Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

We had the opportunity to try Elden Ring during the closed network test and in this preview we will share our first impressions with you

Elden Ring was first announced in June 2019 and since then, unfortunately, very little information has been released about it. Fortunately, however, in recent months the situation has completely reversed and a group of selected people even had the opportunity to try in advance the new game FromSoftware. We were among the lucky ones who got to play at Elden Ring thanks to closed network test and in this preview we will share with you our first impressions on this highly anticipated title.

Quantity and quality

During our test we got to explore Sepulcride, One of the first regions that can be visited in the Interregnum. One of the main features that differentiates Elden Ring from previous FromSoftware titles is its struttura open world and many players fear that, due to this change, the extreme care that characterizes the titles of the company may be lost. As far as we are concerned, these people can safely put aside their doubts since, even if during the network test about half of the map was inaccessible, we were really speechless due to the quantity and above all quality of content we came across.

Unlike that of many other open world titles, the world of Elden Ring seems to really be much more refined and full of content. In the Sepulkrid region it is impossible to take a walk without running into an enemy camp, some NPC, or a dungeon. In particular, these small secondary labyrinths really impressed us, since they are so varied and well cared for that salmost become part of a main area of ​​a Souls. In addition, these dungeons always hide within them a sea of exclusive treasures and fun secondary bossfights against powerful creatures unique and otherwise.

Always remaining on the subject of bossfight, we want to focus for a moment on the so-called “field boss“. In fact, in Elden Ring the bosses will not be positioned only inside the dungeons, but some of them will also be free to travel around certain areas of the region. These enemies are very powerful indeed but, since they are not inside a delimited area, you will often be free to flee or go around them without a fight. Plus their unconventional arenas will allow you to try many different approaches and to take advantage of some unique features such as the ride (which we will talk about better later).

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

Exploring the Interregnum – Elden Ring preview

Elden Ring is a title that really poses a lot emphasis on exploration and sense of wonder. In addition to the main points of interest we have already talked about, the title manages to make even the less flashy areas fascinating. For example, exploring a grove you could be surprised by an undead ambush, find a treasure or come across mysterious monuments.

The vast areas of the game are also enhanced by the dynamic weather and from a day / night cycle which affects not only lighting, but also on the presence of certain enemies. Furthermore, the whole game world is made extremely alive thanks to the presence of one large variety of wild animals and well-contextualized crafting materials. All of these elements can be very difficult to memorize, but luckily you can count on one map very detailed that you can get through stems details.

For exploration it is also very important the jump, one of the biggest news of Elden Ring. In fact, this mechanic will not only serve to overcome specific platforming sections, but also to find secrets and reach elevated places from which to observe the area you are in. Plus the addition of the jump offers a lot of freedom to players who will now be able to use more creative approaches to face enemies and reach hidden places in an unconventional way.

Furthermore, FromSoftware has devised several methods for make exploration smoother and less frustrating due to the typical difficulty of its games. For example, by defeating large groups of enemies you can restore the uses of healing items and keep moving forward without running the risk of running out of resources. As if that weren’t enough, you will also find some around statues of Marika, that is mini checkpoint which will allow you not to be forced to redo the entire route in case of death.

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

A faithful travel companion – Elden Ring preview

Elden Ring is an open world fantasy and, like many titles of this type, offers the possibility of traveling the world riding a steed. In fact, after a few minutes of play we were introduced to Stream, our faithful companion on adventures. This magical creature halfway between a horse and a reindeer will be freely summonable with the use of a special whistle and will allow you to move faster in the open areas of the region e reach places otherwise inaccessible.

Also while you are on the back of your steed you can also picking up and using items, casting spells, double jumping and of course attacking. Combat on horseback for the moment it seemed quite limited to us when using melee weapons, but in any case it contributes to add variety the number of situations you may find yourself in. For example in some cases you may want to use the speed of your steed to nimbly avoid slower attacks, while other times fighting in the saddle will be the only effective way to face certain opponents. However, remember not to treat Torrente as a simple accessory since, if it takes too much damage, it could unseat you or even die. Fortunately, however, your steed is not so easy to knock down and, in the event of death, you just need to consume a cure to revive him.

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

Gameplay Convergence – Elden Ring Preview

Now the time has finally come to talk about the different aspects that make up the gameplay of the title. Elden Ring is a Soulslike and consequently draws on all the typical elements of this genre. For example there is a strategic combat based on stamina management, limited healing items and a major in-game currency (Rune) that comes lost in the event of death. In addition there are also the Places of Grace, checkpoints very similar to Dark Souls Bonfires that will allow you to heal yourself, level up, teleport and perform many other actions.

For what concern combat system invece Elden Ring has been taking all the latest FromSoftware titles in full hands for a while. Gives Bloodborne Heavy charged attacks and the possibility of damaging the limbs of some enemies have been taken; from Ax the ability to perform jump attacks and stealth; while instead you give Dark Souls they took the spell management system, the backstab / riposte mechanics, the ability to wield two-handed weapons and many other elements.

The game, however, obviously also presents some new features and one of the biggest is a direct evolution of Dark Souls 3 Weapon Art. In fact, every Elden Ring weapon has its own special technique can be activated at the cost of a few PA (where), but you can change it if you want. In fact, exploring the game world you will find some War Ashes, that is, materials that can be assigned to certain types of equipment to provide them new skills and, if desired, add extra elemental damage. This new mechanic really adds so much variety to fights and will allow you to create unique combos based on your preferences.

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

Survival Tools – Elden Ring Preview

Another big news of Elden Ring is the possibility of crafting items via the new crafting menu. In fact, by hunting wild animals and collecting resources around the world, you will find yourself having inventory chock full of crafting materials. Thanks to these objects you can create a large number of very useful objects such as arrows, bombs, antidotes, power-ups and so on, but to make them you will have to first find or purchase related recipes.

Also in Elden Ring has been added too a new limited-use potion called Portentous Balm. This particular item will not have a specific use and its effect will be decided based on the pair of Crystal Tears combined to create it. During the CNT we only found a couple of these rare unique materials, but for sure in the full game there will be many more.

But don’t think that the addition of crafting has led to a drop in quality in the other items. In fact, during our test we came across a large number of tools, accessories, spells and unique equipment that they stand out both for their gameplay function and their appearance. For example, in Elden Ring the Spirits, that is, objects that will allow you to summon the ghosts of some enemies at the cost of many AP. These spectra can only be called up in the vicinity of some specific altars, but they will fight alongside you until they are defeated or you do not stray too far from the area.

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

The classic multiplayer – Elden Ring preview

Basic iElden Ring’s multiplayer is extremely similar to that of the other Soulslike ones by FromSoftware. Players can communicate with others by leaving gods on the ground pre-built messages able to help or mislead other people, and of course they can also interact more directly. Leaving the appropriate ones on the ground golden or red marks it is indeed possible to be summoned into the world of another player to help him or to face him in a duel. However, these evocation signs will not always be visible e to find them you will have to use a specific consumable item.

It is also possible if you want invade another player’s world to try to kill themor, but in this case there are small differences. Indeed in Elden Ring it is only possible to invade the game of someone who is already playing in a cooperative. This limitation is likely caused by the inability to perform actions such as ride or summon spirits during multiplayer, but if desired, the host can remove it using a specific tool.

Elden Ring also appears to have made several changes for facilitate connection between the players. In addition to the ability to set one password as now happens in every FromSoftware title, in fact it is possible to visualize on the map the areas in which there is a greater concentration of signs. This way players eager to play online will know where to go in order to easily find an ally or a challenger. Using specific objects is also possible automatically send your summon sign to one of these hotspots without being forced to travel there.

Elden Ring preview: first impressions of the network test

An enchanting world …