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A Critical discussion on Elden Ring and Innovation

Vyne

Member
To start off, I saw Kssio_Aug Kssio_Aug 's criticism thread a while back. He just compared Elden Ring to prior Fromsoft games and said he felt it was overrated.

I'm not going to criticize Elden Ring in terms of other Fromsoft games, since I don't feel people set enough standards for Fromsoft.
I'm looking at this from the viewpoint of what a critically acclaimed open-world game IN 2022 should be like.

The game was a technical mess on release (don't know the situation now), with all the stuttering and lags, on next-gen and PC. But what makes me even more critical is that the game doesn't really have anything computational that's weighing it down. What the hell is intensive in Elden Ring that was making it stutter on a PS5? With all it's power? I wonder🤔. With what I have seen so far, if it was even remotely optimized well, a PS3 would be able to run it. No joke.

I do not know what whoever at Fromsoft set the stock keyboard input layout for PC was thinking. Who the hell presses G to open a map? F to run? For all the crap games like RDR2 received for convoluted controls, this takes the cake.

Exploration is just looking for loot or bosses to kill. With all the acclaim for being an inventive open world, I thought they would have nailed the element of surprise. Like creeping slowly to get some loot, only to get captured by a plant monster with vine ropes, from which you would have to break free quickly or you die.

The world is terribly static to say the least. Using a telescope you could see enemies afar off just rotating around the same territory, back and forth. Ghosts and any NPCs only exist to mutter one or two lines of dialogue and nothing else. The rest of the world only exists to attack you. The world seems like it waits for you to act. You can wait at a spot for hours and nothing will happen, as long as you're not fighting.

The game has a God-tier art style and brilliant boss designs, but even those are brought down to earth by the PS3 level graphics and average character models. I have a fair tolerance for things like pop-in and all that graphical jargon, but that and artifacts on distant objects in this game are honestly terrible.

The game's enemy AI and gameplay is dated: the enemies have always had the same purpose. Attack the character with the same, one or two janky animations until he's down. But how about bringing a new enemy mechanic, instead of the old parrying and slashing? Instead implementing new gameplay features like using magic spell to make enemies attack themselves, or having the ability to take possession of an enemy and attack the others. You should be able to use a potion to masquerade as an enemy once, so you can move past without combat. Bosses should have had the ability to change fighting tactics to keep the game more challenging, with you having the ability to find a weak spot to strike, like in Sekiro.This isn't hard for crying out loud. I played some DS3 back in the day, and I kid you not, I was seeing similar if not same animations. It kinda reinforces my point that they did not care to update their engine to add new animations.

You cannot swim. In 2022. Swimming is a standard feature of open world games (at least of ER's scale). The last open world game I know that had this issue was RDR from 2010. If you guys want to bring up the issue of relevance of swimming, then why did they add water to the game? FS could have even added running on water as a mechanic to reach further places like islands. Now THAT is a new mechanic.

I will never dispute the fact that anyone can have fun with the game despite it's barrage of issues. Fun is subjective. But what I do not understand is how ppl can ignore glaring game design problems and overhype it as some innovative open world, when in reality it's just a repetition of FS's prior games.

Look at Horizon Forbidden West. I cant speak for story and mechanics as I haven't played it, and honestly I'm not so into it, but it is a genuine technical masterpiece as it was able to maintain the best graphics on the PS4 and run smoothly on it, while being cross-gen with the PS5, and adding great character details. Instead of highlighting that achievement, reviews were only bordered on "lack of innovation", which I feel is more apt to Elden Ring by the way.

I would have way more respect for Miyazaki if he actually had the balls to take risks and actually push to innovate on the established souls formula after 11 years of the nearly the same game, bar Sekiro.

As a matter of fact, I feel Sekiro is by far Fromsoft's best game, at least innovation wise. Fromsoft at least innovated on it. It goes in new territory, added new stealth combos kills and attacks, and some of the mechanics were genuinely graceful. The story was good, and the some of the characters were charismatic.

Its a bit frustrating that we are in an age of gaming where AAA developers should be placing priority on advancing gaming with innovation in AI, game mechanics and upscaling their tech to take advantage of faster console and PC hardware... And then an AAA game like this comes around and gets critically acclaimed for mediocre tech and average game design.

I don't know what to term this on Fromsoft's part. It's not like FromSoft are Indie. They have been making successful games. They could have used their manpower to overhaul their game engine. They could have made use of brilliant game designers to prescribe new mechanics and features to add.
So why didn't they?

Any other developer would have been heavily criticized with the barrage of technical issues the game has, and would have even gotten torn to shreds over the fact that they did not substantially innovate with their formulae.

Just think.

Is adding a horse, (to a series that should have had it since the beginning, by the way) really an evolution?
Is adding the ability to jump a mind-blowing, inventive game mechanic?

Look. Elden Ring doesnt have to completely overhaul open worlds, but I don't see what brilliant new features or improved mechanics it brought to advance open world gaming, warranting all the praise.

I feel if Fromsoft are criticized for issues they'll drastically improve and innovate in their next games.
 
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Vyne

Member
This is a Discussion Thread

I stated points that require critical reasoning and discussion.

So you guys can state your own opinions and views.

I really do not want to start reporting gifs or low-effort one-liners, but let's try to keep that shit to a minimum pls.

Like saying Nah, Lmao, TLDR; or posting a Didnt read lol.gif.

How does that address my criticism or add anything to the discourse?

Bare minimum, post a reasonable gif and discuss in that same post.

Remember, doesn't matter whether you agree or not.

Pls discuss, don't shitpost.

If you've got nothing to discuss, move along.

Thanks.
 

Guilty_AI

Gold Member
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
To start off, I saw Kssio_Aug's criticism thread a while back. He just compared Elden Ring to prior Fromsoft games and said he felt it was overrated.

I'm not going to criticize Elden Ring in terms of other Fromsoft games, since I don't feel people set enough standards for Fromsoft.
I'm looking at this from the viewpoint of what a critically acclaimed open-world game IN 2022 should be like.

The game was a technical mess on release (don't know the situation now), with all the stuttering and lags, on next-gen and PC. But what makes me even more critical is that the game doesn't really have anything computational that's weighing it down. What the hell is intensive in Elden Ring that was making it stutter on a PS5? With all it's power? I wonder🤔. With what I have seen so far, if it was even remotely optimized well, a PS3 would be able to run it. No joke.

I do not know what whoever at Fromsoft set the stock keyboard input layout for PC was thinking. Who the hell presses G to open a map? F to run? For all the crap games like RDR2 received for convoluted controls, this takes the cake.

Exploration is just looking for loot or bosses to kill. With all the acclaim for being an inventive open world, I thought they would have nailed the element of surprise. Like creeping slowly to get some loot, only to get captured by a plant monster with vine ropes, from which you would have to break free quickly or you die.

The world is terribly static to say the least. Using a telescope you could see enemies afar off just rotating around the same territory, back and forth. Ghosts and any NPCs only exist to mutter one or two lines of dialogue and nothing else. The rest of the world only exists to attack you. The world seems like it waits for you to act. You can wait at a spot for hours and nothing will happen, as long as you're not fighting.

The game has a God-tier art style and brilliant boss designs, but even those are brought down to earth by the PS3 level graphics and average character models. I have a fair tolerance for things like pop-in and all that graphical jargon, but that and artifacts on distant objects in this game are honestly terrible.

The game's enemy AI and gameplay is dated: the enemies have always had the same purpose. Attack the character with the same, one or two janky animations until he's down. But how about bringing a new enemy mechanic, instead of the old parrying and slashing? Instead implementing new gameplay features like using magic spell to make enemies attack themselves, or having the ability to take possession of an enemy and attack the others. You should be able to use a potion to masquerade as an enemy once, so you can move past without combat. Bosses should have had the ability to change fighting tactics to keep the game more challenging, with you having the ability to find a weak spot to strike, like in Sekiro.This isn't hard for crying out loud. I played some DS3 back in the day, and I kid you not, I was seeing similar if not same animations. It kinda reinforces my point that they did not care to update their engine to add new animations.

You cannot swim. In 2022. Swimming is a standard feature of open world games (at least of ER's scale). The last open world game I know that had this issue was RDR from 2010. If you guys want to bring up the issue of relevance of swimming, then why did they add water to the game? FS could have even added running on water as a mechanic to reach further places like islands. Now THAT is a new mechanic.

I will never dispute the fact that anyone can have fun with the game despite it's barrage of issues. Fun is subjective. But what I do not understand is how ppl can ignore glaring game design problems and overhype it as some innovative open world, when in reality it's just a repetition of FS's prior games.

Look at Horizon Forbidden West. I cant speak for story and mechanics as I haven't played it, and honestly I'm not so into it, but it is a genuine technical masterpiece as it was able to maintain the best graphics on the PS4 and run smoothly on it, while being cross-gen with the PS5, and adding great character details. Instead of highlighting that achievement, reviews were only bordered on "lack of innovation", which I feel is more apt to Elden Ring by the way.

I would have way more respect for Miyazaki if he actually had the balls to take risks and actually push to innovate on the established souls formula after 11 years of the nearly the same game, bar Sekiro.

As a matter of fact, I feel Sekiro is by far Fromsoft's best game, at least innovation wise. Fromsoft at least innovated on it. It goes in new territory, added new stealth combos kills and attacks, and some of the mechanics were genuinely graceful. The story was good, and the some of the characters were charismatic.

Its a bit frustrating that we are in an age of gaming where AAA developers should be placing priority on advancing gaming with innovation in AI, game mechanics and upscaling their tech to take advantage of faster console and PC hardware... And then an AAA game like this comes around and gets critically acclaimed for mediocre tech and average game design.

I don't know what to term this on Fromsoft's part. It's not like FromSoft are Indie. They have been making successful games. They could have used their manpower to overhaul their game engine. They could have made use of brilliant game designers to prescribe new mechanics and features to add.
So why didn't they?

Any other developer would have been heavily criticized with the barrage of technical issues the game has, and would have even gotten torn to shreds over the fact that they did not substantially innovate with their formulae.

Just think.

Is adding a horse, (to a series that should have had it since the beginning, by the way) really an evolution?
Is adding the ability to jump a mind-blowing, inventive game mechanic?

Look. Elden Ring doesnt have to completely overhaul open worlds, but I don't see what brilliant new features or improved mechanics it brought to advance open world gaming, warranting all the praise.

I feel if Fromsoft are criticized for issues they'll drastically improve and innovate in their next games.

What a pathetic hypocritical dingus. Lol. Do you read what you post?
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
and question markers, and a minimap with a gps.
Yes and a big arrow pointing your way. Remove one hit kills by bosses.
Also keep back story of the bosses maybe turn based combat ?

I think we fixed it.
 
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jufonuk

not tag worthy
Maybe reviewers should actually finish the game and maybe also give an honest opinion rather than go with the hyperbole and call a masterpiece a game they didn't understood what the fuck they were doing to begin with
Remember Kane and Lynch2 , Jeff does
 

Guilty_AI

Gold Member
Maybe reviewers should actually finish the game and maybe also give an honest opinion rather than go with the hyperbole and call a masterpiece a game they didn't understood what the fuck they were doing to begin with
Or maybe we shouldn't listen to all reviewers out there? I enjoyed Elden Ring greatly, more than the other From games i played or tried playing, but it wasn't because of a 96 metascore or whatever.
 
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SJRB

Gold Member
Elden Ring is a pinnacle of open world design and I'm not going to regurgitate what has already been documented by hundreds, if not thousands of others on this subject.

This isn't some hidden mystery and the fact that Elden Ring is pretty much unanimously regarded as a generational masterpiece speaks volumes about the game's qualities. Lowbrow arguments like "but swimming", "only a horse?" and throwaway nonsense like "I just don't see it" are moot.
 

Bragr

Member
Maybe reviewers should actually finish the game and maybe also give an honest opinion rather than go with the hyperbole and call a masterpiece a game they didn't understood what the fuck they were doing to begin with
This is a legit concern, a lot of reviewers played about half the game, and once the first massive scores came in, reviewers have a tendency to follow suit. The reviews who came in later, the folks who actually finished the game, brought the scores down a bit.

It's a reverse Cyberpunk situation. That game got great reviews for its PC version, but once the console version was revealed to be so bad, the PC scores started to get fall, because critics were afraid to praise the PC version because of the backlash, and the PC version dropped like 10 points in scores because of coward critics.

Elden Ring got absurd score boosts from the hype, at one point it was the second best-reviewed game after Ocarina of Time. You just have to laugh.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
Not yet, we also need cutscenes, lots of cutscenes. And a skill tree that unlocks new abilities in exchange for tarnished points.
Nano machines ?

How convoluted a plot ? Online multiplayer with unlocks and weapons
 
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Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Elden Ring is a pinnacle of open world design and I'm not going to regurgitate what has already been documented by hundreds, if not thousands of others on this subject.

This isn't some hidden mystery and the fact that Elden Ring is pretty much unanimously regarded as a generational masterpiece speaks volumes about the game's qualities. Lowbrow arguments like "but swimming", "only a horse?" and throwaway nonsense like "I just don't see it" are moot.

The guy is just doing it to get a rise out of people and stir drama. His "arguments" are just nonsense.
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
You compare Elden Ring unfavorably to Horizon Forbidden West, a game you admit you haven't played lol

Not only that. His comparing it on a technical level. 1 game is a 3rd party cross gen open world title that's designed completely different and focuses on exploration versus a 1st party title that prioritizes visuals over art style and level design. The guy doesn't understand differences between 1st party and 3rd party , doesn't understand how game design works and does not understand game development. A clown.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
my major gripe with the game:
1.enemy, bosses and weapon moveset variety is very lacking, for an open world game and the amount of weapon you could acquire, its not enough.
2. majority of spells were still very unbalance
3. enemy AI still stupid as usual
4. not alot of innovation here, jumping, horse riding, meh.

Its a good souls game, but not a 10/10 for me.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
Here’s the secret.
Enjoy what you enjoy so long as it don’t hurt any one who cares.

Elden ring wasn’t my cup of tea as such I played it for a few hours and I could see it it as a great game. But it wasn’t for me.

To the fans of the game who really like it you are not wrong. Let’s enjoy what we enjoy.

Except for fans of feet , why?

Bye Bye Peace GIF by Cappa Video Productions
 
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ANDS

Thought gaf was racist. Now knows better, honorary gaffer 2022
It's telling that all the pushback from spectacularly fair criticism - such as that in the OP - is often met with snark on the levels of "Herp derp, yeah too bad it didn't put in quest markers or skill tree. . .maybe then you'd have liked it! Snarf!" Like, what does that have to do with any of the criticisms that the OP pretty clearly laid out: zero iteration over the Souls combat formula, exploration that quickly loses its charm as you're only doing so for the chance at an incremental upgrade to the aforementioned tired combat formula, AI that - again - hasn't iterated at all, etc. None of that has anything to do with trying to UBI-ify the game, yet. . .

What a pathetic hypocritical dingus. Lol. Do you read what you post?

If you can't tell the difference between those two bolded portions, maybe it's not the OP who is a dingus. Hint: the second bolded does not invalidate anything that came after the first.

The guy is just doing it to get a rise out of people and stir drama. His "arguments" are just nonsense.

Always be one of my favorites: "He doesn't like thing I like so he's a troll with bad arguments."
 
Bold and yet not wrong. Every From game I've played has been an interative "yep, it's that stuff again" formula that to be fair is really excellent - it's why we call everything else Souls clones afterall. Elden Ring is that only now with an open world with bog standard stuff that's been there for decades and suddenly that's innovative. Horizon is only on it's second game with an actual new IP getting laser- focused criticism for being more of the same.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
How about this. The story actually happens in the present, the protagonist is actually a descendant of the tarnished, and everything that happens in the game are actually just the memories.
I feel like we need parkour. That’s Hip right ? Plus down giant towers to climb
 
The game is very good and beautiful but suffers from being to long and repetitive. Because of it being too long there are many copies of the same enemies with different color. The biggest problem i had is that you did not have variety with the skills and an atrocious bow controls
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Did you wasted 50 hours idle or what, How can you after 140 hours not have found everything?
People play at different paces. Some take longer than others to kill certain bosses. I am clocked at around 200+ and haven't even finished the last 3 bosses because I enjoy messing with the other stuff and exploring. I could end the game at any moment if I wanted too for example.
 
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Probably did the unthinkable and played the game instead of looking up guides to replay someone else’s experience.
Neither I used guides to find where is what I just saw guides for the "very clear, straightforward and uncomplicated quests" otherwise I took one side of the map and explored until there was nothing and then the other side. I spend many hours in a location to check skills and weapons to find what I like the most, I spend equally many hours to farm when a boss was giving me a trouble and did not clock 140 hours.
 

Meicyn

Gold Member
This is gonna be one of those threads where the OP leaves right after starting it and never shows up again, isn't it?
He’s angrily typing up “i am very intelligent” multi-paragraph replies to accomplish less than one of my lmao posts.
 
My biggest complaint is not being able to have some sort of progression system on the map. There are so many caves and other sites but it doesn't tell you on the map if you've killed the boss and gotten all the items. The map is so big it is hard to remember if you have cleared out an area or if a boss is still there. I try and clear out an area when I discover it but sometimes have to put it on the back burner and it can be hard to remember you need to come back and clear it.
 
Slow day at work, so here we go:

The game was a technical mess on release (don't know the situation now), with all the stuttering and lags, on next-gen and PC. But what makes me even more critical is that the game doesn't really have anything computational that's weighing it down. What the hell is intensive in Elden Ring that was making it stutter on a PS5? With all it's power? I wonder🤔. With what I have seen so far, if it was even remotely optimized well, a PS3 would be able to run it. No joke.
It's because they seem to be using the same engine as in previous games, but scaled up to make for the open world and the larger environments it has. My guess is that the engine wasn't designed for that in the first place so they probably had to patch their way until it "just werked".

Yeah it runs like shit for what it is, but that jap devs for ya: lots of creativity, not as much tech skills.

And fuck no, this shit won't run on a PS3 even if it had the best optimization ever, you nuts. Take a look at Skyrim or Dragon's Dogma, those games look worse than Elden Ring and still run like ass on the PS3.

I do not know what whoever at Fromsoft set the stock keyboard input layout for PC was thinking. Who the hell presses G to open a map? F to run? For all the crap games like RDR2 received for convoluted controls, this takes the cake.
Who cares bro, just change the bindings or play with a gamepad.

Exploration is just looking for loot or bosses to kill. With all the acclaim for being an inventive open world, I thought they would have nailed the element of surprise. Like creeping slowly to get some loot, only to get captured by a plant monster with vine ropes, from which you would have to break free quickly or you die.
I get the idea but imo, fuck that. I don't want flashy setpieces or QTEs, I want gameplay, and when it comes to exploring I think it has great gameplay: Torrent allows for a lot of liberty while exploring, and discovering the world step by step felt amazing for me.

Who needs a carrot in front of him, when the world is the actual carrot?

The world is terribly static to say the least. Using a telescope you could see enemies afar off just rotating around the same territory, back and forth. Ghosts and any NPCs only exist to mutter one or two lines of dialogue and nothing else. The rest of the world only exists to attack you. The world seems like it waits for you to act. You can wait at a spot for hours and nothing will happen, as long as you're not fighting.
Yeah I agree with this point, but I don't think it's such a big issue.

The game has a God-tier art style and brilliant boss designs, but even those are brought down to earth by the PS3 level graphics and average character models. I have a fair tolerance for things like pop-in and all that graphical jargon, but that and artifacts on distant objects in this game are honestly terrible.
Looked great on my PC. Again, I have to disagree with the PS3 comparisons.
Besides, the game looks AMAZING at times, like when seeing Raya Lucaria from afar while exploring Liurnia, doing whatever with the Eerdtree always looming in the distance, or the encounter against Praetor Rykard... just to name a few jaw dropping moments, at least for me.

The game's enemy AI and gameplay is dated: the enemies have always had the same purpose. Attack the character with the same, one or two janky animations until he's down. But how about bringing a new enemy mechanic, instead of the old parrying and slashing? Instead implementing new gameplay features like using magic spell to make enemies attack themselves, or having the ability to take possession of an enemy and attack the others. You should be able to use a potion to masquerade as an enemy once, so you can move past without combat. Bosses should have had the ability to change fighting tactics to keep the game more challenging, with you having the ability to find a weak spot to strike, like in Sekiro.This isn't hard for crying out loud. I played some DS3 back in the day, and I kid you not, I was seeing similar if not same animations. It kinda reinforces my point that they did not care to update their engine to add new animations.
"using magic spell to make enemies attack themselves", that's in the game bro.

I kinda agree here, and wish they improve on the gameplay for future entries. After ER I went to play Dragon's Dogma, and something as "simple" as being able to climb up enemies is amazing.

I agree that bosses having weakpoints like in Bloodborne or DD would have been cool but again, I don't think it's a big issue but yeah, hope they improve on that.

You cannot swim. In 2022. Swimming is a standard feature of open world games (at least of ER's scale). The last open world game I know that had this issue was RDR from 2010. If you guys want to bring up the issue of relevance of swimming, then why did they add water to the game? FS could have even added running on water as a mechanic to reach further places like islands. Now THAT is a new mechanic.
Nah, water is there as a way to forbid the player to reach some areas. Besides, swimming in full armor would look dumb as fuck.

I will never dispute the fact that anyone can have fun with the game despite it's barrage of issues. Fun is subjective. But what I do not understand is how ppl can ignore glaring game design problems and overhype it as some innovative open world, when in reality it's just a repetition of FS's prior games.
I don't see those glaring game design problems bro, just a few things I'd change to make it better but still, imo, Elden Ring is the best game made in the last, I dunno, 10 years?

It has a few problems, sure, but it also has botg great art design and world design which for me made playing the game a total joy. Gameplay wise it could be a bit better, sure, but I still found it's combat to be challenging and fun, and I can't ask for much more tbh.
 

clem84

Gold Member
I'm sorry people. Don't get mad at me. I'm sure this has been suggested a million times.

Some kind of glider would've been cool. If it would've made obtaining key items too easy and compromised the progression of the game, then keep it for the end game, or NG+.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
Elden ring will get wrecked by breath of the wild 2.
christmas lights thumbs up GIF by TipsyElves.com


Then Elden Ring 2 will come out and the cycle begins again. Two different games that share some similarities will be pitted in a battle neither knows about. Only in our minds.
 
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