Elden Ring is a masterclass in content reuse

Elden Ring just goes on and on. It’s arguably the most impressive thing about it: this is one of the most dense open world games around, but manages to deliver on that richness without feeling like opening the map invites an overwhelming wave of stress-inducing icons. It’s carefully and brilliantly constructed.

The single most impressive thing about it isn’t its size, though. For my money, the most mind-boggling element of Elden Ring is how deftly it reuses content, how much it gets away with putting the same things in front of you repeatedly, and how despite quite a lot of copy-and-paste work, the game never feels to get old.

It’s just a truth of modern game development that assets need to be reused. Every single thing you see in a game – world geometry, enemies, gear – it’s all expensive. When building a game the size of Elden Ring, there’s practically no choice but to reuse a lot of stuff. What makes or breaks a game is often how that reuse feels; if it lands with the end user in a way that is forgivable and forgettable – if noticed at all.

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