. 

‘Elden Ring’ is one the most breathtaking works of art I’ve ever seen, full stop. This game is seriously better looking than some big-budget movies I’ve seen, but it takes more than pretty scenery to receive the universal acclaim that ‘Elden Ring’ has. The gameplay is also a cut above the rest, as it gives features that are fun and engaging to new players and veteran players alike. 

I know that it’s been said time and time again, but the world of ‘Elden Ring,’ the “Lands Between,” is massive and feels alive with unique non-player characters and bosses to fight scattered all throughout the lands. The soundtrack is great, the character customization is rich, varied, and detailed. The combat holds no punches and can be very difficult but it is still engaging and fun, and there’s not much else I can ask for from a game. 

Some of this can probably be attributed to the extra time afforded to this game [it was delayed in late 2021 after being announced at E3 in 2019], but the majority of it feels like it came from genuine effort and love from the developers. They wanted this game to be a special masterpiece, and you can really feel every drop of effort that went into making this game so. 

My verdict on this game is that it deserves a 10/10 rating. I think ‘Elden Ring’ has to be a dead-ringer nomination and the consensus front-runner for Game of the Year in 2022 right now. This near-perfect and masterfully made love project has too much going for it, and has been a hit with too many people to not be considered so. Only time will tell if it’ll win with ‘God of War 2’ and ‘Breath of the Wild 2’ scheduled for release in 2022 as well, but it is my early pick for the award with everything I’ve seen so far. 

If you’ve been debating on whether or not to buy this game, just do it. I promise you, you will not be disappointed with what you find.