Ian and I were talking the other day about how I was difficult to recommend games to because I was very picky about games. Not only that–it’s difficult even for me to tell what I will and won’t like before playing the game. Well, more what I will like. I am usually very good about knowing what I won’t like, but even in that I can be surprised from time to time. Such as The Surge by Deck13 Interactive. I was expecting it to be trash and to hate it (but I had to try it because it’s a soulslike and it’s in my contract). While the former is mostly true, the latter was not. Maybe it was because I had such low expectations of it, but I quite enjoyed my time with it and finished it–which is more than I can say for the vast majority of soulslikes.
Anyway! Ian joked that it was easy to tell what game I would like–actual Souls games. That made me laugh. He’s not wrong, though, and WHY ISN’T ELDEN RING IN MY HANDS ALREADY??? *Ahem* I keep thinking I’ll like soulslikes, but I…don’t. Or more truthfully, I mostly don’t. There have been a few exceptions, but the ratio is dismal. I’ve tried dozens of soulslikes and have really enjoyed two. The aforementioned The Surge and Salt and Sanctuary by Ska Studios. Having said that, there are qualifiers. I enjoyed The Surge, but it was very much in the vein of ‘this is way better than I thought it’d be so I’m pleasantly surprised’. As for Salt and Sanctuary, it’s a slavish homage to Souls and while I enjoyed playing it, I immediately forgot it once I was done. Ask me to name a single boss in either game and I can’t.
So, yeah. I don’t like soulslikes–I like Souls games. Some people are grumbling that Elden Ring is going to be basically Dark Souls IV. Which, it’s not, but if it were, I’m all over that! I’ve watched the trailer at least a half-dozen times since it dropped and I get stoked every time. I want this to be good sooooooo bad. I’m trying not to get too hyped because I don’t want to be crushingly disappointed, but this game excites me like none other in recent years. I feel for Miyazaki because there is so much pressure on him (well, FromSoft in general, but he IS FromSoft) to produce the perfect game every time. He got almost universal praise for Bloodborne, but there has been some amount of pushback for all his other games*.