First things first, Iam a big souls/from fan, since Demons Souls on ps3 I have fallen in love for this games and have been playing them multiple times, SEKIRO and BLOODBORNE are my absolute favorites followed by DS REMAKE, DS3 AND 1 , AND FOR LAST DS2.
You can judge ELDEN RING in the souls category of games or you can judge by it's on merits, so Iam not here to say its a bad or even a average game because its not, its good as usual for FROM (including DS2), BUT! , as a lover of this type of games I just didnt liked what they did with Elden Ring and I would think and hope that the blame is because of the OPEN WORLD push and the choice to appeal finally to the mainstream and offer a more easy-to-swallow experience. So I will try to break some thing here for anyone the bothers to read.
GRAPHICS: after playing DS remake is difficult to embrace FROMs dated engine, it feels and screams last gen, even more that I had to play the ps4 version on PS5 for achieve the desired locked 60fps, but it is what it is and FROM games shines in level and art design, so no big deal but I hope we can see an upgraded engine for their next game.
Gameplay: as good as ever, so many choices, each one with their pros and cons, you can always feel the weight of the weapon you are using and how this affects the fights. From is king of gameplay and nothing comes close for me. I always play souls with a melee build favoring great/ultraswords and use very litte to zero magic.
The world: well it sucks, im sorry but I just hate this open world stick, it feels diluted, empty and repetitive, it is big ? Yeah sure.. so ? More is not equal to better, open world plagues this game and brings down the souls experience for me. And now in NG+, something that I always enjoyed, feels like a slog and I dont think I'll be able to enjoy my second run in any way.
THE CORE GAME PLAY/DIFFICULT/BOSSES: souls games are about exploration,lore,secrets, and building your character but in the end is all really about the challenges of facing difficult enemies and getting good to beat them, for ages people have been asking for an "easy mode" and this time from gave them, is not coincidence that people that long hated souls games are singing praises for Elden Ring as the "first souls game they can play and/or enjoy", the game is just bland and easy, sure you can choose not to develop your character, not upgrade your weapon and etc, and artificially create the difficult but thats not the way this games are meant to be played.
I can only blame the open world formula for this, not having a clear and linear way for progression made the developers loose the tightness and controlled balance of the game's difficulty.
The other thing is, its clear for me that From wanted to make the game friendly for casuals, without a clear "easy mode" they choose to put several itens (ashes of war for example) to facilitate the game, you can have for example h an exactly mimic high level character fight for you or along side you, and this is just one of many many helps you can get, and some will say " you just dont use that and its ok" well its not because again , because of this choice, FROM have to account for the difficult and balance of the game, you know people can use this so you will make your difficult boss fights balanced for that and in the end you have cheap difficult fights. And ill close with this
IT FEELS CHEAP ! DARK SOULS 2 CHEAP
Since DS2 i have never seen From make the bosses so cheap, the difficult of well thought bosses of the last games is substituted for bosses with 6 hit no defense, no scape, ultra stamina never ending combos, so the game is hard afterall??? NOPE!! the game is cheap, and is screaming for you to use the "special itens" they gave to you for win, and well, you use, and ?? Becames easy as beat a mario game on auto, just sit and watch the bosses been melted away.
So with the open world and appeal to mainstrean, the balance and tightness of souls/from games was lost, and for me the fun of the game was lost, becoming empty and soulless (no pun intended).
For the first time I dont think Ill finish an NG+ (I did 4 runs at least for DS2) and this for me is just sad.
Iam really heappy for all that loved this game, and happy for the new fans that could for the first time enjoy Miyazaki great franchise, it can be the best game of all time, but for me it didnt work and I really hope that this stays its on thing, its on series, and dont become all From and Miyazaki do from now on.
Cheers my friends, have a nice day and thanks for anyone that took the time to read all this.
Good games for you all