Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-07-23 14:46 JST)
When it comes to Elden Ring, most people tend to think of its dark setting and high difficulty. But Steam users seem to have a different idea and have been tagging the game as “Relaxing.” Whether or not players are doing it as a joke or stating how they actually feel, it did get users on Reddit talking about the more relaxing side of Elden Ring.
Elden Ring is the latest action RPG from FromSoftware. The game takes gameplay elements from the studio’s past titles like their Dark Souls series and reworks them into a massive open field with plenty of new ideas of its own worked in. It’s also generally considered a difficult game with its strong bosses, harsh locations, and melancholy vibe being at the forefront of players’ minds.
However, Steam users have also categorized Elden Ring as a game players can relax with. If you take a look at the tags on the game’s store page, “Souls-like,” “Relaxing,” and “Dark Fantasy” sit at the top. These tags are set based on what players have tagged as relevant to the game, with the order being based on which ones have the most backing. At a glance, “Relaxing” might not seem like the most appropriate word to describe Elden Ring. And when you consider it was previously tagged as a “cute casual dating sim” (related article), this latest tag may just seem like a prank. But if you look a little deeper, there may be more to the “Relaxing” description than one might initially think.
That’s because Elden Ring players seem to have found a gentler side of the game. Perhaps amused by the idea of Elden Ring being relaxing, the game’s subreddit community discussed it in a thread (the original post has been removed by the moderators). The post asked players to name their most relaxing moments, though with a hint of sarcasm.
But players ended up responding with moments in the game they actually found relaxing. One user mentioned sitting outside of Redmane Castle and gazing upon the Erdtree as enemies fought below and another brought up listening to NPCs and enemies performing and singing. Many players also brought up simply sitting at a Site of Grace and enjoying the scenery. Then there are players that spent time chilling with Miriel, perhaps the gentlest character in the game (related article). Just by looking at the thread it sounds like more than a few players found solace in the Lands Between.
While we tend to focus on Elden Ring’s difficulty and gloominess, it’s actually a game with a wider range of expression. Take the game’s abundance of locations for example. There are beautiful grassy plains, wonderous basins, areas painted red with Scarlet Rot, and more. Then there’s the gloomy dungeons you can’t help but want to turn away from and the fascinating architecture that is a sight to behold. Elden Ring does plenty to stir up the adventurous spirit of its players.
There’s also the wide variety of friends and foes you meet along the way, with some NPCs comforting the player and others being straightforward in their malice. Enemies range from humans and animals to crazed beasts. Though the foundation of the game is dark, the beauty of its fantasy world shines through.
Plus, there’s the aspect of enjoying the scenery while exploring the game’s massive world. The fierce fighting that takes place also works to make the moments of respite even sweeter. For these reasons, the “Relaxing” tag might not be so out of place after all. And now that the game has been out for around 5 months, players that are already familiar with the cruelty of Elden Ring might be starting to notice its soothing side.
Elden Ring does stand out among the other titles tagged as “Relaxing” on Steam such as Unpacking, PowerWash Simulator and the slow life farming sim Stardew Valley, which each let the player immerse in their calm worlds. And while it may not be the most suitable title for fans of games listed under the tag, it is interesting to see them grouped together.
Users fixing Elden Ring with the “Relaxing” tag has drawn attention to aspects of the game besides its difficulty. Maybe if you think back on it, you’ll remember some of the peaceful moments you had on your own journey through the game.