In Elden Ring, the Struggle Feels Real

In the last two years, the epidemic has brought us many works of art that have tried to capture the struggle of humanity for sure. It was a movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio turned pink as he screamed at the top of his lungs so people could see a comet rushing towards Earth. It was on his nose that he provoked a little thought: Yes, we are divided, possibly destructive. What’s that

No medium has come close enough to cover our situation as fully as video games. In the beginning, when many of us were in lockdown and baking normal citrus, we played animal crossings, which included relaxing in simple tasks like fishing and gardening while trapped on the island. This year, we’re playing Alden Ring, a ruthlessly difficult game that gets harder and harder the more you play it. It sums up what it is like to live in an epidemic.

Alden Ring has a story that has something to do with the ring, but more importantly its design: it’s an open-world game, meaning you can do whatever you want whenever you want. Players will ride through the poison swamp, ride horses, run on molten lava and cross broken bridges surrounded by tornadoes, fight or avoid enemies along the way.

No matter what you choose to do, you will probably die trying to do it over and over again, sometimes for hours at a time. This is because the slightest mistake of pressing a button will lead you to your death or open to attack you. Even the most experienced players die dozens of times in the dungeon before reaching the boss – the main villain at the end of the game level.

None of this seems like a crowd pleaser to Alden Ring, but the collaboration between the video game – creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki and “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin – is on track to become the best seller of the year. It sold 12 million copies in the month it was released in February.

At some point in the game, you encounter a dragon. You have the option of fighting or fleeing. In the beginning, you will probably retreat, and eventually, after gaining enough power and the right weapon or magic spell, you will return to extinguish the terrible fire-breath and enjoy your victory. Moments later, however, you will be attacked and killed by something nasty, like a hawk that catches a razor blade in its talon.

It’s hard to imagine the Alden Ring succeeding in any other era. In the 3rd year of the epidemic, vaccination rates have increased and hospital admissions have decreased in some areas, offices, schools and restaurants have reopened. For many Americans, dragons have been killed. Yet in other parts of the world, a new strain of coronavirus is sending another wave, and in New York, cases are on the rise again.

As some of us let our guard down to get some resemblance to ordinary life, we are preparing ourselves for that stupid bird around the corner that can still kill us. Our hard learned lessons of the epidemic have given us a good training for the Alden Ring – despair and anticipation of more conflict.

While the DiCaprio movie was polarizing “Don’t Look Up” because it chose to criticize anyone in the apocalyptic denial, Alden Ring’s choice-your-own-adventure format is more inclusive for a population that doesn’t seem to. Agree in any matter. In the Alden Ring, no one is right or wrong.

To defeat the boss, you can carefully study his moves and plan the attack or you can “cheese” him with a cheap trick that requires no skill and ensures victory. Either way, victory is victory. Such a flexible game can resonate with players around the world and bring them together at a time when people are choosing their own truth about masks, shots and the information they usually read online.

Players often suffer through the Alden Ring alone, but some parts are so difficult, such as extremely difficult boss fights, that people will need to seek help from others online. To accommodate this, the game builds statues in challenging areas that act as summing posts to bring in coworkers. Once the mission is complete, the good Samaritans disappear.

Struggle has always been a central theme in Shree’s sports. Miyazaki, the forerunner of the Dark Souls trilogy, Alden Ring, has grown in popularity with modest success, but people need to turn to each other.

Mr. Miyazaki, who did not respond to requests for comment, said in an interview that he was inspired by personal experience many years ago when he was driving on a snow-covered hill. A car stopped in front of him, and he and one behind him, but another car behind him moved forward and began to push the third car. Equal help eventually found everyone on the hill.

“We come into each other’s lives for a minute and disappear and still make an impact,” said Keza McDonald, video games editor of The Guardian and author of “You Died.” Miyazaki games. “It’s not really a game against one player. It’s a whole community of players versus the game. “

By the time I finished the Alden Ring with the help of online friends and strangers in about five weeks, I was no longer out of the game feeling more anxious or pessimistic. I ended up making plans with friends I hadn’t seen in two years.

Many of us have endured the epidemic alone because of restrictions and health risks that make it difficult to travel and gather indoors. It has been impossible to navigate, and the struggle continues, but we have been together for a long time. Why not turn to each other?

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