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Elden Ring players are discovering its comedic brilliance

With Elden Ring finally out, you may have expected that your Twitter feed would fill up with frustrated players cursing out bosses. And while there’s plenty of that out there (I’m looking at you, Margit), it’s not the dominant conversation around the game at the moment. Instead, players are using social media platforms to spotlight just how dang funny the game is.

“Comedy” might not be something you immediately associate with FromSoftware’s games. At a glance, they’re darker than the blackest coffee and their punishing difficulty feels designed to steal smiles. But games like Dark Souls have always had a secret comedic edge, both intentional and not, and that’s even more pronounced in Elden Ring.

Make ‘em laugh

FromSoftware knows how to tell a joke through design. When you walk into a room and the floor shoots up into a spiked ceiling, that’s a gag. It’s like they set out a lethal whoopie cushion for players to sit on. Every trap is a pratfall that’s supposed to make you laugh, even if you want to strangle someone.

man what the hell #ELDENRING pic.twitter.com/5U8vcAxeBO

— 𝖙𝖗𝖊 (@86oz_) February 27, 2022

Then there’s the player-created jokes. Like previous FromSoftware games, players can leave messages for others to find. These can be helpful, warning adventurers that they’re about to step into a trap. More often than not, though, they’re a competition for who can create the silliest message with a limited vocabulary. Players are already using the tool to create filthy jokes that would make George Carlin proud.

But there’s unintended humor, too. FromSoftware doesn’t make clean games. They’ve got their own brand of “jank,” which can lead to absurd interactions. They can be caused by enemies going someplace they’re not supposed to be or the camera accidentally hiding a key piece of information like a banana peel. While those can be frustrating during a big boss fight, social media sites are lighting up with some truly hilarious reactions.

THE MOST INSANE THING TO HAPPEN TO ME IN A VIDEO GAMWE IM SCREAMING…. #EldenRing pic.twitter.com/AhL1CzZp1Y

— andy the elden ring guy (@andysolxiv) February 28, 2022

minor Elden Ring Spoilers

this game is the funniest fucking game ever pic.twitter.com/uqw2mUOXr5

— JoeLongBalls (@JoeLongBalls) February 27, 2022

You Goat-ta be kidding me.#eldenringspoilers #eldenring pic.twitter.com/gGiy3ZZLg2

— Bengineering (@BengineeringTV) February 28, 2022

To reiterate, Elden Ring is hysterical.

The slapstick videos highlight what makes the game so entertaining, even when it’s at its hardest. The Land Between is the world’s deadliest playground. There’s a masochistic glee you feel when something so completely absurd happens to you that you need to post it, because no one would believe you otherwise. In Elden Ring, everyone gets to be an anecdotal comedian.

It’s another of the many ways the game reminds me of the fervor around The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (I’m going to keep making the comparison until it stops holding true). When that game launched, players took to social media to share all the wild sandbox interactions they experienced in the game. We saw everything from hysterical pratfalls down the side of a mountain to knee-slapping enemy kills made possible through Link’s abilities. To this day, I still routinely see videos of people making jokes in that game in ways I never thought were possible.

The comedic timing in Elden Ring really is pitch perfect. pic.twitter.com/PTZiQdqZTq

— Steven Strom (@stevenstrom) March 1, 2022

Elden Ring seems like it’s on the same track. With how gigantic the game is, there are so many opportunities for players to utterly perish in gut-busting ways. I don’t imagine it’ll reach the same heights as Zelda considering that it gives players fewer actions, but I’m already seeing interactions I never knew were possible — and the game has been out for mere days.

If you’re not feeling FOMO by not jumping on Elden Ring, don’t worry: You’re in on the fun without even playing it. These games aren’t for everyone and they can be completely humorless for players just looking to progress. There’s no shame in being an audience member instead of getting on stage. Let the fans entertain you with their deadly escapades and laugh at their expense.

Elden Ring is out now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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