Elden Ring sounds incredibly awesome and as we get closer to its release, news is being drip-fed to us at an increasing pace. The FromSoftware game was announced way back at E3 in 2019, and we’re finally just months away from Elden Ring‘s new release date: 25th of February, 2022.
Elden Ring is a collaboration between Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Martin, and the creator of Dark Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki. Coming from two of the most celebrated fantasy minds, this game is definitely one to watch.
One point we’ll keep coming back to is there’s this sentiment you can pick up from developer interviews that Elden Ring is “more like Dark Souls than Dark Souls.” Miyazaki is also quoted as saying “Elden Ring is an evolution of Dark Souls.”
At the time, we thought he meant more weapons, more attack animations, more armour, etc – and he did mean that. But he also meant that in almost every way imaginable, Elden Ring is even more like Dark Souls. You’ll see what I mean below.
We’ve been updating this post as we go. Here’s what we do know about Elden Ring.
What is Elden Ring about?
Described as a fantasy action RPG set in a new world from Martin and Miyazaki, Elden Ring is said to contain wonders, dangers and discovery around every corner. That doesn’t give us a huge amount of information but thankfully an interview from the game’s announcement with Miyazaki does.
“We wanted to create a new dark fantasy action RPG full of things that we weren’t able to do in the Dark Souls series,” he said.
Martin and Miyazaki collaborated on the themes and ideas for the game, with Martin then writing the overarching mythos that Elden Ring is being built upon. It’s said to be full of interesting characters, drama and a range of mystical and mysterious elements.
While Martin focused on the worldbuilding, Miyazaki is still spearheading the specifics of storytelling. Elden Ring‘s lore is likely to be structured like Dark Souls, with an incredibly deep backstory told through fragmented pieces of story in item descriptions, level design, NPC actions, sparse dialogue, and the very design of the game itself.
The best indication of what Elden Ring will be like comes from its announcement trailer.
Miyazaki said that the name ‘Elden Ring’ is a “mysterious concept that defines the world itself” and that the fact it has been shattered will be one of the important themes of the game.
With all this talk of ancient rings, it’s hard to ignore comparisons to Lord of the Rings. But really, the parallels to every Dark Souls game are stark.
The trailers and interviews around Elden Ring talk about the Tarnished returning to reclaim their land and status. There are many of them, just as there were many returning to Lordran to claim the title of Chosen Undead, just as many bearers of the curse returned to Drangleic, just as many ashen ones returned to Lothric to compel the kings to do their duty.
The themes are similar here – old powers are fading, and the banished and ostracised faction (often associated with humanity) crawls back from the fringes to stake a claim.
Much like the Souls games, you can also expect multiple endings for Elden Ring, depending on the choices you made.
Elden Ring: Gameplay
We know enough about Elden Ring‘s gameplay style now to definitively say it’s a Souls-like. There’s a shield (sorry Bloodborne purists), and there’s a stamina bar (sorry Sekiro faithful), but this goes beyond just being more like Souls than the other two. It’s more along the lines of Dark Souls in an open world.
Also, there’s a jump button. So there’s that.
In the announcement interview, Miyazaki said that unlike Sekiro, Elden Ring puts more focus on RPG elements but will not shy away from responsive melee combat.
“[Elden Ring] will include a wide variety of weapons, magic, and ways to engage enemies, that make it possible to provide users with a style of gameplay and strategy that suits them,” he said.
The biggest difference from Miyazaki’s past games is the nature of Elden Ring‘s open world, which offers more freedom for exploration. He teased that Elden Ring is without a doubt the biggest title in terms of sheer volume.
The world will have a day/night cycle with time-based events. NPCs will have their own schedules, and monsters may walk a certain path at specific times of the day. What you come across will determine your story in the larger world, and we all know FromSoftware is happy to include content you may never see, refusing to force your attention in any direction.
The hardest bosses of the game – likely an equivalent to the four Lord Souls of Lordran, or Lothric’s Lords of Cinder – will be instanced encounters, dungeons cut off from the main open world.
Combat-wise, expect Soulsy goodness. Bosses will bait your roll, you’ll be able to summon friends before major encounters, and magic should be more balance with melee now. Also expect the tried and true equipment and spells like Homing Soulmass, but with more of everything.
There’s also a horse that enables mounted combat, and we’ve seen the horse using a kind of boost pad to get a double-jump going. Your character will be able to leap off the horse to initiate combat quickly.
How Hard is Elden Ring?
Similar to other FromSoftware games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls, Elden Ring will be challenging. There will also be a variety of unique and horrifying boss fights to die repeatedly in.
The subject of difficulty is something brought up with FromSoftware a lot, as it pertains to the approachability of its games. Miyazaki has more recently said that while there is a stamina bar, “we wanted to make it feel less restrictive and contribute to that level of freedom more so than our previous titles.”
Stealth will be available, and Miyazaki hasn’t wanted to reveal too much but the main crux of his points are there will be many potential solutions to every problem. You don’t have to line-of-sight pull every enemy, and it sounds like you won’t even need to learn certain aspects of the game if you don’t want, such as parrying.
This sounds like a great way to tackle approachability. Challenge runs are already popular in the Souls community, like the one-shot boss run, or the onebro run. If you want to make things harder on yourself in Elden Ring by not using an option like stealth, have at it. It’ll make an interesting story!
Elden Ring: Release Date
In October 2021, the Elden Ring release date was moved back to February 25th, 2022. This was a delay from the previous release date of January 21st, 2022.
Development has been impacted by COVID-19 work-from-home orders, and the scope of the world was also a factor in pushing back Elden Ring‘s release.
When Elden Ring does eventually come out it will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Elden Ring Network Test
In mid-October, a network test was announced for Elden Ring which will take place November 12th-15th, 2o21. Potential testers can still sign up for the network test here, but need to do so by November 1st.
The test will be active for the following times:
- November 12: 12:00 to 15:00 CET (21:00 Nov 12 to 1:00 Nov 13 AEST)
- November 13: 4:00 to 7:00 CET (13:00 Nov 13 to 16:00 Nov 13 AEST)
- November 13: 20:00 to 23:00 CET (5:00 Nov 14 to 8:00 Nov 14 AEST)
- November 14: 12:00 to 15:00 CET (21:00 Nov 14 to 1:00 Nov 15 AEST)
- November 15: 4:00 to 7:00 CET (13:00 Nov 15 to 16:00 Nov 15 AEST)
According to Bandai Namco:
The game will allow for cross-play multiplayer (PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 players will be able to play together, same for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. PlayStation players will not be able to play with Xbox players).
There’s likely to be Non-Disclosure Agreements reaching from here to the moon, so don’t expect any proper previews in the media afterwards. But
Elden Ring Leaked Gameplay Footage
Leaked footage of Elden Ring appeared in mid-October, in the form of small snippets of video taken from a much larger gameplay video circulating internally at Bandai Namco.
Below you can see a short clip which shows the vastness of the open world, as well as the new jump button(!), and it’s also fairly easy to tell the movement mechanics are extremely similar to Dark Souls:
Alleged Elden Ring footage from xbox One. pic.twitter.com/uaGbogXBrB
— Jeff Grubb (@JeffGrubb) October 16, 2021
The usual disclaimer applies, that this is not indicative of the final graphics quality or framerate. But there’s a big ol’ honkin’ jump button, that’s for dang sure.
Stay tuned to this article for more updates on Elden Ring!