The anticipation for any new morsel of information on Elden Ring had become torturous over the last few weeks and months, and constant rumours and leaks were only driving that home. Now, however, at long last, Bandai Namco and FromSoftware have finally provided an extended look at the highly anticipated RPG, and it looks exactly as glorious as we all dreamed. The game is surprisingly close to launch, and surely, we’re going to hear a lot more about it in the coming months, but here, we’re going to pause and take a look at all the biggest details that have recently emerged on it.
FromSoftware are masters of lore and world-building, and this time, they’re working with none other than George R.R. Martin- which means Elden Ring is going to be absolutely frigging bonkers. And details on its story and narrative setup are certainly fascinating. Elden Ring’s world, known as The Lands Between, is in ruins, appropriately enough for a FromSoftware game. The Lands Between are ruled by Queen Marika, and under her rule, the titular Elden Ring, which is the source of the Erdtree (and as such, the source of life) has been shattered. Shards of the Elden Ring were taken and wielded by Marika’s offspring, but their newfound powers drove them to madness, leading to a war known as The Shattering, which has brought the world to the brink.
MORE STORY DETAILS
So that’s the setup of Elden Ring– what’s the driving narrative though? You play as a Tarnished, a person neither living now dead (or as Dark Souls calls it, a Hollow). The Tarnished were once exiled from The Lands Between, but must now return to set the land right. In all likelihood, you’re going to be travelling the game’s open world to fight Marika’s offspring one by and one and retrieve shards of the Elden Ring from them, before reforging the ring and using it powers for yourself.
OPEN WORLD SIZE
It’s been known for a while that Elden Ring is going to be FromSoftware’s first stab at open world game design, but what exactly does that mean? Well, there’s still going to be dungeons and labyrinthine challenges to take on, but they’re going to be connected in a large open space. Bandai Namco describes it as FromSoftware’s largest world to date that’s going to be seamlessly connected. Elden Ring’s world is going to feature grassy plains, suffocating swamps (because what would a FromSoftware game be without suffocating swamps?), spiraling mountains, foreboding castles and more.
OPEN WORLD DETAILS
But Elden Ring’s open world isn’t just about size and environmental variety- FromSoftware are apparently injecting it with exciting depth and dynamism. What exactly does that mean? For starters, it means a dynamic day and night cycle, as well as weather mechanics, and the potential for how those mechanics can have a tangible impact on gameplay in a FromSoftware game is exciting. The open world will also be populated with NPCs, who, according to Bandai Namco, will have “their own unique motivations for helping or hindering your progress.”
ONLINE PLAY AND OTHER RETURNING ELEMENTS
Multiplayer mechanics are FromSoftware’s Soulsborne games are widely beloved, but they pivoted away from that in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which was purely a single player experience. In Elden Ring, they’re bringing a back. While exact details are unconfirmed, it has been confirmed that the game will allow you to take on dungeons and bosses with other players. Whether that works like Souls’ summons or in some other manner remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the game’s recent gameplay trailer also confirmed several other beloved returning elements, such as bonfires in the open world, dodge roles, backstabs, and massive, formidable bosses with typically excellent designed.
One mechanic that is returning from Sekiro is stealth. Exactly how that works hasn’t yet been detailed, but Bandai Namco does confirm that Elden Ring will allow players to choose between charging into fights head-on or picking enemies off one-by-one using stealth. The applications for stealth mechanics in the open world and in dungeons can be quite interesting, but most of all, we’re excited about the range of options being provided here.
WEAPONS AND SKILLS
But the range of options being provided to players goes far beyond stealth mechanics. While Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls provide impressive variety with weapons, classes, and more, fans were disappointed with the singular, focused nature of gameplay in Sekiro, and to a lesser extent, in Bloodborne. In Elden Ring, players will be able to tailor their play style in several ways, and can experiment with a wide variety of weapons, magical abilities, and skills found throughout the world. The sheer range of options and the incredible viability of nearly all of them is one of the many things that makes the Souls games so special, so we’re excited to see that being applied on a much larger scale in Elden Ring’s open world setting.
Given the fact that Elden Ring is set in a vast open world, it’s not surprising that it’s also going to have mounts, which you can use to traverse its many landscapes. The gameplay trailer also shows mounted combat, which is an exciting thing to have in a FromSoftware game, while we also briefly see a horse jumping right over a sheer cliff and across a massive chasm, which means traversal is likely not going to be plain and ordinary. Here’s hoping there’s a wide variety of mounts and traversal methods in the game. “Many options are at your disposal as you decide how to approach exploration and combat,” Bandai Namco says, so it definitely seems like that’s what they’re going for.
When Elden Ring was first announced back in 2019, Bandai Namco announced it for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. With its re-reveal (so to speak), it’s not surprising that they’ve expanded that selection of platforms. In addition to aforementioned platforms, Elden Ring will also release for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Meanwhile, it’s also been confirmed that the game will support free next-gen upgrade from PS4 to PS5, and Smart Deliver from Xbox One to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Of course, this also likely means that it’s going to cost $60 even on the new consoles, though this part hasn’t yet been officially confirmed.
So what exactly does Elden Ring launch? Well, earlier than you may have expected. Bandai Namco and FromSoftware have confirmed that Elden Ring will release on January 21, 2022, kicking the year off with a stupendous bang. Of course, we should always be prepared for delays, especially in today’s day and age, but if things proceed as planned, we’re going to be played Elden Ring in just half a year.