The God of War vs. Elden Ring styles of game design

hanselthecaretaker

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What about the fact that both games achieved success, despite NOT being live-service online games designed for twitch streamers , and how the industry seems to be sacrificing quality for the sake of relevancy? In this regard, aren't they breaking the AAA standards?
Not defending him as he too often feeds into the whole woke/anti-woke bs and wanting to stir controversy like @BrawlMan said earlier, but he did mention at the very end that at least neither game has micro transactions.

  • (Arguable) What about the fact that GOWR seems more approachable in terms of difficulty? Not gonna argue that ER or any souls games need a easy mode, but If I had to introduce someone new to the gaming world and had to pick between GOWR and ER, I'd go with GOWR. The game just feels designed to be more accessible with the difficulty settings and more of the "standard" mechanics
  • Agreed. Western games, especially Sony 1st party titles lately are exceptional for being highly accessible, even for the disabled. This really doesn’t seem to be a concern (yet?) for many other devs. FROM has stated they made ER to be more approachable than their past games but it’s still a far cry, and most of that is still embedded/hidden in-game design vs being selectable from a menu.


  • [*]The traversal in GOWR feels more varied, making exploration exciting. The horseback in ER was nice at first, but goddamn does it get really repetitive. I thought the wolf sled and boat ride were rather nice in GOWR, as well as quick travel. The in-between zone (I think it's supposed to be roots of Yggdrasil?) always feels mysterious while you wait for the gate to open.
    These are such different game types that it’s kinda apples to oranges. Ragnarok feels great for traversal for what they give you, but it’s also highly curated and situational. Torrent can be used for easier field combat, has a double jump, Spirit Springs for launching hundreds of feet to quickly access higher areas, and can be accessed instantly from anywhere in the field.

    It’s nice having new transport in Ragnarok, but there’s really not much you can do with it besides getting from point A to point B. Mimir’s lore dumps are really the only thing that makes the boat rides for example feel interesting or engaging, IMO.

  • Fast travel in ER is as easy as selecting any grace site found and warping there. It’s probably pretty instant on PS5 especially, but still faster than the load times for some of the combat reloads in Ragnarok. Might have something to do with install size being more than twice what ER is though too.

    The ethereally loop between gates in Ragnarok is neat looking (also a clever way of maintaining the whole “one cut” presentation), but again the only thing interesting about using it is listening to Mimir or whoever.

  • [*]Having briefly studied UX Design, I was taught that having a lesser choice is always better. having tons to choose from may sound good idea on paper, but in practice, it can only stress out the user; ER may feature hundreds of weapons and spells, but everyone's gonna eventually end up with only a handful of them that are useful to their playstyles. GOWR's choice of three weapons is actually quite nice, despite the weapon switch being rather cumbersome. I also think they chain better compared to ER.
    • For better understanding, pretend you are at a restaurant, and you are really hungry and don't want to spend too much time looking through the menu. Which would you rather prefer; Menu with selected number of dishes distinct from one another, or a menu with 20+ different options with minor differences?
    [*][*][*][*]
    Sekiro was a much more focused game, with only one main weapon aside from the prosthetics that complimented it. It worked well for making the combat feel as tightly tuned as possible.

  • ER by contrast was always meant to be an “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of culmination of the Dark Souls games, so they naturally had to follow through on this with weapon variety. Of course, this means that it’s almost impossible to tune everything, but the cool thing is every weapon can still be made to feel viable, and respec’ing a character build is convenient enough. Out of the millions of people who bought the game, sure there will be many gravitating to certain favorites, but it wouldn’t surprise me if at least a few of them liked using some of the more obscure stuff.
  • [*]Finally, how about the fact that there's a difference between story and lore? I know we have been having a discussion over at other thread on whether ER should be nominated for best narrative, but this guy doesn't seem to address the difference. While I appreciate both ways of narrative structure, I certainly prefer having an actual story to follow rather than collecting clues via item description and NPC dialogs. I just feel it's the better way to develop the interest of the main characters and NPCs alike, because they are actively involved in the narrative. ER and other souls games does give interesting backstory with the said item descriptions and dialogs, but for every answers it leaves 10 more mysteries to be solved.
I like that there are both approaches honestly. More variety the better there. It’s fun watching characters interact in Ragnarok and it does get you invested in the story, but it’s ultimately very cut and dried.

OTOH there’s something to be said about leaving a mystery that’s up to the player to figure out and interpret things on their own. It’s what keeps people talking about them years later and in some extreme cases helps make careers for people like Vaati Vidya. It can also be a bit maddening if someone is the obsessive type, so that’s why it’s good to always have the more traditional type of storytelling in other games.

*PSA* yeah I don’t know how TF to get rid of all these stupid bullet point things on mobile.
 
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Not defending him as he too often feeds into the whole woke/anti-woke bs and wanting to stir controversy like @BrawlMan said earlier, but he did mention at the very end that at least neither game has micro transactions.
What's even worse is in one of his Cyberpunk Edgerunners videos, the bastard claimed to be half-Latino. That don't mean shit to me, when you're feeding into the same shit the racists assholes, Neo Nazi, and KKK buy. I don't know how true that is, as the man never revealed his face, but it's makes him another self-hating asshole. Then this butt-fuck claims how Japan "always gets female characters right", when we all know that is not true. Japan has plenty badly written male and female characters. No matter if it's video games or anime.
 

CriticalGaming

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  • It’s nice having new transport in Ragnarok, but there’s really not much you can do with it besides getting from point A to point B. Mimir’s lore dumps are really the only thing that makes the boat rides for example feel interesting or engaging, IMO.
Torrent is also point A to point B, except you don't know where B is. Also Mimir proves how much an engaging conversation can make a mundane and even boring event (such as a boat ride) interesting. Torrent offers only silence, in fact most of the game is silence, and I personally had to put on a podcast to play ER especially after the halfway point because the big empty was making me sad.

It’s probably pretty instant on PS5 especially, but still faster than the load times for some of the combat reloads in Ragnarok.
Reloads after combat death on PS5 are instant.

Even trips through Yggdrasil's branches are instant when no conversation is supposed to happen. The reason why the gateway doesn't appear immediately is because they expect you to listen to the character discuss what's happened or about to happen. When they have nothing to say (like post game) the travel is instant.

OTOH there’s something to be said about leaving a mystery that’s up to the player to figure out and interpret things on their own. It’s what keeps people talking about them years later and in some extreme cases helps make careers for people like Vaati Vidya.
These are extreme cases. I don't give a flying fuck about the lore in any Fromsoft game or the story because it's not given to me in a way that's easy to digest. I don't like having to do homework to play a video game much less a story in said game. Seikro at least was a better approach by having a main story with lore that is filled out by item descriptions that express things further if you care. Future FROM games should look into that as well and maybe taking it a step further by actually having a game that tells a story as the player works through the levels and defeats the bosses, but lore attached to all the items can enhance that story for players interested in that.

But it is a different style you're right. I would like to see the percentages of players who play through Souls games that also read the lore and shit on them. Because I bet it is very little, which is why youtubers LIKE Vitya thrive. They do the work that nobody else wants to bother with when playing. Which imo is not really a good mark for how great a game's narrative is.
 

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Here is another guy who makes uber negative videos with complaints that make no sense. He comes across as negative because it is his brand to be negative. He doesnt compare things to elden ring because he didnt like ER either.

It is a lot of problems that come from him not liking the game because it is a type of game he doesnt like. I dont really understand, like every game should be mario or something. All gameplay nothing else, not even loading screens.
 

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Here is another guy who makes uber negative videos with complaints that make no sense. He comes across as negative because it is his brand to be negative. He doesnt compare things to elden ring because he didnt like ER either.

It is a lot of problems that come from him not liking the game because it is a type of game he doesnt like. I dont really understand, like every game should be mario or something. All gameplay nothing else, not even loading screens.
I am glad you're calling out assholery when it's appropriate and necessary, but fuckwads like that need to be ignored. I saw the list of his content, and it's same problem as the other guy. Another contrarian, "angry", grifter complaining/ranting how "Everything is woke. Gaming Is DEaD! You're Favorite Game Sucks and Is Not a Masterpiece!" Another dumb ass macho asshole that uses Sigma Male, unironically. Stop wasting time with these assholes. You're only helping them by viewing their videos. They never learn and will only double down, because it's who and what they are/become. Shit heads like that are so miserable and limit themselves to an audience of baseline hate of anything that is different and not to their pathetic "standards".

 

sXeth

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I mean, hitting a few basepoints.


If GoW (or even the Sony third person action-adventure game) are regurgitated gameplay... Souls is probably the last thing I'd use as a contrast. A series which has barely adjusted its base gameplay in like 13 years and seven installments now (Sekiro aside not included).


Both games lock off some areas until you find things. GoW uses ye olde classic Metroidvania/Zelda "get the gadget/skill", ER you have to find the key to open the Academy, do the preset events to trigger Radahns festival, then Leyndell itself is locked until you get two runes, and all the parts pas that in turn.


I will counterpoint that ER has puzzles, though mainly in the side crypt areass. God of War 2016 and Ragnarok (which I haven't actually played) are obviously leaning more into Zelda design where puzzles are much more frequent (and many of them are similar to what you would encounter in a pre-BotW Zelda game)


God of War outright shows the levels of enemies, which I think you can turn off somewhere in the UI. But lets not pretend ER doesn't have enemy scaling, even if they don't call it "levels" or show it to you. You roll up with an non-upgraded weapon and hit a human soldier in Limgrave vs a human soldier in Leyndell and anyone with half a brain cell can tell the difference..
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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I am glad you're calling out assholery when it's appropriate and necessary, but fuckwads like that need to be ignored. I saw the list of his content, and it's same problem as the other guy. Another contrarian, "angry", grifter complaining/ranting how "Everything is woke. Gaming Is DEaD! You're Favorite Game Sucks and Is Not a Masterpiece!" Another dumb ass macho asshole that uses Sigma Male, unironically. Stop wasting time with these assholes. You're only helping them by viewing their videos. They never learn and will only double down, because it's who and what they are/become. Shit heads like that are so miserable and limit themselves to an audience of baseline hate of anything that is different and not to their pathetic "standards".

Reminds me of that Micheal Does Life idiot on YouTube. His whole channel is based off of stirring the pot and being a contrarian dbag, and worse is when he tries being satirical. You read the comments and many people are actually taking him seriously. This is the problem with people like this spreading misinformation. All we can do is like you said, put them on ignore/do not recommend this channel.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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I mean, hitting a few basepoints.


If GoW (or even the Sony third person action-adventure game) are regurgitated gameplay... Souls is probably the last thing I'd use as a contrast. A series which has barely adjusted its base gameplay in like 13 years and seven installments now (Sekiro aside not included).


Both games lock off some areas until you find things. GoW uses ye olde classic Metroidvania/Zelda "get the gadget/skill", ER you have to find the key to open the Academy, do the preset events to trigger Radahns festival, then Leyndell itself is locked until you get two runes, and all the parts pas that in turn.


I will counterpoint that ER has puzzles, though mainly in the side crypt areass. God of War 2016 and Ragnarok (which I haven't actually played) are obviously leaning more into Zelda design where puzzles are much more frequent (and many of them are similar to what you would encounter in a pre-BotW Zelda game)


God of War outright shows the levels of enemies, which I think you can turn off somewhere in the UI. But lets not pretend ER doesn't have enemy scaling, even if they don't call it "levels" or show it to you. You roll up with an non-upgraded weapon and hit a human soldier in Limgrave vs a human soldier in Leyndell and anyone with half a brain cell can tell the difference..
There needs to be some type of level scaling across the game’s progression, otherwise it would completely negate the point of an upgrade/leveling system for the player. The thing with FROM games is they don’t scale enemies to your level (which is equally pointless), so you can be doing SL1 runs for the challenge or be a Mack truck ruining everyone if so chosen, as well as anything in between.
 

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worse is when he tries being satirical. You read the comments and many people are actually taking him seriously.
I call that the Cinema Sins "it's satire (I am a biatch who can't take any criticism!)" excuse. I know people like to say CS screwed up an entire generation of film and media criticism, but let's not give him all the credit for his overly fat ego. That problem goes all the way back to when angry reviewing first started, regardless if it was meant to be a joke or not. Gaming itself but in too many people in the bar for entry wasn't even that high at the time.
 
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sXeth

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There needs to be some type of level scaling across the game’s progression, otherwise it would completely negate the point of an upgrade/leveling system for the player. The thing with FROM games is they don’t scale enemies to your level (which is equally pointless), so you can be doing SL1 runs for the challenge or be a Mack truck ruining everyone if so chosen, as well as anything in between.

Damage vs HP (or eHP via armour/defense reduction etc) is the laziest way of doing it (and I'll include even games I like such as Warframe and Monster Hunter using it).

Ideally if your action (or action/rpg if we must) game had a nuanced enough system your upgrades would expand horizontally to give you more tools, rather then just chasing an abitrary ratio of your damage to a buffed enemies hp over the game.

The closest FROM comes to that tends to be magic builds, and... they don't really succeed. "50 spells but still only using Soul Arrow (or upgraded damage versions of Arrow) is basically the meme of magic in Souls.
 

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God of War and Elden Ring,
This feud is such a silly thing.
Both games have a lot of bling.
The rivalry is sickening.

...

In end one was declared king.
Sent many a tongue loosening.
One is yang to other's ying.
But now it's time to stop whining.

...

So to all I say through sing,
To pettiness you must not cling.
Whether high or low's your ping,
Start calming down, no dallying.

(...what? I was bored.)
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Damage vs HP (or eHP via armour/defense reduction etc) is the laziest way of doing it (and I'll include even games I like such as Warframe and Monster Hunter using it).

Ideally if your action (or action/rpg if we must) game had a nuanced enough system your upgrades would expand horizontally to give you more tools, rather then just chasing an abitrary ratio of your damage to a buffed enemies hp over the game.

The closest FROM comes to that tends to be magic builds, and... they don't really succeed. "50 spells but still only using Soul Arrow (or upgraded damage versions of Arrow) is basically the meme of magic in Souls.
I’ve said for years the holy grail of action adventure games like this will be when we get for melee combat what physically based rendering did for graphics. Where materials, flesh, etc. are accounted for realistically and damage models can be done dynamically. It’ll still be years before this is really possible but there have already been rudimentary steps taken here and there.
 

Casual Shinji

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God of War and Elden Ring,
This feud is such a silly thing.
Both games have a lot of bling.
The rivalry is sickening.

...

In end one was declared king.
Sent many a tongue loosening.
One is yang to other's ying.
But now it's time to stop whining.

...

So to all I say through sing,
To pettiness you must not cling.
Whether high or low's your ping,
Start calming down, no dallying.

(...what? I was bored.)
Actually kinda fits considering GoW: Ragnarok has poetry referencing other Sony games. There's even a verse on MLB The Show.
 

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Any game design isn't' inherently bad, but all can be done poorly. I only played the 1st NuGOW and didn't like it but it really has nothing to do with it's overall linear design, I found much of the core combat poorly implemented and it had a lot of mechanical bloat (RPG mechanics). I spent probably 100x time more switching gear in NuGOW than I have in my groups current Pathfinder campaign (basically DnD) where I'm literally still wearing the same armor from level 1 and we're at level 13 now, just added a couple runes to the armor throughout the run. Why am I spending more time doing that in a GOW game than fucking DnD? It doesn't make any sense and doesn't make the game any better. Anything given in a character action game should alter/add function, not give a stat boost, there shouldn't even be stats. I haven't played Elden Ring but I'm guessing it has too much copy/pasted content by the looks of it. I felt the Souls games were perfect in their openness beforehand and feel making them fully open world would only dilute the games. Very few games benefit from being fully open world.

Also, why is there some massive debate over GOW and ER when Stray is gonna take GOTY 😁