Elden Ring

Hands-on Impressions Of The Elden Ring Closed Network Test

Back when Elden Ring was first announced in 2019, the hype was off the charts. Mainly because it is being made by FromSoftware. This is the very same studio that is behind the acclaimed soulsborne franchise, known for the difficulty and skill required to overcome the challenges presented in their games. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was the studio’s last outing and what an outing that was!

Sekiro has been nominated for many game of the year awards and managed to bag tons of wins for itself as well! So people had their hopes and excitement through the roof, especially when a closed network beta was announced for content creators and a selected few individuals around the world. Well, we’ve managed to get our hands on this exclusive beta and this was our experience!

What Does The Elden Ring Closed Beta Have To Offer?

The beta has five playing sessions from 12th to 15th November. Each one is placed at a different time slot and allows the player to play the game for 3 hours. Even if you manage to attend each session that makes up for about 15 hours of total gameplay which is recommended if you want the fully immersive experience. The timings of some sessions are meant to facilitate people from other time zones throughout the world.

The beta gives us an extended look at the mechanics of the world and gameplay quirks such as the jump button and horseback combat which is seen for the first time in a FromSoftware game. Along with this, there is a new ashes of war mechanic which sort of acts as a weapon skill where it’s either imbued with magical power or performs a powerful charged attack.

Moreover, this is the first FromSoftware game to have an open world that allows exploring dungeons, vast plains, caverns and all sorts of terrain. Located in the open world are bosses or minibosses which now drop the ashes of war rather than ‘souls’ or ‘runes’ which are essential as they are used to level up!

The gameplay beta starts at the character selection, where you select a class to start in the world. The classes shown so far are Bloody Wolf, Enchanted Knight, Prophet, Champion and Warrior. I’m sure that there’ll be more when the game releases but for now these are the 5 classes available. Each class specializes in a specific attribute and is associated with that attribute you level up throughout the game for versatile character builds.

You start in a cave and venture out into the world where you come across your first sight of ‘grace’ which acts as a checkpoint, resting area to fill up your resources. You then can roam free in the world, tackling the barriers presented by the world in any possible order. You could visit the lake for a boss battle with Flying Dragon Agheel or could venture into a cave laden with ambushes and traps. The choice is entirely yours! That freedom that comes with exploring the world is the best feeling.

Final Thoughts

The vast majority of the playing session revolves around heavy exploration, finding materials and runes to level up your character and weapons. The challenge which awaits us at the end is a big showdown with Margit the Fell Omen who block your pathway to the other section of the world.

What the beta has to offer Is impressive, vast, grand in its scale and execution. Elden Ring is set for launch on 25th February 2022 for PC, and the old, next-gen consoles as well. This reminds me that this is as good a time as any to finally upgrade your pc gaming setup, add a new GPU or a racing gaming chair, just to get that edge to get the best out of your experience!

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