But this is incredibly difficult to do without a special system. Take for example the screenshot I used at the top of my latest Elden Ring material. It’s all about relaxation, so naturally, I used the sitting emotion. Unfortunately, I can’t re-center the camera, so my character is stuck right at the bottom of the bottom half, leaving a large empty space in the center of the screenshot.
I’d be happy with a photo mode that would just loosen the shackles holding the camera in close orbit around my character. Just let me move it up or down a bit and it will do wonders for my screenshots. We’re not talking about a fully unlocked camera here – just the bare essentials. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy with the total freedom of the camera, but being able to get more information about your surroundings would make Photo Mode something of a feat.
The only concessions to digital photographers were probably not made for us at all. First, there is an option to hide the HUD. Great for screenshots, of course, but mostly intended for players who want an extra level of difficulty. There is also a telescope that allows you to zoom in on objects in front of your character. If you want to capture one of the many stunning views between the lands, this is definitely useful, but useless if you want your character to be in the frame.
The open world of Elden Ring is limited compared to almost all open worlds over the past decade. You don’t get bombarded with bullshit, you don’t have to hunt for hundreds of useless collectibles for hours – anything more than just padding makes sense. But it’s one of the increasingly common features of the open world that’s undeniably good. And the game deserves it. They want to show it.
Maybe modders will save us from the lack of a photo mode. They were the only reason why the first Dark Souls was playable on PC, so it’s probably going to be a small potato. Or maybe not! I haven’t made mods since the original Neverwinter Nights, so what do I know? At the moment we have a lot of reshade mods, but not much else, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, I just look at my screenshots and feel a little sad, which I think is the vibe most FromSoftware games try to evoke. Maybe if I promise that I will still be sad (it’s very simple), they will give us a photo mode? Just say the word, FromSoftware – give us our photo fix, and I will squeeze out a few tears.