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With how much Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel seems to be enjoying Elden Ring, we shouldn't be surprised if his next new project after Queen's Wish features plenty of experimental ideas and inventive systems. And I, for one, am all for it. But in the meantime, we can check out another one of his blog posts dedicated to FromSoftware's latest action-RPG.
It touches on the game's shockingly high completion rate, its perceived level of difficulty, some of its issues and how developers should approach dealing with them, and more. Here's an excerpt to get you started:
I've already written about Elden Ring. It's such a big, unique, popular game that not picking it apart a bit is game-writer malpractice.
Even if you hate From Software games, and many do, if you care about game design as an art, it's worth a good look. It's such a big, successful title, with so much strangeness, that there's a lot to learn. Even its mistakes are fascinating.
Elden Ring Is Undeniable
Elden Ring has had massive sales.
The people who bought it liked it. The retention rate for this game is incredibly good. Almost 40% of players beat Malenia, the toughest boss in the game, who is way in the back in a secret dungeon. Normally, a game is considered amazing if 40% of players play it for more than a few hours.
It also got good reviews, for what that's worth.
It's a strange, jagged, extremely challenging game, but masses of people bought it and loved it. That means that Elden Ring is undeniable. A huge segment of the gaming public is saying, "This is weird, but we LIKE it."
Games like this are a treasure, because they are a valuable reality check. It's all great for writers to blog and tweet and proclaim what the "True meaning of vidya gaems" is, but Elden Ring is a chance to compare our musings with actual, you know, reality.
NOTE: The lessons to be learned are positive ones. As in, it says that developers are ALLOWED to do a certain thing, not that they HAVE to do it. So if you don't like this sort of game, you're safe. The huge success of titles like this helps expand the window of what can be considered.