The final stretch of Elden Ring makes the first 100 hours look like a vacation

Elden Ring is the most welcoming game in the increasingly broad Souls franchise, but it’s still capable of the same punishment that FromSoftware’s previous games are known for. Where the likes of Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice hid their most daunting challenges in DLC and add-on content, Elden Ring pushes most of its nightmares to the depths and edges of its world, safely tucked away as optional content reserved for players looking to test themselves. Meanwhile, the Lands Between gives you plenty of space to pursue greener pastures if you find yourself stuck on one boss. Elden Ring’s critical path feels comparatively tame as a result – that is, until you get to the end, when FromSoftware takes the gloves off and throws you right into the boss rush blender.

Death (and spoilers) ahead

Elden Ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

The last act of Elden Ring reminds me of the final mission of Metro Exodus. In both cases, we see games shed their newfound open-world approach and double down on the more linear encounters that their franchises are known for. For Metro Exodus, that’s underground shootouts in abandoned tunnels. For Elden Ring, that’s boss after boss putting you on the ass end of an ass-kicking with absolutely no breaks.

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