We all salute the ever-growing Elden Ring map

one of Elden Ring The most polarizing characteristic is its willingness to withhold information. While it’s less obscure than previous FromSoftware titles like Evil spiritsThe game constantly gives you items, quests, and mechanics with very little explanation. But after 130 hours and counting in The Lands In Between, I love the way you sometimes spread this mystery. And there is no better example than Elden Ring The map, which has gone beyond a simple open-world convention to become one of my very favorite pieces of the game.

If you are still in the early areas of elden ringYou might want to skip this post because I’m going to talk about a mechanic that relies on obscurity. But if you’ve played a bit of the game, you might know what I’m talking about. Elden Ring The map offers a constant view of give and take to show players new areas to explore, then pulls a curtain on more places they didn’t realize they could. Out. It obscures information only to reveal it in a pleasing, satisfying way that fits perfectly with the vast scope of the world. It’s not just an widget – it’s a descriptive game in itself.

Elden Ring The opening map (arguably the first purposefully included in the FromSoftware title) shows the basic elements that you can find in many games. There is a square with exposed terrain around where the player starts, icons marking fast travel points and special locations such as cemeteries, and fog in places you haven’t explored yet. By default, it includes very little detail, but you can find parts of the map that overlay stylized images of forests, buildings, and caves that you might want to explore.

Most importantly, the map looks large by the standards of many games, but isn’t who – which big. It’s basically a continent with empty space around the sides, inviting you to fill in the separate gaps by running around and chasing those bits. It helps Elden Ring The opening area is a fantasy playing field with a traditional look, so it’s easy to feel like you’re in control of what’s going on, especially with so many things you clearly know don’t do know as a guide.

Then, in a very early area, you can encounter an item that instantly takes you to a new location. After defeating some enemies that are likely much stronger than your low-level character, you open your map and try to get your directions. Suddenly you realized you ended up in a place that wasn’t even in the blurry edges of your guide. The map has become larger.

elden ring It’s like a puzzle where you keep finding new corner pieces. Exploration extends to the boundaries of the map until it fills your screen and then forces you to start scrolling. Collecting shards fills strips of earth that expose the gaps with whole new swaths of faulty areas, some of which can only be reached long after they are first seen. There is literally a second map below the main map. (This does not include all densely packed caves and other sub-areas marked as symbols, whose fluctuations are not drawn at all.) He turned it around for several dozen more hours, then emerged from a chief’s dungeon to discover that the building was on a higher level he had never seen before. “The map is getting bigger!” I was calling my husband across the room.

These constant discoveries help precipitate an experience that might otherwise feel overwhelming while emphasizing its fearsome generosity. The world isn’t just bigger than you might think – it’s designed to appear in ever-increasing parts where nearly every new region is bigger than the previous one so you can zoom out and see your starting region dwarfed completely compared to the latest giant continent you discovered. If I had known how small Limgrave and Caelid were when I started, my character would have curled up in a ball and cried.

There is reasonable criticism of Elden Ring The map key and interface are generally ambiguous, and FromSoftware has added some new elements since launch, such as merchants and other characters. But the map itself is not a shame or a frustration in and of itself. It’s a fun exercise in the power of the unknown—although at this point, seeing him grow up might break me.

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