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Elden Ring will be the standard for open world games of the future!

Elden Ring will be the standard for open world games of the future!

Freedom is the only thing that matters: “Elden Ring” transforms you from an open-world assembly line worker into a battered hero. This is exactly what the established type needs!

Have you played Elden Ring yet and if so, are you done and maybe stuck in New Game Plus now? Software’s open world adventure gained critical acclaim and sold over 12 million copies in its first few weeks.

Players are passionate about game world design and accept From Software’s usual high level of difficulty. While “The Elden Ring” was often summed up as “Dark Souls in an open game world” in initial reports, it turned out after release that it was much more than that.

“Elden Ring” turned the open-world genre upside down…even though it was built only on its foundations. In this column I will write about why there is no contradiction and why future open world adventures should be measured as such.

Far from the well-established open world machines!

I’ve been consuming video and computer games since I was 6 and now I’m 42. You’ve seen how open game worlds have evolved: from pioneers like “Sid Meier’s Pirates” or the space game “Elite” to “Grand Theft Auto 3”, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, “Assassin’s Creed” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”, “Red Dead Redemotion” or “The Legend of Zelda”.

But I also lived through the different styles that shaped the genre. In particular, the infamous Ubisoft formula emerged as a defining design form alongside the productions of big rock stars. While this allowed us to experience fantastic worlds, we also took that by hand or even brought in available quests, add-ons and collectibles with more or less obvious map functionality and quest logs. We remember map screens with so many icons affixed to them that you had to zoom in to be able to highlight anything that looked like a landscape below the icons.

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“Elden Ring” breaks with nearly every open world tradition that has crept in over the past decade. And that’s exactly why he’s a new pioneer in the fashion world.

No task log – bring me the notebook!

“Elden Ring” steams the open-world genre down to its true essence: an experience of a strange and hostile world – without borders, but also without much of the comfort functionality that was popular until now.

Games journalist Jason Schreyer advised early on that Elden Ring players should have a diary ready. Because in this role-playing game there is no quest log and task structures differ significantly from most representatives of other species. The same applies to map functions. There are no important tags or GPS functions here. Instead, you first have to find the sections of the map and then only the places of grace are drawn. Everything else is up to you and your set of stamps.

And I admit it: “Elden Ring” overwhelmed me on day one, too. “No problem, I will remember the position of this dungeon,” I thought naively. After a few hours I had long forgotten that there was still a starting point and no longer knew where I actually wanted to go.

Eventually I started marking points on the map and taking notes along the way. This got me involved a lot in the game and in the world. I remembered the moments and the goals, too. This does not mean that every game has to be as simple as Elden Ring. But from software it shows that video games are not only for “sprays”, but can also be fun by challenging the player. In fact, one of the greatest strengths of “Elden Ring” is the lack of user instructions.

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Talk to each other!

The structure of the research also contributes to the return of the spirit of discovery. The “Elden Ring” gives you a great deal of freedom and is not shy from one intermediate point to another. Thus, voluntariness and your planning sometimes oppose each other such as addressing task points. There are no classic missions like “Bring Six Herbs to the Witch Abracadabra”. Instead, the missions are more intertwined, give hints, come out with big reward and fight at the end.

As much as the game allows you to fail or grind on runes, it also focuses on heroism and the spirit of discovery. The moments created and the areas explored act as a driving force behind the story – not just in between, but your own character. So, as you walk the paved paths of most other open world games, in Elden Ring you tread in your own style. Good luck.

This adventurous experience of yours provides a topic of conversation: “Were you there and beat the boss” is just one of the questions that always come up when you’re walking around the “Elden Ring”. Best of all: this usually results in a lively discussion and exchange of experiences and events. “Elden Ring” feels individual and personal. This welds the players together and generates powerful long-term motivation.

What does this mean for open world games?

Not every open world game has to be like “Elden Ring” in the future! No, we love variety and don’t want to go through fire all the time just to experience the sense of reward at the end. However, “Elden Ring” shows that even open-world games don’t have to be one-way street games to bring you home satisfied. Not everything has to be decided in advance, and sometimes it is precisely the unknown that creates special emotions and unusual moments in the game.

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“Elden Ring” is the future standard for open-world games as it breaks open-world formulas, reassembles and reinterprets them in “Souls” style. From the program it gives back to players what the genre actually suggests: freedom.

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Everything else – such as environmental storytelling thanks to its unique art style, “spirits” formula and long-standing motivation – builds on it. How big a trend created by “The Elden Ring” will be will likely only be seen in years. However, upcoming titles should live up to the “spirits” journey of software!

More Elden Ring news, column, opinion.

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