Elden Ring's Map is a Good Step for Soulslike Titles, but Needs More

The intertwining worlds of the Dark Souls series have become this type of staple for the series that it has extended into the entire Soulslike genre. However, in FromSoftware's most recent title Elden Ring, the open field has made its world too big to be fully explorable with no comprehensive map to assist players find locations and weapons like the Jar Cannon.

This new map is really a welcomed addition to Elden Ring, because the game makes a solid step toward being much more of an open-world title as opposed to following the contained style of older titles. That being said, the minimal communication of this map still leaves plenty to be desired in comparison with other open-world games which previously defined the genre.

What Elden Ring's Map Shows Players

There is a lot that Elden Ring's map shows players, especially once they've learned how you can interpret some of the markings that are scattered over the Lands Between. An example would be the various mines marked by red circles into the spotlight, which show where players could possibly get a large way to obtain the smithing stone upgrade materials, as well as the bell barrings that unlock these stones for sale. Players may also find where main roads will lead, and even the locations of undiscovered maps in darkened areas.

On top of the smaller things that players can easily see in the map, this also becomes the menu where Sites of Grace could be tracked and instantly warped to. It can make exploring new areas convenient, especially as locations like caves, ruins, and churches are marked onto the map when discovered. Alongside these conveniences, players are given the opportunity to mark their maps on their own, helping them find Elden Ring's merchants and revisit difficult areas that may have been way too hard to begin with.

How Elden Ring Players Can Alter Their very own Map

The interactivity from the map in Elden Ring acts nearly the same as games for example Legend of Zelda: Breath from the Wild, with separate markers that can be placed at the player's discretion. Each marker has a different symbol, leaving up towards the player what they need all these symbols to represent; from diamonds to skulls to treasure chests. Having the ability to place up to and including hundred of these markers, players are completely liberated to mark all of the notable locations and finest loot that Elden Ring provides, to allow them to return on their own.

This does act as somewhat of a double-edged sword, as it gives players an impressive quantity of freedom, but also leaves the mapping of the most important locations completely up to them. Completing Elden Ring may take days, which leaves an astounding quantity of content for players to trace by themselves. The result is that human error may become an enormous factor with regards to maintaining the map, without knowing what is and isn't important in advance or forgetting what a specific marker may have meant.

What's Missing From Elden Ring's Open-World Map

There are several major aspects missing from the map, including dedicated markers for merchants and indicators for advancing the different quests that may be acquired by NPCs. Not having quest markers is normal for FromSoftware titles, and some fans have previously joked by what Elden Ring produced by Ubisoft might seem like. However, deficiencies in guidance can make it simple to miss out on dozens of quest lines or forget important merchants as players progress.

This isn't to say that the map needs to have a hundred question marks to denote every point of great interest before exploring a place. What could work in several cases would be a set of markers that are already utilized in quest lines like the hunt requests in Elden Ring's Volcano Manor. In this case, little red circles mark the various areas players must visit in order to hunt down NPC fights that cause one of the key boss fights toward no more the sport.

Elden Ring Requires a Proper Quest Log

The biggest problem with the map is the fact that, for everything it will show the gamer, there's a large amount of content it doesn't reveal even after being activated. What Elden Ring's quests are missing is really a proper quest log that players can revisit after hours of exploration to see what they've encounter but still need to complete. Interestingly, just like the quest location indicators for particular quest lines, Elden Ring already has a way of keeping track of side quests using the key item and info tabs within the inventory menu.

For players who haven't been through towards the end of the inventory menu, the data tab is how notes purchased from merchants and treasure maps like Elden Ring's paintings and "meeting place map" are held. Furthermore, key things like the Great Runes and Shabriri Grapes will inform the player where they need to go in to complete the quests. So, there's already a precedent inside the game based on how to handle an effective quest log, however this is only utilized 50 % of time.

The insufficient direction leading players toward anything other than major bosses in Elden Ring lends itself to a sense of freedom that Soulslike games are familiar with. However, with that freedom comes the possibility for players to overlook on massive amounts of content hidden throughout the world. It's a strange choice considering just how much effort entered filling Elden Ring with stuff, as you would think FromSoftware must have a way of laying all this content out for players to more naturally track across an interactive map.

Elden Ring is available let's focus on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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