Reviewing info: How I rate/review and other info is HERE . W.I.P This sentence will not be included if review format is finalized and blog updated.
Review layout: STEAM
Review type: Game
Review format: Normal, lazy
✅ Amazing grandiose yet somehow dark story/storytelling
✅ Amazing main bosses designs
✅ Tons of fun items/skills/spells
✅ Beautiful variety world & designs
✅ A lot of secret/side stuff
✅ Exploration is tons of fun
✅ Entertaining questlines
✅ BEAUTIFUL hitboxes precision in most cases.
✅ Tons of gear for fashion souls
✅ Plenty of options for making builds (I.E equippable weapon arts)
✅ Extremely large world and stuff to do
✅ Great visuals and clarity
✅ Tons of absolutely beautiful OST
✅ Comfy fast travel & mount
✅ Achievements can be 100% in 1 run if you backup your save before ending selection
✅ Jumping & double jumping for even more exploring options
✅ PvE and PvP stats are now balanced separate
✅ Good PvP Arena
✅ Revive spots near bosses (so you don’t have to run through everything again)
✅ Dark Souls 3 Mechanics & improved + new plenty of new combat mechanics
❔ 1 time wonder experience for me
❔ Questline hunting is as per usual with Miyazaki games quite obscure to find on your own. It’s both pro & con
❌ Still wish Japs would learn to optimize games (game is built to 60 fps and still dips)
❌ Dumbassery EAC (but you can still play with mods & with friends with proper mods)
❌ CoOp functionality is rather limited and tedious (thank god for seamless coop mod, that’s how it should have been done)
❌ Creatures can be too fast, game relies on using spirit summons unless you extreme stepmania sanic reactionspeed 12y old.
❌ Side stuff (optional) is kinda copy paste for most part
❔ Replayability low for me due to extremely large world as I’m completionist.
Finally, a proper my format review. Previously I only wrote about the bad optimization (that hasn’t changed much) and multiplayer stability issues (which have been solved).
Been a while since I played thus the initial thoughts, I had, I’ve forgotten most. So, I’ll just give in a nutshell thoughts I’ll remember as I write this. For starters, out of Miyazaki games this game is my favorite now. While it doesn’t offer replayability for me as much souls games, it’s one time wonder of discovery and experience was god tier. Main reason why I don’t find this game as replayable is mainly due to extremely large world. I’m type of player who likes to collect everything, since souls games are sectioned in smaller areas, which making collecting much easier. (kinda “stages” world design) On the other hand Elden Ring throws you into massive world and getting everything there takes a long time.
Story & world. While dark souls stories are all extremely dark, grim and mysterious yet still beautiful while world Is rather twisted and dark in even more beautiful places due to nature of the story/setting. On the other hand, Elden Ring offers very grandiose world with lot of scenery variety with story still having rather dark & sad subtext. It simply isn’t as dark anymore, but instead takes grandiose approach. Basically, it’s still as lovable and amazing. OH AND CUTSCENES. Oh boy, I loved so many of them.
Characters and questing. If you have played Miyazaki games you know how the quest line hunting will go. If not then in a nutshell doing through character questlines can be very obscure, you have to pay attention to dialogues a lot, to know when meet again NPC and what you have to do. (they did make it easier I think a bit by marking met NPC’s on map, I think?). But anyhow, questlines are fun, interesting and characters are as well for most part.
Visuals and music. Oh boy, visuals are beautiful as there is tons of scenery to see, models are great and overall look felt fairly clear for me. For most part it’s vibrant enough, but I tossed some extra color in game. (with nvidia filters increased colors 5%). Music, music, as far as main bosses go and main story events, that part is covered. It’s simply beautiful. Everything else? Varies, most areas OST is either amazing or good enough but there are quite few that just feel weak. Same with side bosses.
Okay… now we are to gameplay aspect I guess, before I give some comments on Co-Op and PvP experience and then few closing thoughts.
Anyhow, gameplay. It’s basically Dark Souls III with all the mechanics but improved and new stuff. For starters, big thing, dedicated jump functionality. This will play fairly big role in both combat and exploration. Weapon Arts, remember those? (Weapons have special moves). Those can be equipped now in weapon skill slot. This allows you to combine various weapons with different special moves. For traverse you have mounts & tons of fast travel points. Magic comes in all shapes of forms & they have combo attacks now. Weapons & weapon arts come in various shapes and manner as well. Bunch of comfy features, die to boss? Respawn close to boss room. Sadly before came different PvP and PvE weapon scaling they nerfed bunch of stuff, but anyhow. Combat approaches are now very diverse. Magic, melee, familiars, ranged etc… Jump attack has high stagger as well, so you can do bunny hop gameplay I guess? Powerstancing, block counter etc… Oh…. Stealth / crouching as well exists…. That I can’t comment on, basically almost never used. Difficulty is still quite great, depending on your build it changes who are difficult enemies for you. Main issue with the gameplay or more precise with enemy designs is that some enemies have such relentless design. They do unreal amount of combos and they recover after their attacks way too fast, giving absolutely no chance to hit them. In a nutshell, way too sanic enemies. That’s the main reason I enjoyed Sekiro the least of Miyazaki games (I ain’t got reaction time of 12y stepmania master). Anyhow, some bosses you are basically forced to use spirit summon / familiar or cheese. If you happen to play with build that doesn’t work against them. If you enjoy constant gear switching then of course you can tailor your builds against each enemy, which I personally never do, as I like making certain meta build character and rolling with it until I finish the game. There are bunch of more features in the game that are good or bad… but won’t go into too much detail as I already see that horrid wall of text I wrote. (thus, why I have pros & cons section :D). Oh, and hitboxes are orgasmic.
Multiplayer. For CoOp experience, you gather flowers, summon friends. Easy? Yes. Issues? Yes. CoOp experience is pain in the arse.
- Map gets sectioned (you can explore with friend partially), reach edge, resummon.
- You can’t go into caves and such without having to resummon inside the cave.
- You can’t fast travel or use mounts In GIANT OPEN WORLD with friend
- Kill open world pseudo bosses? You goofed, no more exploration coop with friend
- And in that giant world, like in dark souls. You have to full clear both worlds for both to get stuff
- With CoOp you are open to invasions, find your invader in large area for next 10min
Long story short. There is a mod called “Seamless COOP” which is still W.I.P but, it already makes your CoOp experience SO MUCH BETTER. That’s how coop should have been designed in the first place. (no walls, both can loot, progress is synced, fast travel, mounts, both can loot, no invaders, both can use graces & level etc…)
PvP, think netcode is improved, since hitboxes are also beautiful then PvP is fairly fun, but of course those with packet loss or high ping will be still cancer. Invasion system Is kinda dull now, in open world parts invasion is cancer. In dungeons and such it’s okay and fairly fun. But eh…. In this game
I’m the least interested in the PvP. But I did try some arena, that was fun experience. Choose either free-for-all or team battle and let it rip. I still consider bleed is OP in PvP ….
Closing thoughts. Open world dark souls that improves on everything and gives so much freedom on how and what to do. Offers amazing world and story & superb combat. It does have it’s fair share of issues and there plenty of stuff I probably forgot to mention, but I tried to avoid spoilers and giving out too many features & details that would take the fun of discovery. Main gripe is sanic bosses and bad CoOp design. BUT OVERALL, aside its flaws, I still absolutely adored this game. Will I re-play it as often as Souls franchise? Probably not due to it open world design. But I will still now and then re-play it.
🌟 Total score: 10/10