FromSoftware games are known across the gaming industry for their cryptic and deep worlds, and the studio’s latest release, elden ring, is no exception. These games invite players to learn the story and lore, not through walls of text or extended conversations with NPCs, but through the world itself. Of course, this means that it’s important to strike a balance between player exploration and storytelling to find surroundings.
elden ring in particular is designed so. However, this game takes its environmental storytelling to another level, mastering the balancing act of exploring and understanding the environment through an open world. The entire environment is intentionally designed to add to the overall narrative of the game.
From the first step into Limgrave, players will see ruins. elden ringThe world of , The Lands Between, has experienced a cataclysm known as Shattering. The world is suffering as a result of this great war between demigods, and the devastation is visible everywhere. The landscape is dotted with ruined villages, collapsed churches and devastated cities, allowing the player to really feel the history of this world. It’s nothing new to gaming, but it’s the way to go elden ring uses its environmental storytelling that sets it apart from other games.
Players can gain deep insights into the history of the world by looking around. A formula that emerges from the Dark Souls The series is implemented here in a massive open world where story progression is an important aspect that must remain consistent across unfettered exploration. No matter which path players choose first, whether it leads straight to Caelid or Raya Lucaria, the story will unfold before them. So it fits perfectly into the overarching narrative of The Shattering. Players can see a once-beautiful academy driven insane in Raya Lucaria, and a corrupt and rotting landscape tainted by war in Caelid.
Of course, these landscapes are also reflections of the story bosses. For example, facing Margit the Fell Omen is symbolic because of the environment in which the player fights him. The combat that takes place on the bridge to enter Castle Stormveil is important because as the player follows a linear path forward, Margit presents a real challenge first. The bridge is the transition from one ascending storyline to the rest of the story, and Margit is the obstacle that players must overcome.
elden ring intentionally reflects the player’s journey through level design. Where Margit and Stormveil represent the player’s growth from villain to adventurer, climbing the Earth Tree represents the rise to heroism. In addition, the capital around the Earth Tree itself tells a story of war and failure. Environmental cues like dead soldiers, wrecked siege equipment, and demolished buildings all show the weight of the crushing and show that not even the capital was safe.
Where other games explain a setting by description or NPC explanation, elden ring interweaves its history with its places. Nothing is placed where it is purely by accident or for aesthetic reasons. The area surrounding the Lands Between Both asks – and often answers – the question of what happened here.
More than anything, elden ringAmbient storytelling is an effective way to keep the player engaged. It’s about discovering and asking questions that can be developed in a playful way. Where a player may spot a pile of corpses or wrecked wagons, a dragon may be lurking right in front of them. This concept applies to small events as much as it does to the main story.
Of course, players opt out of environmental storytelling elden ring what they type. Those who would rather walk through areas than look for clues to history or lore are likely to be missing out. However, players who care about uncovering story elements will find everything around them in the Lands Between.
elden ring uses its world to tell its deep story in a way unlike any other game. It masters a fusion of environment, symbolism and player exploration. It is within this merging elden ring masters the art of ecological storytelling. From locations to characters, each new area in Lands Between tells a story; the player just has to search to find it.