Why would I never play Dark Souls and the Elden Ring myself | column

Why would I never play Dark Souls and the Elden Ring myself |  column

Will someone guide me through Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?

written by Sander Holsgens op

Almost all of my knowledge about Dark Souls and the Elden Ring comes from social media and scholarly articles. When I play the games myself, I embrace the beautiful art and myriad puzzles. But apart from some superficial explanations, I don’t like folklore and plot. And that’s fine: I prefer to learn from the experts.

In 2016, You Died: The Dark Souls Companion was published by game journalists Kizza MacDonald and Jason Killingsworth. In various articles, the authors try to find out why this series resonates so much with gamers. Is it just unforgivable difficulty? Is it in arcane mythology? Or is it an unusual multiplayer game?

You Died explains how and why so many players fall for Dark Souls: Fromsoftware’s games connect complex themes with special experiences. And because of the often implied theme, interpretations and analyzes abound. Dark Souls is about a Desperate nihilismA contemporary translation of Dante’s Infernothe ruthless fall of humanity? Or is it all a little less bad and the Dark Souls universe has it all Generous residentsAnd Helpful visitors And Light at the end of the tunnel?

I consider these writers, researchers, and video makers to be my tour guides. As experts and connoisseurs of experience, they highlight aspects of gaming that I just can’t get to. Without evidence, I note that Fromsoftware games are more than just challenging action games in an exciting setting: hackneyed textures, layered storytelling and a mysterious context also stand out to me. But after an hour playing on my own, I mainly need explanation and context. Where did all those Elden Ring gods come from? What are they standing for? What are the myths or culture behind these numbers?

The Elden Ring does a great job of hiding the answers to these questions. Tour guides – mostly streamers, researchers and journalists interested in Fromsoftware – help me learn about the game world. And perhaps most importantly, they share why gaming matters for them. The Elden Ring acts as a catalyst or interface to understanding how a wide range of players are dealing with personal and social issues. For Marcel Frogerique, it is a way to share his experience with neurodiversity; For Hamish Black, the Dark Souls theme provides a frame around file Stigmas surrounding depression to break.

Sheikh's ring

These interpretations and experiences confirm that games can be more than just an escape or entertainment – from a spiritual experience and exercise in discipline to personal development and self-expression. Time and again Fromsoftware succeeds in sparking this kind of experience among gamers. Because of this, I no longer play these titles as standalone products. I like to color my experience through a wide range of articles, videos, podcasts, and livestreams: the stories of Elden Ring players are at least as compelling as the game itself.

I prefer to play soul mates with these kinds of stories in mind. This gameplay caught my attention when I started playing Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty a week or two ago. The action game from developer Team Ninja has all the elements that appeal to me: challenging gameplay, stunning cinematography, a game world based on myths and folklore, and stories about the impact of power on social relations. the 61 international reviews on Metacritic Emphasize the quality of the game: Critics consider Wo Long to be the spiritual successor to the equally excellent Nioh.

My first impression of Wo Long was great. The game’s world design immediately became appealing, while the dialogues about corruption and lust for power set the tone. In addition, in an hour you will meet a final boss who will immediately demand the maximum of your abilities. All the ingredients are in place to make Wo Long a game that, like Elden Ring, will keep me busy for weeks.

Wu Long

But after about three days I noticed that my interest had stabilized. I needed media where other players would highlight what Wo Long means to them, but also criticism beyond whether this was a good game. It simply does not exist yet. Best analysis so far Technical explanation From Digital Foundry: It’s not about meaning here, it’s about resolution, frame rate, and audiovisual errors. Lu Long’s cultural criticism is evident by his absence.

In other words: I miss the tour guides. Without their experiences and insights, I could probably make my way through the wonderful world of Wo Long. But then I miss the stories, the anecdotes, and the analyzes that give the game the intersubjective meaning I’m looking for.

You have now targeted Wo Long from your hard drive. There’s a reminder on my calendar: On December 1st, I’m supposed to actually start the game. Meanwhile, I surf the web for sympathetic musings, critical analysis, and personal notes on Team Ninja’s translation of the Han Dynasty.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty was released on March 3, 2023 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC.

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