Since its announcement at E3 2019, Elden Ring has been one of the most anticipated games across the industry. The game won the title of Most Anticipated Game twice at Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards in 2020 and 2021, and it is fiercely awaited by fans in the days ahead of the release.
With a strong track record, FromSoftware was expected to drop another Soulsborne gem into the laps of its fans. With the review embargo lifted, that expectation seems to have become a reality and the game is receiving stellar praise across the industry. Whether it is unscored or getting 10/10, an outlet that does not recommend Elden Ring is hard to find.
Here are some snippets of various outlets that did an Elden Ring review before the game releases on Feb. 25.
Elden Ring review roundup
At first glance, it’s easy to be dismissive of Elden Ring. It shares a lot of similarities to the Souls series and bears many of the expected hallmarks of FromSoftware’s games. Despite the quality of their previous works, it wouldn’t be unwarranted to worry about burnout and losing that “spark” due to over-saturation, especially alongside so many games that have adopted similar gameplay. However, Elden Ring goes above and beyond. It’s an epic filled with wonder and discovery, packed with secrets to find and fearsome foes to fight. Never resting on its laurels, it constantly surprises and cements itself not only as the culmination of the Souls formula, but also as one of the best open-worlds ever made.
FromSoftware takes the ball that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild got rolling and runs with it, creating a fascinating and dense open world about freedom and exploration above all else, while also somehow managing to seamlessly weave a full-on Dark Souls game into the middle of it. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Elden Ring ended up as one of the most unforgettable gaming experiences I’ve ever had.
Its open world has your back, in its own, often painful, way. Souls has always been about inching through claustrophobic corridors and bashing your skull against whatever’s in the way. You compare foreheads with friends: “Look at this bruise Barry; that’s me five hours in.” And Barry would probably peel his hair back and reveal the exact same bruise. Adventures in past Souls games tend to line up, as you’re all wandering down the same pathways. But that’s not the case with Elden Ring. You might show your bruise to Barry and he’ll peel his hair back to reveal a scar or a massive indent or a tattoo of a mouse tustling with a skeleton. Both of you may be five hours in but you’ll be on totally different trajectories. No matter how hostile the game’s world may be, it pushes you to succeed and carve out your own adventures. It is, by far, the most encouraging Souls yet.
Elden Ring is a fantastic game that can still deliver the unmatched thrill of defeating a tough boss after an hours-long battle. Those who worship at the church of Souls-like will find a game that’s basically everything they ever wanted. There are more bosses than ever, more areas to explore, and so much lore to find that the digital archaeologists of the Souls community will be kept busy for years.
Elden Ring remains a glorious game; one that established fans are going to savor for some time to come, and one that may just welcome new fans into the FromSoftware fold. Sumptuous visual design, dark and detailed lore and a vast-but-intricate open world are reason enough to venture out into the Lands Between. Add to that FromSoftware’s unforgiving and unforgettable gameplay loop and this is something truly special.