Elden Ring’s totally innocuous rat cave chest is a great tone-setter

Don’t worry, nothing amiss at all about this piece of treasure

Elden Ring There is a lot of new Tarnished litter the Lands Between over the last weekend. Many players kicked off their journey last Friday, and if they decided to venture east to their starting locale, they probably ran into one of their best early tricks: a completely normal rat cave.

Once you’ve cleared the tutorial and made your way out into the great wide world above, it is currently up to how you like to progress. Sure, there are some signposts if you want to follow a determined path. And you might want to avoid the big fella and his lumbering steed.

Me? I went east, and fought some pretty normal enemies. Some big bat monsters and an oversized dragonfly. A group of human-ish enemies and their meddling pups, feeling as if in the right Elden Ring as they would in the middle of BloodborneGeneral Chat Chat Lounge After I cleared out their campsite, I noticed a dip in the ground; Some stairs, leading to something, and I had to find out what.

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Elden Ring early game spoilers follow.

FromSoftware is no stranger to oversized rats in a cave. And unlike the other dungeons I’ve found in my early hours with Elden Ring, this was not a multi-room or puzzle-driven affair. It was just a room, with some rats. And at the other end of it, there was my prize: a glorious chest filled with potential boons that helped the big guy roaming about.

If you’ve opened this chest already, well, you (quite literally) know where this is headed.

FromSoftware is also no strangers to traps and treasure chest surprises. Everyone remembers their first mimic. But rather than being greeted by a gnashing maw of teeth, I got blasted by a fog. A whiff of hazy gas drifted out, and I was soon spirited away.

When the screen loads back in, I’m in a shack. Venture outside, and miners are toiling over crystals. Giant crawfish-like creatures stand watch over them. It is strange, to say the least. I’ve seen fantasy monsters already, but this feels alien, nigh-extraterrestrial.

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While I’m staring at it all, the guards notice me and proceed to riddle my body with volleys of spikes. Okay, I thought. Best not to go through that chest again. I ‘ll just let those runes go and wait – I’ m not back at a site of grace. I ‘m still in the shack. Oh no.

The next few lives of my poor, poor Tarnished are spent making desperate runs for an exit. After picking up some items and avoiding the horrors within the mines, I find a lost grace. And after kindling it, I walk outside and see this place. Where the heck am I? How is this, this crimson-skied landscape replete with festering organic mass and toxic rot, adjacent to the verdant hills I’ve just been on?

What ‘s communicated in this interaction is, in my opinion, a crucial piece of what Elden Ring is. Not Souls games or FromSoftware’s catalog, though there certainly is no overlap, but Elden RingGeneral Chat Chat Lounge This world is massive. It is filled with biomes, each telling a new piece of the greater puzzle.

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It is one you can explore your heart’s content, but it will not always accommodate you. Galloping around the scarlet swamps and up the cracked hills, I learned to dodge incoming fire and charging enemies. Yes, I. could be here. But being here is a risk.

Ultimately, after unlocking a few more rest sites and seeing more of the land, I went back to the first area Elden RingGeneral Chat Chat Lounge I resumed dealing with what most other players have in their first hours. That initial experience set the mood for the get-go, though.

Now I know that I’m free to explore, in a world much larger than I first expected. I know things will not always be what they seem, and there are more enemies over any horizon. And yeah, I should probably be careful about opening chests from now on.

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