Onerat Games have done well to dish out a game that has a great balance of artistic visuals, eerie soundtracks, challenging combat and a mysterious yet strong sense of adventure with Elden: Path of the Forgotten.
Pushing the start button, you’re instantly thrown into the mix of things without actually knowing what’s going on. Presumably, the story is about trying to find your mother who has fallen into some sort of summoning portal? Well that’s all I could really go off since there isn’t really any kind of narrative or backstory to help you understand a clear plotline.
The main thing that really pops out at you in this game is that you learn as you go. Now be warned, there is no English dialogue in this game instead there is a strange alien language that is supposedly based on a real language. However this language isn’t deciphered throughout the entire game, so you’re kind of left puzzled all the way through as to what is being said and displayed across the screen of the game. It does take away from the game a bit because you feel left in the dark and have to waste time trying to figure out what does what because you don’t understand the alien language. I think the developers really hit the nail on the head when they say this game is like, “Reading an illustrated book in a language you don’t understand.”
I found this mildly annoying at times mainly because I’d complete something and then would have no idea what had I had just solved or opened. I guess that’s all part of the adventure, that you just go with it and hope that you can figure it out. It’s the same with using potions and items, and trying to figure out what each one does, you don’t really have clear understanding until you use the item.
This game does require a lot of strategical gaming and smart decision execution. Enemies and bosses have certain skill sets and methods to defeating, so don’t go into this thinking you can just hack ‘n’ slash everything. In similar fashion that resembles Dark Souls, every move you make must be thought through first before executing. Evade and slash is the best method of combat, but if you’re caught in close combat, swords are your best friends. For heavier damage your axe is key, and well if you want to keep safe distance while doing damage, a spear is best. However, don’t think that you can keep slashing forever because stamina plays a key part in combat. Run out of that and you open yourself up for some serious damage, so make sure you use your attacks wisely. Magic can also be a last resort once unlocked and can turn the tide in tricky situations. This method of combat does make you appreciate the game more as it really challenges the gamer to really take time to think about their gaming method, which is something I enjoy. The key elements of this game is exploration and combat, so if your wanting a strong story driven game, then this is probably not the game for you.
What really stands out is the beautiful pixel indie art setting, I know its overly used but I love the whole sense of playing in a painting. The vibrant colours and settings really draw you in, and not to mention the amazing soundtrack really sets the stage perfectly and amplifies the overall gaming experience.
Although the game has an average 3-4 hour completion time depending on your playing style, I really enjoyed exploring every aspect of this game, and also enjoyed the challenging combat it provided. Apart from not understanding the alien language and having to spend some extra time trying to figure out the mechanics of the game, once down-patted, it really does become an enjoyable experience.
If you’re up for some strong sense of adventure, exploration, challenging fights and unique combat then this is a game worth looking into and having as part of the indie game collection.
Elden: Path of the Forgotten is available now on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, XBox One and PC.