My Favourite New Addition to ELDEN RING
With the release of ELDEN RING, many were curious to know how some of the systems in soulslike titles were going to be introduced into an open-world map, as well as curious to see how exactly the world would unfold. I, personally, was excited to see how I felt about the open-world setting, as I have always experienced contempt with them. One of the main reasons why I was afraid of the release for ELDEN RING was that this new map and setting would prevent me from enjoying the title.
As I explored the Lands Between, I found that the open-world map wasn't so bad and I enjoyed the approach that the game had taken with some of the common mechanics in open-world games, such as quests and dungeons. Seeing how many new things and approaches ELDEN RING had, I pondered for a while for which of the numerous additions to the game were my favourites, and the answer was undeniable.
You see, ELDEN RING brought in a lot of features; not only did the game incorporate many systems from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice such as stealth and posture, but it also changed them to fit the general style. And as I played — and gushed — with many of them, there wasn't a question in my mind: I absolutely loved the addition of horseback gameplay.
I'm not saying that the other systems incorporated into the title aren't great, as each and every one of them fit incredibly well into the gameplay. But, if I had to choose one singular new mechanic that I love, it would be without a doubt the horseback gameplay.
Riding on Torrent's back was easily one of the greatest highlights of the game, even though I didn't get to mention it in my review. That said, as I wrote the review, I knew in my heart I'd write an entire article about it.
So, why do I love it so much? Open-world exploration whilst mounted on the back of Torrent is an absolute joy, as he can double jump and often reach higher places that you normally couldn't when unmounted. A big reason why I've come to enjoy ELDEN RING's open world was actually because of how fun it is to run around and see every nook and cranny with Torrent. Sure, exploration may be fantastic due to the mount, but the real bread and butter? Horseback combat.
Not once in a game have I ever gotten on a horse, fought, and thought it wasn't clunky. Yet, ELDEN RING's incorporation of horseback battles are some of my favourite encounters in the game. Torrent moves swiftly and effortlessly through the battlefield, and fighting gargantuan creatures means that you can use their own size to your advantage, such as going between their legs and hitting them to avoid standing in front of them too long. Sure, fighting whilst mounted on Torrent trivialises some fights and I — unfortunately — ended up fighting some of these battles on foot because I didn't want to breeze through them; however, I can't wait to revisit those battles and do them the intended way.
Fighting behemoths isn't the only thing that is fun to kill whilst on horseback, as fighting lesser mobs feels the best it ever has, and battles against other mounted enemies are easily some of my favourite fights in games. I'd originally experienced this form of combat with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess — although I really wished it had been better — then again in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and although I liked that one more, it still felt uncomfortable to manoeuvre. But when I first fought a giant in ELDEN RING whilst mounted on Torrent, I felt glee. Suddenly, I wanted to fight everything whilst on horseback. Finally, I experienced a "jousting match" with the Night's Cavalry, and I just knew that this was my favourite new addition to the game.
What about you? What was your favourite addition to ELDEN RING? I thought that the choice was going to be significantly harder, but I found that, undeniably, the horseback combat and gameplay were some of my favourite aspects of the game. So, feel free to tell me in the comments below! I can't wait to hear what everyone else loves.