◉◉maru I haven’t reached any of the big plot areas, which I was assuming would have a more traditional design, but yeah, so far the minicaves I have encountered haven’t been too elaborate.
It’s a strange feeling because while at a purely rational level there are numerous differences that makes this very unlike the traditional Souls (jumping, horse, having a map, stealth), but on the moment to moment gameplay I don’t feel them in a significant way. My brain tells me I’m playing Dark Souls 4 and I’m enjoying it but I don’t see this as a significant break from the formula as Bloodborne or Sekiro were.
If I had to offer a reason I think it’s due how the exploration and the relationship with the environment works on DkS 1-3 (not so much Demon’s due to the separated worlds structure). The non-linearity, lack of guidance and freedom to tackle the game/sequence break it already offered a “open-world like” experience, weird as it might be to say, at least in terms of figuring the environment out, methodically exploring and finding secret areas, and freedom in what/how you decide to engage with at any given moment. I think this is more clearly visible in the more open ended areas of the older titles, think for example Izalith or Blighttown in Dark Souls 1, or Farron Keep in Dark Souls 3. Elden Ring is immediately bigger and more directionless, but that’s the thing, I don’t see myself engaging with the game in a different way compared to the other titles, and all the skillset I’ve developed playing Souls games applies here without friction. There hasn’t been any need to adjust or change how I approach this game compared to the other Souls titles.
With that said, though, this is clearly a huge and extremely long game, so I’m open to surprises, changes of pace, etc.
treefroggy I don’t want to start anything here but you are starting to sound a bit gatekeepy with all the “everyone who doesn’t get all the older From references is stupid”. It’s awesome you are getting enjoyment out of the game that way but I feel there is a less abrasive and condescending way to express it… That said, I do get the feeling of annoyance and frustration at hollow and surface level readings of a thing I care for but, at the very least, this is one of the communities less likely to step on that particular puddle, I think!
They don’t elaborate too much on it but I’ve seen some reviews pointing at the connection with King’s Field, like this one from Dia Dacina for Paste magazine, so at the very least it’s not something 100% unnoticed. For me, the King’s Field experience is so inseparable from the slow pacing, methodical movement and tank like combat that it’s hard for me to relate Elden to those games, but I do think it’s cool to see them realizing the relevance of their legacy and trying to highlight it in the context of their extremely hot new game.