The story in Elden Ring is awful and ruins the game - Reader’s Feature (2024)

A reader is frustrated by FromSoftware’s approach to storytelling and explains why he’s not playing new release Shadow Of The Erdtree.

Shadow Of The Erdtree is out this week and I’m really not sure I’m going to get it. It’s had amazing reviews and I definitely enjoyed parts of Elden Ring, but I also found other parts extremely irritating, namely the storytelling. I have no idea what was going on in the game and speaking to others it’s clear I’m not the only one. It’s so bad it’s put me off playing any of From’s other games and the DLC.

For those that don’t know, there is very little in the way of cut scenes or plot in Elden Ring. There’s an intro, that’s basically a fantasy world word salad, and some dialogue with characters but none of it is given any context and you’re left to work out what’s going on by reading item descriptions, of all things.

These still don’t make it clear though and after reading about how involved the fan community is I started reading wikis and watching YouTube videos. As interesting as it all was there’s still no real consensus as to what’s going on, with everything described as ‘possibly meaning this’ or ‘maybe meaning that.’

The thing that gets me is that it’s not even really clear what the Elden Ring is. Not only that but it’s not even presented as a secret or some amazing reveal, it’s just this ambiguous magic object that can do… things.

Why you want to be the Elden Lord is never explained, who you are is never explained, it’s not even made clear what a tarnished is. I find this frustrating but what’s worse is that it’s all information the character you’re playing as would know. It isn’t a mystery to them, only to you the player. Other things in the game are a mystery, sure, but not the basics of what’s going on and what your mission is.

Things get even worse if you’re trying to do some of the side quests, where you might as well make up your own story for all the difference it’ll make. Again, I read the supposed explanations and I’m both none the wiser and I have no idea how they make some of their deductions.

It doesn’t affect the gameplay, sure, and I’m not someone that demands complex stories in all my games. If it’s a straight action game, I don’t want to be stopping all the time for 10 minute long cut scenes. But that’s not what Elden Ring is like. There is some really complex lore there, but the game won’t explain any of it and it’s all so mixed up I’m not convinced it makes sense even to the developers.

I did beat Elden Ring but, just as I imagined, the ending explained nothing and whatever pride I felt at defeating the final boss was quickly diminished by not knowing what the heck I had just done and why.

From what I can see the DLC is about a character that is barely in the first game and is maybe a prequel? And it seems like it’s going to retcon things by adding in even more characters? I’m not really sure and to be honest I’m not sure I really care.

I don’t want to spend another 60 hours beating a game only to understand less about what’s going on than I started. No one wants to be spoon-fed information like a dummy but take it too far in the other direction and, in my opinion, it just all becomes meaningless nonsense.

By reader Gadfly

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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The story in Elden Ring is awful and ruins the game - Reader’s Feature (2024)


What is the point of Elden Ring story? ›

The story of your Tarnished character is to fight through the world and try to gather Great Runes to become Elden Lord--but that simplified explanation belies the fact that you're taking part in the war between various political factions and a bunch of nameless gods, all of whom are vying to control the Lands Between.

Is there anything inappropriate in Elden Ring? ›

There's no dismemberment or gore. The enemies are not humans (but two late game bosses are). The only thing that gives this game a higher rating is the fact that it is for the mature. If you get easily angry or give up quickly it's probably not for you.

What mythology is Elden Ring based on? ›

The Celtic influence extends beyond mere allusions to King Arthur. The demigods that form the core pantheon of Elden Ring are reminiscent of the main Irish mythological figures — the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Is Elden Ring really a masterpiece? ›

Despite its faults, Elden Ring is a masterpiece. Perhaps one that will decay and wither over the years as its faults are explored and refined in future games, but a work of art that will stand the test of time.

How many hours is Elden Ring story mode? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Elden Ring is about 59½ Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 133 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

How many endings does Elden Ring have? ›

There are currently six known endings to Elden Ring, with the Age of Fracture considered to be the standard ending. The other five are achieved by completing side quests from various NPCs you will have encountered in the Lands Between.

What is the overall goal of Elden Ring? ›

While the main goal of your character appears to be fueled by returning from exile to become an Elden Lord, Miyazaki has hinted that your reasons and actions for doing so can be shaped by the player, and may configure into how you will interact with various NPCs, and perhaps even choose an ending.

Is Elden Ring evil? ›

In Elden Ring, characters are morally unscrupulous, with evil intentions driven by power and malice, leading to dark quests and twisted outcomes. NPCs like White Mask Varre, Rykard, Godrick, and Preceptor Selvius showcase sinister motives, from sacrificing to grafting body parts for power.

Can you be bad in Elden Ring? ›

Elden Ring is game that emphasizes free will to the point that it gives players the opportunity to be evil, and there are certain choices that are particularly diabolical.

Is Elden Ring creepy? ›

The world of Elden Ring is a pretty scary place. If it's not some white-masked dude accusing you of being maidenless it's a giant golden knight trying to take your head off or an even bigger dragon swooping in to eat you and a bunch of zombies.

Who is God in Elden Ring? ›

Obviously, the main god-like being of Elden Ring is The Greater Will—it's a lot like The Force in Star Wars in a way. It's a power that's always there and that some can draw on or communicate with, but not everyone.

What is the main religion in Elden Ring? ›

Using the Golden Order, a religious power, as an in-game parallel to Christianity portrayed in a way similar to as depicted in Dante's Inferno, Elden Ring uses the interactions of the Golden Order with the other religions it places to form a cohesive world that merges all these different sects.

Is Elden Ring based off Berserk? ›

It was clear from the very beginning that Elden Ring is chock-full of Berserk references. Whether that be the fact that the Erdtree itself is so clearly inspired by Berserk's World Spiral Tree or the fact that you can obtain a greatsword that looks almost identical to Guts'.

Does Elden Ring deserve Best Narrative? ›

The recent announcement that Elden Ring was nominated for Best Narrative at The Game Awards has caused many mixed reactions across gaming spaces, especially considering the competition. Elden Ring is an interesting choice when put up against its more traditional peers, but it does deserve the award.

Is Elden Ring writing good? ›

Elden Ring has been nominated for Best Narrative at The Game Awards, and this has a lot of people perplexed.

Does Elden Ring have an actual story? ›

The basics of the Elden Ring story are that the Lands Between were blessed by the Greater Will (a type of unknowable god obsessed with order over chaos), who sent down the Elden Ring – a magical object of great power that isn't actually a ring to wear, but it changed the Lands Between according to its whims.

Is Elden Ring a confusing game? ›

The game is just so difficult its hard to enjoy and the story doesn't make any sense. I came out into Limgrave and spent an hour trying to defeat the Tree Sentinel before referring a guide which let me know I am not supposed to face him until much later when I have levelled up.

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