I’ve made it no secret that I personally am not interested in Elden Ring. However, a lot of readers took the statements made in previous coverage as evidence that I am rather familiar with the genre. As such, we have prepared a list of similar titles that will help sharpen your skills for the challenges you will face when Elden Ring launch day arrives later this week.
Elden Ring is the latest title from the studio that brought you Demon’s Souls, the Dark Souls series, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and many other lesser known titles. While I personally prefer the likes of Ninja Blade and the Armored Core series, there’s no denying that the studio’s modern output has a unique flavour. And so, what other titles have managed to not only replicate the formula, but do it well?
Elden Ring Launch Day
Elden Ring itself will launch later this week, 25th February 2022. The game will be available for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. A free upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version will be available for players who purchase Elden Ring on PlayStation 4, and SmartDelivery will be supported for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
So, without further ado, here’s the seven games you should be playing while you await your Elden Ring delivery…
Dark Souls II
An obvious first choice. Don’t worry, we’re not going to have Dark Souls and Dark Souls III take up additional slots on the list. Yet we would suggest that Dark Souls II is a great place to start. The second title in the series refined the formula into a shape that will be very familiar to anyone who’s set aside time on Elden Ring launch day. Dark Souls II is considered slightly superior to Dark Souls III by many fans, thanks to a more elaborate movement system in the latter that proved a little too unwieldy at times.
Definitely getting all of the obvious titles out of the way here. Bloodborne is another title made by FromSoftware. The environment differs a fair bit from that of the Dark Souls series, though still within the dark fantasy vein. Bloodborne features a more Gothic aesthetic, set in a Victorian-era inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft. The network of corridors and open spaces will likely be incomparable to the size of Elden Ring’s map. However it does offer a great insight into how FromSoftware builds its worlds.
Suprise! Hollow Knight is not a FromSoftware game. It is, however, one of the best Souls-like games around. Hollow Knight boasts enticingly dark cartoon world. Dangerous enemies and strategy-demanding boss fights make this indie platformer much more challenging than you might expect.
Nioh is one of a huge number of ‘me too’ Souls-like titles. Full of decaying, haunted environments. Battling tough monsters and challenging stamina management. However, this isn’t just another Dark Souls clone. Nioh has a big focus on gear an incremental updates. It also introduces a ‘stances’ mechanic that allows the player to define the speed of play, meaning Nioh‘s combat can be much quicker than the early Dark Souls titles.
Of all the Souls-like games available, Pascal’s Wager is arguably that which borrows most heavily from the FromSoftware template. In terms of combat, Pascal’s Wager has the same system of dodging and rolling, counter-strikes and stamina management. No one would argue that it’s the best Souls-like on the market, but the fact it’s available on a phone may interest some more than yet another console/PC title.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
While Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a very different beast to FromSoftware’s titles, it does feature some very punishing combat based on studying your opponents before reacting – especially on harder difficulty settings. Protagonist Senua takes on some of Norse mythology’s’ most hostile figures in an effort to make her way to Helheim, from which Elden Ring has reportedly also taken inspiration.
Closing out with our final FromSoftware titles! The remake of Demon’s Souls was actually made by Bluepoint Games in collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). The studio was later acquired by SIE to work on future ports. It seems their work was considered at least acceptable, then. Truth be told, despite being a remake, Demon’s Souls is still one of the best reasons you should get a PlayStation 5. The game boasts an incredibly detailed world running at 60fps in Performance Mode or 4K at 30fps in Cinematic Mode.
And that rounds up our list! I’m sure most of our readers have dabbled with one or two of the titles on this list, but are there any you’re going to try while you wait for Elden Ring launch day? Let us know in the comments below!