I asked a revenge expert why I’m obsessed with revenge in games like Elden Ring and The Last of Us

The first time I wanted revenge in Elden Ring was against that bastard Tree Sentinel. Anyone who’s visited the Lands Between over the last year will know what I’m talking about, assuming you’ve gotten through the tutorial. This big, brutal, heavily armored knight on horseback with the magically reflective Erdree greatshield, golden halberd, and fetid stance. The one that’s waiting for you once you get out of the Cave of Knowledge, patrolling the grassy thoroughfare between the First Step Grace Sight and the Church of Elleh. The one who will keep killing you for being big and mean and OP. You could Memorize their moveset to win. And you could Get the help of a player-controlled summon. But I prefer revenge.

Sweet, cold blooded, let me ascend somewhere else before I come back and bravely kick your ass for revenge. Which, bang for my buck, is the best tactic in any video game – be it bashing Elden Ring Tree Sentinels, slaughtering Skyrim giants, destroying Fallout: New Vegas Deathclaws, or bringing an emotionally charged narrative to a conclusion in The Last of Us 2 . I love revenge in video games and always have. But something I’ve always wondered is: Why?

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