Mark is a college lecturer from Liverpool. He has a keen interest in Japanese culture and loves video games. A proud father and grandfather.
Elden Ring is nearly here. After radio silence for two years, 2021 provided the trailers, information, and a network test to get all FromSoftware fans excited for their upcoming game.
After being disappointed one too many times during the past few years in pre-ordering games that didn’t live up to the hype, many players vowed not to ever pre-order again. But, the exception to the rule is anything new that Miyazaki and FromSoftware bring out. I am allowing myself to be hyped for the next Souls game as they have never disappointed before.
They are the producers of the highly successful Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3, which I have completed many times and still learning about the lore and the games' secrets.
Elden Ring promises to be more of the same. Here is everything we know about the upcoming, challenging RPG.
Elden Ring is coming out on February 15th 2022. It is a collaboration between Hidetaka Miyazaki of FromSoftware and George RR Martin, the writer of Game of Thrones.
It is an action role-playing game played in third person and it has similar elements to the games that have come before like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro. And that’s just fine with me.
Just like the aforementioned titles, the game will have a focus on discovery and exploration but unlike the previous games there have been some changes.
Story and Setting
Discovering the story through exploration and gameplay is the key to all of FromSoftware games. Elden Ring takes place in the lands between. It is now a wastland of ruined castles and is inhabited by undead soldiers, giants, and even the occasional dragon.
Queen Marika "The Eternal" once ruled over a prosperous realm with her demigod offspring. But this all changed when the Death Rune was stolen. We have no idea who did this or why, but this seems to have caused a chain of events which led to The Shattering. This was when the six demigods waged war against each other and brought down the once great realm.
You play as a "Tarnished." These are a whole group of exiled people. The Tarnished used to live under the grace of the Erdtree but were somehow banished and have now returned. The Erdtree is a massive golden colored Tree of Life, which again the game has given us little information on so far.
It will be exciting finding out, especially as George RR Martin is behind the backstory and we know he loves betrayal, dragons and medieval settings.
The Open World
The biggest departure from the previous titles is that Elden Ring is an open world game. The previous titles have been linear with branching paths and a myriad of shortcuts to unlock.
Elden Ring does still have these linear sections, in what they call Legacy Dungeons, so Dark Souls fans will enjoy these parts. These will be the underground caverns, caves, castles, and keeps scattered around the open world, awaiting discovery.
Yes, a map! An actual map!
This is a total departure from the previous games as this was one of the main features, no map to help navigate. You had to explore and discover everything for yourself and if you got lost (Farron Keep, I still hate you...) you had to deal with it.
But as Elden Ring is so huge, a map is necessary. But, in the Legacy Dungeon and caverns there is still no map, so yet again, you will still get your fix of Dark Souls gameplay. These will be worth visiting for the treasure you will find there.
The map will be discoverable in sections. There will be six major areas, each one the domain of a demigod. But as with all previous games, although there is a route designed for you to take, there will be a lot of freedom and you can tackle the world in whatever way you want.
You pick up map fragments in each area which expands the map. You can place markers on the map which then show up in the world to guide you.
Guided by Grace
Dark Souls had bonfires and Bloodborne had lamps to light, but Elden Ring has Lost Graces to find. These act as save points, levelling up points, etc. But they also send out a shimmer of light pointing you in the direction you should go next. Veteran players might choose to ignore that.
This is also where you will meet Melina, a mysterious woman who offers you an accord. If you agree, she gives you access to the next massive change, a mount. Buy, the question is, Can we trust her?
Again, this is a massive departure from the previous games, which were on foot only. You are given access to Torrent, a magic horse/antelope which aids your traversal with speed and the ability to jump high with the aid of magic points.
Elden Ring is not only huge in area, but has verticality also. Torrent will also aid in combat as you can attack while mounted. You can summon him instantly and dismount just as quickly. I can’t wait to see how this expands your gameplaying options.
A Jump Button
This promises to increase the scope of exploration as Dark Souls games and Bloodborne had limited jumping. Death by gravity should be more difficult to achieve as the fall damage has been decreased to help with exploration. Jumping attacks look particularly awesome.
Item Collection and Crafting
You can pick up flowers, plants, various dead animal body parts etc to then craft special arrows, potions etc. This encourages more exploration so you can prepare for the next challege that awaits you.
Weapon Arts (Ashes of War)
If you are like me, you didn't use the weapon Arts in the Dark Souls games very much. They were a special move that you could use when certain weapons were equipped. But the developers have reimagined the Weapon Arts and now you discover these seperately from weapons, called Ashes of War, and you can add then to any weapon.
This means when you find one you like to use you can transfer it to the next weapon you want to use, giving you even more options to try out.
Sekiro made stealth the focus and the developers have made it one of the main strategies available in Elden Ring. There is a dedicated crouch button and so now sneaking past enemies or using stealth to gain an advantage when attacking are now viable options.
Magic is Back
Magic has always been a component of the Dark Souls games, overpowered in Demon's Souls. In Elden Ring, it looks just as powerful, depending on your class and abilities.
Again, you can add a few magic elements to your melee build or you can go full sorcerer or mage. If you come up against a tricky boss, magic may be the answer.
Stamina and Breaking Posture
Stamina seems to replenish much faster than in previous games. It is now linked to a system of posture breaking, perfected in Sekiro.
So instead of continually having to watch your stamina bar you can go in with a posture breaking move and follow up with a critical attack for massive damage.
If You Need Help, Summon
When I first played Dark Souls, the thing that helped me the most was the ability to summon. You can summon NPCs or real players willing to assist you in your quest.
The community around these games is the best for a lot of reasons, but there is always someone willing to help new players.
In Dark Souls, there were summoning signs on the floor in different colors. Some were NPCs and some real people wanting to come into your world to help.
In Elden Ring they have now given you the option to summon enemies that you have vanquished earlier in the game. You will more easily be able to summon your friends to fight alongside you, too.
What would a Souls game be without the boss fights? We know there are six demigods and thirteen bosses were found during the network test, but expect many more epic battles to frustrate and challenge you throughout the Lands Between.
From the very first boss as you first enter the open world, the Tree Sentinal, we will get a taste of the challenge that awaits.
Are you hyped for FromSoftware's latest gaming masterpiece?
© 2022 Mark