All year I tried to fight it.
when i play Hand Ring In February, I quickly realized that when the game-of-the-year season turned, this would be considered an inevitable consequence. While I loved FromSoftware’s open-world fantasy saga, I had a lot of troubles that I felt had been overlooked in its sudden cycle of hype. Instead of assuming it should be #1 on our list in December, I urged the Digital Trends team to keep an open mind throughout 2022. Such an attitude undermines the wealth of excellent games that will surprise us once they are released. Neon White with Vampire Survivors. As the year enters its final quarter, even staff are starting to lag behind. Immortalitywas one point away from the throne.
Yet here we are after all those months and Hand Ring It really is the game of the year. And although I spent months quietly dreaming of this moment, now that it’s here, I find myself unable to challenge the final outcome. Its power is so undeniable.
Hand RingThe February release ignited a big social moment, the sort of thing usually reserved only for long-running IPs or Nintendo’s most popular mascots. Despite FromSoftware’s reputation for creating inaccessible games that only attract die-hard fans, Hand Ring even for outsiders who were too nervous to get into games like Dark Souls before.
I know because I was one of those people.
I’ve always had a hard time getting into the Souls series. I tried desperately to dig transmitted through blood years ago, but found myself frustrated by its punishing difficulty. After only a few bosses, I let go of the anger but I never felt good about it. While I couldn’t handle the action, I was fascinated by the incredible art design and I wish I could play a version of it that let me see around with less risk.
Hand Ring this is an answer to prayer. By putting the Souls formula in the context of a true open world game with unlimited freedom, FromSoftware has found a great way to appeal to more gamers beyond its dedicated fan base. Those who just want to see a richly detailed fantasy world can spend dozens of hours wandering with no purpose in mind. I’m convinced you can play it, never fight a single boss, and still walk away from it with the magnificent landscapes of Limgrave that have been etched into your memory for decades. A Souls game that emphasizes exploration rather than conquest.
This approach immediately resonated with a wider player base. For a month or two, social media was full of conversations surrounding the game. Gamers took to sites like Twitter to share the incredible gear they found, hilarious world interactions, hidden secrets, and even the perfect sights. It was consuming everything because it felt like no two war stories were the same. The barrel apparently had no bottom, which meant that every player could be the first to make an expedition in The Lands Between.
This sentiment was much more prevalent early in the life of games, but it’s something that has faded in the internet age. When you jump to something like Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you will find every detail about it meticulously planned in every corner of the internet. It’s unlikely you’ll have a single original moment during your adventure unless you hit a weird bug that earned you a day’s worth of viral fame.
Hand RingOn the other hand, it felt like completely unexplored territory in its first few months. De’Angelo Epps, a writer for Digital Trends at the time, noted that the enthusiasm around the game felt like a throwback to the days of internet forums, where dedicated players exchanged secrets with each other on message boards. “It takes me back to a time when it was just me and my siblings and cousins and minimal internet use,” he wrote. “All we needed to find in-game secrets was our curiosity to explore and the rarely obtained game magazine.”
that’s what it does after all Hand Ring very undeniable. On the one hand, it’s a purely individual experience because no two players can experience it the same way. On the other hand, it’s a massive community project that encourages players to pass on these stories to each other and reveal the collective history of The Lands Between. Every video is a historical document. Every tweet is a long story circulating in a Caelid bar (if Caelid had bars).
I imagine there are games released this year that will be more effective in the long run. Although I expect to see Hand Ring in a few years clones are building titles like the game itself The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild when it comes to his approach to freedom. But in the end we won’t remember Hand Ring for exclusive design innovations. Instead, we’ll remember him for his timeless mythology created entirely by gamers – both series fanatics and brave newcomers who are curious enough to step into The Lands Between.