It’s almost hard to believe but Elden Ring is finally set to release on February 25th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 and PC. Despite all of the information released thus far, especially in the wake of recent previews, there’s still a ton that we don’t know…and that’s a good thing. Let’s take a look at 13 things that we can’t wait to do once the game is finally in our hands. If you want to go spoiler-free before the game’s launch, then turn back now.
Personally, one of the biggest appeals with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is being able to explore freely. Though Elden Ring has a main route which players can follow – and easily keep track of thanks to the guiding rays – it embraces that same freedom of exploration. Don’t want to venture to Stormveil Castle through the front gate? Try sneaking in by side or skipping it entirely. Want to avoid it altogether and find some other dungeons, like the chaotic Castle Mourne, to loot? You can do that as well. That feeling of something magical over the next horizon, whether it’s NPC invasions, new characters, or something else is definitely strong.
Elden Ring’s co-op functions almost exactly like Dark Souls with the ability to summon other players. But due to the open world nature of the game, there’s an altogether different vibe. Suddenly, you’re not just calling on someone to help defeat a boss or venture through a contained area and battle enemies but to venture forth in this immense world. Maybe the other person knows where you’re going and maybe they don’t but it still feels like a proper adventure. The sheer sense of wonder makes it that much more endearing when playing with friends.
Delve into Magic
Going off of the closed network test, the potential for Incantations and Sorceries looks positively insane. Yes, you still need to scale certain stats for them to be effective (much less usable) but they look to be more than worth the investment. From summoning meteors to conjuring floating swords, there is a lot of variety to be had. Since skills are no longer tied to weapons, being able to mix and match those with the magic of one’s choice is looking that much more appealing.
Collecting Map Fragments
While Elden Ring allows for setting markers on your map, it’s the map fragments which will actually fill it out. This will provide a better idea of where everything actually is, from buildings and forests to specific points of interest (that too without any messy icons). Not only will it be essential when revisiting certain areas to see what you’ve missed, but it’s also fun to put together this gorgeous map piece by piece like an explorer. It further reinforces the vibe of discovering a relatively unknown world.
Assassination From on High
Fall damage is a notorious killer in Souls-likes – one wrong roll into the abyss can easily wipe out a no death run. Fall damage in Elden Ring does appear to be more forgiving based on the closed network test. So with stealth now being more viable and tools like sleep arrows, what’s to stop one from leaping off tall structures and assassinating slumbering fools?
One of the new things that Elden Ring does over previous Soulsborne titles is Spirits. These are like Summons except they’re tied to specific enemy types like a pack of wolves, the Wandering Nobles and the Northern Mercenary (which is seemingly comparable in strength to a regular player Summon). FromSoftware has noted that players will discover a myriad of Spirits throughout The Lands Between though you’ll need to go out of your way to locate all of them. As such, there’s definitely a collection aspect involved and you just know there’s a super-powerful Spirit just waiting to be discovered.
Get Chased by Dragons
One particularly noteworthy detail mentioned in Fextralife’s preview is the Caelid region. This is a desert-style biome that’s teeming with dangers like dragons. Not only that but there’s a massive dragon (which is assumed to be Greyoll, who’s Sorcery “Greyoll’s Roar” was in the closed network test) that awakens other dragons with its roar. This can lead to an entire swarm of dragons chasing after your fleeing form on horseback. How you’ll manage to defeat them is one thing but just the sheer surprise of this happening sounds worth the price of admission.
Explore the Underground
When talking about the Liurnia of the Lakes area, Game Informer teased an elevator venturing deep underground. Recent previews have since confirmed that this leads to Siofra River, a sprawling underground region that has its own map (and fragments to collect). Along with linking parts of the main world, it has its own quirks like a strange sky full of stars. The overall scale is yet to be known but it’s been likened to an entirely new world beneath the one we’ve already seen. How it connects to the surface and what truly lies beneath remains to be seen but it’s exciting.
For all of the hype that the Dark Souls series gets about its difficulty, it’s the lore and characters that end up the most endearing. Elden Ring appears to be no different with its intriguing cast. How did Alexander the Iron Fist end up as a pot? What’s the story behind the antagonistic Varre who greets you at the start? Given all of the different NPCs, potential Covenants and so on, there are going to be tons of stories and quests to go through.
Listen, I know this sounds bad. But it is a thing to go about killing NPCs, whether it’s to obtain a katana from a merchant or just to see what happens. Heck, some have challenged themselves to kill every NPC in the Soulsborne series which is a tall order in itself. Recent previews noted that attacks are disabled in the hub area, the Roundtable Hold. So perhaps killing everyone isn’t possible but, well, it won’t be long before we can find out firsthand.
Hollowing and humanity are no longer a thing but players can still very much invade each other. Mechanically, it should be akin to Dark Souls but fundamentally, invasions should be a lot more varied in Elden Ring. There’s a wider range of environments and verticality to consider; different builds which can utilize a wider range of abilities and spells; and much more unpredictability. It could be one of the main things that keeps subsequent playthroughs fresh as other players learn more about the game and the best places to ambush others.
Honestly, I’ve never been good at no death runs in the Souls series, much less even attempted Soul Level 1 runs. Nevertheless, attempting the same in Elden Ring should be fun due to the sheer amount of build possibilities, Spirits and so on that can be used to compensate for damage and survivability. It also opens up the potential for even more crazy challenges like clearing all of the Legacy Dungeons as quickly as possible, not using Spirits at all in a no death Soul Level 1 run, and so on.
Death is inevitable but ridiculous as it sounds, there is a thrill to the various dangers that await in Elden Ring. It may be a boss type that’s completely new to Soulsborne fans, or some random occurrence that you least expected. Learning more about and eventually overcoming that challenge will thus be even more satisfying (and there are more than enough tough fights to parse through based on impressions).
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