HAVE A VIDEO YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON OUR PAGE?

Submit Video

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Elden Ring: A second journey through The Lands Between is just what I needed

Dan Lipscombe

Published 
| Last updated 

Elden Ring: A second journey through The Lands Between is just what I needed

Featured Image Credit: FromSoftware

When Elden Ring was first released I bought a copy straight away. I did this even though I had bounced off several Soulslike games, not out of dislike for them, but more because my creaking age reduced my once decent hand-eye coordination.

Advert

I’d managed to hit the halfway point of Dark Souls 2 before putting it aside; I finished its follow-up miraculously, and Bloodborne has been bested a couple of times. Smough and Ornstein prevented my completion of the original Dark Souls and anytime I tried a Soulslike, dedicated to loving it, I soon had to face the fact that I just wasn’t very good at them.

And yet.

I threw myself into Elden Ring with devotion and wild abandon, because I knew it would be “An Unmissable Open-World Masterpiece.” I chose a magic build because I do so rarely in other RPGs and The Lands Between was not kind to me. Not because I wielded a staff, but because my thumbs didn’t want to cooperate. I couldn’t dodge enemies while casting spells, the deaths began to grind on me after countless hours of trying to ‘get good’. I sold my copy after about a week and decided I’d try to steer clear of the genre from then on.

Advert

Fast forward to last week and a couple of my colleagues here at GAMINGbible.

Malenia
Malenia

The DLC trailer was coming, my workmates were happy and discussing their love for Elden Ring and I got struck by FOMO. I decided, maybe foolishly, to buy the game again and give it another go. Perhaps, fuelled by their enthusiasm, I would push on through the difficulty and be successful. The verdict is still out on that as I’m only 15 hours into this new adventure, but I’ve noticed some differences, namely in my enjoyment.

Advert

While I did enjoy a lot of my first playthrough, it was short-lived as the deaths stacked up. I’m dying a lot less in this try, but even when I do get thwacked by an enemy or boss and end up back at a site of grace, my reaction is one of indifference rather than rage. Perhaps, as my fingers break down as I get older, my patience extends.

I once again chose a mage for the playthrough. I spent the first few hours working my way out to Aeonia Swamp by running Torrent ragged, dodging between enemies and kiting them miles from their stomping grounds. I knew the swamp held the Meteorite Staff and this weapon would make the first third of the game significantly easier. I grabbed the staff after the long journey through biomes, also grabbing the Rock Sling spell from nearby, and then fast travelled back to Limgrave to properly start my journey.

My first port of call was Margit who, with just a few waves of my staff, crumbled in one attempt. I was happy but didn’t get my hopes up too high. I knew Elden Ring could bring me back down with a thud. I texted my workmate Sam, our Soulslike expert, and asked him where I should go next and I realised another reason why I was enjoying the game so much this time round - the wealth of knowledge.

Advert
Miquella
Miquella

While I enjoy discovering things in games along with the rest of the player base, there’s something delightful in looking up build guides, asking friends for directions, or watching 90 minutes of lore videos on YouTube. I wasn’t alone in this journey, I had someone on the sidelines coaching me, I could seek out the best places to visit as a mage, or I could play on my Steam Deck while I listened to the calming tones of a deep dive video.

I am now looking forward to Shadow of the Erdtree, even though I still have lots of the main game in my future, and I’ve spent many hours since the trailer dropped researching Miquella, the possible origins of Messmer, and how The Land of Shadow connects to the world above through Miquella’s cocoon. Honestly though, even if I don’t finish this playthrough for whatever reason, my fondness for the game has increased from this revisit and I can’t get enough.

Advert

Yes, I’ve only played for around 15 hours and there is pain in my future, but for now, I’m enjoying Elden Ring more than I thought I possibly could. I’m looking forward to my couple of hours of playtime each evening - tucked up in bed because the Steam Deck runs Elden Ring like a dream - and I’m very attached to my little mage who is so tenacious in her moving forward.

Topics: Dark Souls, Elden Ring, Fromsoftware

Dan Lipscombe
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion just got a huge fan expansion you can download free

7 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read