I, like many other people that enjoy the pastime of video gaming, have been deeply enthralled by FromSoftware’s new game Elden Ring over the past few weeks. So many different parts of the game are incredible. A world that’s not only vast and endlessly explorable, but dense with discoveries over that expanse. A challenging and thoughtful combat system that allows truly varied playstyles and strategies. Incredible art design, from the smallest strangest peons and animals to bosses occupying the entirety of a vast cavern. Music that always equals if not enhances the experiences offered by all the other variables.

But there is one thing I enjoy in Elden Ring above all else. One thing that causes a calm smile to cross my face every time I remember it. And that is that I do not have to repair my f**king weapon. Not once. It is my trusted partner in adventure and it wants for nothing except blood. It doesn’t whine for me to halt my hero’s journey to find a weird dwarf or an unattended whetstone. It simply carves apart demigods with quiet resolve and without a whine to be heard.

At some point in game design, someone in a boardroom somewhere got the word “immersive” on their daily vocab calendar and from there, it was decided that the more you felt like you were truly the protagonist, the better. A lot of the results of this were cool and interesting. Until a line was crossed, a line where some absolute nerd ass was like “the one thing that is missing from this epic tale of heroes is the part where he’s doing chores.”

FromSoftware

My character and his sword, as sharp as the day he pulled it from a corpse's hand.

People love to discuss “realism” along with the aforementioned “immersiveness” in games, but we all know that what we really mean is “selective realism.” In Elden Ring, if you’re walking through a pool of poison and you roll, the poison gets all over your clothes and continues to infect you unless you use soap. That is sick. It informs how I play the game and adds a level to certain encounters, especially when the roll-dodge is an essential part of combat that has now become perilous if I’m fighting in certain environments. Weapon repair is the equivalent of thinking that it’s weird that Batman never pees during the movies.

You’re not making my sword dull, you’re making my whole experience dull. This is not exciting realism! Does anyone think the battle of Helm’s Deep would have been cooler and more immersive if Aragorn had been yelling “My sword is getting slightly duller and less effective! Guard me while I use a whetstone!” If my sword is imbued with the power of lightning and ghosts let’s just assume the enchanter threw a self-sharpening spell on there. It would be a courtesy, like when a website throws a sticker in with your order.

So, from the deepest part of my heart, thank you Elden Ring. I award you 10/10 and 100/100 durability.

Top Image: FromSoftware

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