If you’re anything like me, you went super hard on Elden Ring when it first came out. I wasn’t even assigned to the game for work, I just clocked in the hours after 5PM like any other Average Joe out there. It was a blast, but on the repeat playthrough, Elden Ring lost its lustre for me. That natural sense of open world exploration obviously wasn’t there the second time around. That sense of adventure and exploring the unknown is a keystone in Elden Ring’s appeal – and if you boot it up right now, you may actually find it has returned.
The reason why is pretty simple: a shocking amount of time has passed since Elden Ring came out. Almost two years, in fact! Googling that just about turned me into dust, but when I managed to scoop my ancient bones back together I realised just how much I had forgotten about Elden Ring. The big stuff is still there, sure. I know how to reach Mohgwyn Palace, how Ranni’s questline plays out, and where the two halves of the Haligtree medalion can be found. But the locations of weapons, what builds are good… all that info has floated out of my brain over time.
I’m not an old dude, either. I’m 25. That’s just the impact having a job has had on my memory. Whereas a younger me could remember the location of every blacksmith ember in Dark Souls, I couldn’t even begin to guess where an Uchikatana or bleed dagger can be found in Elden Ring. I’ve even forgotten how some of the excellent companion quests work, the scrub that I am. Realising this, I jumped back into Elden Ring and rediscovered a taste of that initial envigorating journey. A rose-tinted holiday back through 2022’s Game of the Year.