Read This Before Playing ELDEN RING
ELDEN RING is finally out, and we couldn't be more excited. I'm sure plenty of people pre-ordered the game in anticipation and got to enjoy the experience on day one. However, I'm here to tell you: Wait before you buy ELDEN RING.
So far, in my two hours of playthrough I've had a blast, fought tons of enemies, and I have already died 21 times (yes, I keep a death counter). It's safe to say that I'm enjoying the game a lot. That being said, I don't think everyone should purchase ELDEN RING just yet.
You see, despite how fun the game has been so far, one glaring issue remains: The PC port optimisation is absolute rubbish (kind of like me at the game). It isn't obvious throughout the beginning sequence; it isn't even obvious until you start fighting your first boss: Tree Sentinel. The game runs smoothly until it doesn’t, like when it's raining or the boss destroys world objects like trees. Once this happens, the game struggles hard; sometimes, it happens randomly with no particular prompt.
I'm not complicated; I'm patient for lag in games and I'm willing to lower resolution and graphics. You could argue that it's because I'm playing the game on a mid-range PC with an RTX 2080 and a Core i7 9700k, but I don't even play at 4K purely based on the fact that I don't see it. The game will either run completely smoothly for an entire fight or lag for around 5–10 seconds (which feels like 50 when fighting Tree Sentinel). The problem is, these frame drops can make the pixel-perfect dodges you need to fight some of the bosses borderline impossible and easily get you hit once or twice — often hits you can't afford taking to win the battle.
It's not infuriating to me, but I know some people have a very short tolerance for this type of thing, and that's okay! But if you are one of the less patient gamers that can't stand FPS dips or unfair deaths due to hardware issues, wait for an optimisation patch. The lag is very erratic and impossible to predict, making the already challenging bosses significantly more so, as the difficulty is affected by an outside source that wasn't taken into account when balancing them. Although I'm not saying that most of my deaths to Tree Sentinel were due to performance issues, I am saying that at least two or three were.
So, if you want to experience ELDEN RING to the fullest with minimal issues, perhaps wait for a performance patch to be released; there is no point in experiencing the game as it currently is, for the issues can be very disruptive. It’ll be more worth it down the line once the performance issues have been sorted, so if you can, save your money or playtime until the fix comes around.