Elden Ring makes a mockery of words like ‘epic’ and ‘awesome’. Throughout its ‘Soulsborne’ games FromSoftware has revelled in scale: a marble city made for giants, a mountaintop colony of nesting dragons, vast valleys of poison, plague, and defilement, and castles that are almost parodically gothic. In going open world with Elden Ring (which you can buy here, coincidentally), FromSoftware has unlocked its final form, and the result – just like its bosses – will floor you time and time again.

Every new horizon is like a high fantasy painting. You’ll find yourself staring out over a mist-shrouded lake that stretches as far as the eye can see. There’s a glowing erdtree on the horizon, which you can ride to on your spectral steed, Torrent. Flanking the vista are two cliff faces, jutting up from the lake like supersized versions of the Giant’s Causeway – on the right there’s the Academy of Raya Lucaria, a scholarly ivory tower of sorcerers, and on the left there’s a demolished medieval church. You can ride to those places, too.

Dozens of silhouettes break up the view, representing sunken villages, towns, and churches. Pan the camera a little and you’ll spot ruins, sprawling forests, sky-scraping highways, and military encampments. The very best paintings make you wish you could step into them and burrow into each little pocket of detail, and Elden Ring sows that intrigue in every overlook, parapet, and rot-ridden plateau that composes the Lands Between.

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RELATED LINKS: Elden Ring system requirements, Elden Ring has the best demo, Elden Ring’s four pre-order editions



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