It’s the third day of Gamescon 2021, and multiple outlets have gotten an in-depth preview of FromSoftware’s eagerly anticipated open-world RPG, Elden Ring. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting bits of information coming out of today’s articles.
Elden Ring is, of course, the latest game by FromSoftware, makers of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It’s a collaborative effort between game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame. Martin wrote the world’s backstory, the latest in a seemingly endless parade of things the author plans to do before finishing The Winds of Winter, dammit.
If you want an in-depth look at every aspect of the 15 minute Elden Ring preview shown to select outlets, check out this morning’s articles from Polygon and Eurogamer, which go into exhaustive detail on one of next year’s hottest games. If you want the cliff notes, read on.
- There’s an overworld map. Unlike older, more contained From Software fare that required players to memorise their surroundings, the massive scale of Elden Ring’s Lands Between warrants a full overland map, where they’ll be able to set markers to guide them to their desired destinations.
- The Lands Between are dense and dangerous. Elden Ring features a lot of overworld travel, but not the sort where you can just set a destination and wander off to grab a snack. It’s a land filled with threats and discoveries, dotted with hand-crafted dungeons to explore and filled with dangerous creatures. Today’s previews speak of troll caravans and massive dragon attacks.
- Dungeons, dungeons everywhere. The Lands Between or dense with dungeons. Not just the dark, dripping caverns one expects from a dark fantasy, but a wide variety of challenging fortresses covering many different biomes, like wintry peaks and underwater kingdoms. Along with these smaller dungeons, there are Legacy Dungeons, massive, intricate castles and fortifications meant to put your skills to the test for the promise of great reward.
- Player characters, AKA The Tarnished, have many weapons at their disposal. Swords, archery, magic, and stealth are just some of the tools The Tarnished has to combat the threats encountered in the Lands Between. Some, like casting magic spells and firing arrows, can even be used while mounted on your Spirit Steed.
- There’s a bit of platforming as well. Along with riding your trusty, double-jumping steed, the world of Elden Ring also features items like jump pads, similar to those found in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Expect to see your Tarnished hopping across dangerous terrain like a murderous little bunny.
- Get help. Bring forth powerful allies from the ashes of the deceased to temporarily join your battles. Along with the ability to summon up to two additional player characters to your side in co-op multiplayer, you’ll also be able to summon AI-controlled companions, from traditional tanks and healers to small hordes of monsters.
- Multiple ways to take on challenges: You come across an enemy stronghold. Do you storm the front entrance, taking on the enemy’s most powerful defenders, or do you sneak through the side door and stealth your way to your ultimate goal? Expect to see lots of fun videos of players overcoming obstacles in creative ways.
- Familiar ground. While Elden Ring sounds like From’s most ambitious game yet, familiar features and mechanics will still be in place. Fast travel is there. There’s a young woman who helps players manage their stats as they power up. There’s even a hub world where adventurers gather before rushing off to get themselves killed.
- The pot goblins might be your friends. The pot goblins, also known as the Pot Boys, have charmed players since their debut. The brave folks of FextraLife (via Patrick Klepek) used one of their preview questions to ask about the Pot Boys, and got the following response: “The Pot Boys … We hope that players can explore and find their own answers in regards to the Pot People. You are free to befriend them if you wish, but we can’t promise that you won’t have to smash them.”
Elden Ring is still on track for a January 21, 2022 release on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. If you do not befriend the Pot Boys, you will be considered some sort of horribly monster person.