Most of the negative comments/reviews you see for Elden Ring are there simply to upset, harass or anger the people who love the game. There are sociopaths and bored people floating around the Internet, they see something that many people like, and they delight in tearing it down.
With that said, you only seem to see glowing reviews for the game or horrible teardowns. We all know why the game is brilliant and why it deserves its place in gaming history. However, there are some problems with Elden Ring, some of which may never be patched simply because they are buried too deep into the game’s infrastructure.
This article isn’t out to upset Elden Ring players or give negative trolls more fodder. This article simply suggests some of the areas where Elden Ring could be genuinely criticized.
There Are Too Many Weapon
If you have just bounced over from Bloodborne, then you may feel there are too many weapons in the game. Saying there are too many seems a little unfair, so let’s address the real problem, there is no easy way to know which weapon you actually want. It would be easier if there were fewer weapons so that you could easily experiment with each and perhaps make your choice more carefully. There are companies making good money selling Elden Ring items like powered-up weapons, simply because people want to play around with high-level weapons and experiment a little.
Many of the move sets are very similar, if not identical, and many of the weapons are similar with only the tiniest variations. A good example of this is the scythe weapons. There are only four, and each is so subtly different that it takes a lot of experimenting to figure out which is the best for your build. What’s more, they change a little as you level them up, which makes it even harder to figure out which is best for you without a weapon calculator.
If they had trimmed down the weapon numbers, and perhaps made them more customizable instead, then people may not feel that there are too many weapons.
Too Many Repeated Bosses
This is a tricky one to address because, on the one hand, you can understand why some people feel this is lazy. On the other hand, there are times when awesome bosses are a little too easy, and part of you wants to take them on again but with more of a challenge. To From Soft’s credit, they do power up their repeated bosses, often with bigger move sets and more varied magic and attacks. They don’t resort to simply beefing up the health bar and damage bar.
There is also the fact that some players want to take down the same sorts of bosses because they know what to expect from them. If every boss is a nightmare to learn and master, then it makes for a more interesting game but does interrupt the flow of a person’s feeling of progress.
Too many repeated bosses is a legitimate criticism, and they could have eliminated some of the dungeons with repeated bosses, but that is not the direction they chose.
Too Many Repeated Enemies
Ooooh, this is a tricky one to address because it is true that there are enemies littered around the game that are almost identical. Some may have stronger attacks and more health, but there are many similar enemies around the massive Elden Ring map.
The problem with addressing this criticism is that it is both right and okay. When games try to ramp up the difficulty by simply spawning more of the copy-pasted enemies, it is known as artificial difficulty, and it has the potential to negatively affect the gameplay, especially in a game like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla when the same camps are repeated over and over again. There are areas of Elden Ring where perhaps there are too many copy-pasted enemies (like the underground areas in Siofra River that are loaded with those pointless slow-moving rock diggers who drop very little of interest).
On the other side of that argument, there are many areas where the enemy placement seems both natural and okay. For example, there is the Windmill Village with a bunch of copy-pasted jerks dancing around and not attacking you. However, it seems to work well in context, and it is not like they are also copy-pasted in dungeons, on giant planes, and on beaches.
Are there too many repeated enemies? Perhaps so, especially in areas where it isn’t worth fighting them. On the other hand, there is a fair amount of enemy variety and the copy-pasted enemies are mostly positioned in areas where their existence/presence there would make sense.
The PVP is a Mess
Let’s start with an old Souls complaint, but why can’t they make it easier to understand the cooperative and PVP mechanics. Even after reading all the in-game tips and watching YouTube videos, it is very difficult for a newbie (or even an intermediate) to fully understand how PVP and cooperative play works. This is especially jarring when you come from a game like FarCry 5 (not counting FarCry 6 because it is a poor FarCry 3 re-skin), where FarCry 5 makes cooperative play easy, to a place where you need to use fingers to see signs, to call people or join people or invade. They could have made it a lot easier.
Of all the criticisms, the PVP being a mess is perhaps the most valid. There are several ways the PVP is a mess. From the AFK farmers who are now able to use glitches to make themselves invulnerable. The matchmaking that puts a new player up against two people partnered as level 10 and level 120. The sheer number of ways that people can exploit the system to benefit from other people’s misery is staggering, and if that were not bad enough, you can’t opt-out of invasions.
Once you agree to have people cooperate in your game, then you can be invaded, and there is no way to turn it off without playing offline. This means you spend much of your time waving your finger to send people home because you don’t fancy being invaded today. The sad part is that From Software is going to find it almost impossible to make PVP fair without neutering it completely.
The Bugs and Glitches
Here is a tricky one to address because there is a large portion of the player base who adore the glitches and bugs. In fact, some of the highlights of the game are those moments where things went a bit squiffy. When Mogh suddenly decides to stand still for no reason, or when the Knight flies through a window and kills himself, or when you shoot that rot bird and he runs off the edge. There are times when you are playing and the odd bug or glitch makes the game more fun, interesting, and memorable.
Though, since this article is addressing criticisms, it is very frustrating for speedrunners and no-hit runners to have hours of their work smashed because of a bug. This is especially true when they are learning the boss attacks and the boss timing glitches and the hitbox doesn’t follow the model. In these cases, one can understand people’s frustrations at the glitches.
In a pretty unexpected move, From Software has been patching a massive number of glitches, bugs, and pop-in problems. They are not even reporting all the ones they are fixing, they are just doing it. What is more interesting is that they seem to be using YouTube videos to identify problems, glitches, and bugs because there are epic numbers of YouTube videos that showcase glitches and bugs that have since vanished. That is why many of the exploits, especially the traversal exploits, are disappearing. It is why many of the rune-farming tricks seem to disappear. There are bugs and glitches, and if you don’t love them, then at least take comfort in the fact that From Soft is slowly smoothing out their game. Let’s just hope they don’t remove them all.