Elden Ring took a long, long time before anything new was shown to the public. It’s been a long road, and some of us have turned hollow already. But now, there’s more information about the game, and we even have a release date. Thus, let’s talk more about Elden Ring the game as well as gameplay features. We’ll also discuss what we can expect when this incredibly awaited game finally comes out.
What Is Elden Ring?
Elden Ring is an upcoming open-world, action RPG published by Bandai Namco and created by FromSoftware. The game is a collaborative effort between renowned Dark Souls director Hidetake Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin. The latter is the one who created the Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy novel series. George R.R. Martin helped in the creation of the game by writing parts of its lore and story.
Elden Ring was announced in E3 2019 to much hype. A lot of Dark Souls fans celebrate the new upcoming game as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice also won critical acclaim during its release. However, it would take two whole years before anything new was revealed. Yes, two years. The game was revealed on June 10, 2019. More information about the game like its release date and gameplay was released on June 11, 2021, two years and a day after. The game was hard at work from way back in 2017 after the Ringed City DLC was released. At this point, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is also in the middle of development.
Elden Ring’s release date is on January 21, 2022. The game will be available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 1, and the Xbox Series X/S. The game is going to be available on Steam for the PC, putting rumors of Epic Game Store exclusivity at rest.
Elden Ring Gameplay & Features Preview
Many things were revealed on the Elden Ring gameplay reveal trailer as well as on several interviews. These range from combat, movement, general gameplay, Pokémon shenanigans, and much more. Miyazaki stated that Elden Ring is the “natural evolution” of the Souls series, so we might expect some things from previous titles to appear here.
Thus, to fully cover it, we’ve divided the discussion of gameplay into several sections. These include combat and general progression, movement, and lastly, how PvP will work on the game.
General Gameplay, Combat, and Progression
Elden Ring has a lot of things going for it that come from previous games that FromSoftware made. For example, there are some attack animations and other moves like spells that came directly from Dark Souls. To be fair, said animations still stand up to the times and are a welcome addition to the overall gameplay of Elden Ring.
Other than this, there are a few things that make Elden Ring interesting in terms of gameplay. For one, the weapon arts. These are no longer bound to a weapon, and are instead, abilities that players slot into their characters. This opens up a lot of unique builds as players can mix and match spells and abilities to create a unique character of their own.
There’s also the fact that you can apparently “capture” certain enemies, a la Pokémon. Yes, that’s a thing on Elden Ring and we can’t wait to play around with this. Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki stated that these captured enemies should be something players should take into consideration when planning out their build. And just from that statement alone, you can probably tell where we’re going for this. Still, it’s going to be hilarious to see players just getting the pot mob shown on the new trailer.
Movement in the game is pretty much the same as other games in FromSoftware’s repertoire with one exception: The Spirit Horse. Affectionately named Yakul by fans after Ashitaka’s faithful steed in Princess Mononoke, this horse is how you explore the world of Elden Ring. The horse can be summoned in an instant, allowing the Tarnished to make quick getaways and mad dashes.
The Spirit Horse is also capable of making massive jumps to clear obstacles and cliffs. The gameplay trailer shown in June 2021 showed a lot of times that the Spirit Horse showed its mettle. From dashing to a group of enemies before vanishing for his rider to deliver a massive downward slash; to double jumping away from the shockwave of a dragon slamming a lightning bolt to the ground. And yes, the dragons can use Lightning Magic now, ain’t that a twist.
This added maneuverability on the Spirit Horse is due to the added verticality that the game has. There will be some elements from Sekiro that will be added onto Elden Ring, but the verticality is something to be excited about. All in all, the exploration side of the game is something that won’t be lacking from what we can tell.
Elden Ring PvP Gameplay
Note: The Elden Ring PvP gameplay is still being worked on and there’s no confirmation on its current format. This information is currently in the realm of speculation from several interviews and other sources.
Elden Ring’s PvP might have the biggest change of the bunch due to a few reasons. We’ll talk more about said reasons later, but for now, here are the placeholder changes:
Only two methods are available for players to enter PvP. These are invading players that are in Co-Op or getting invited to a player’s world through the use of an in-game PvP summon item. This caused a bit of a tizzy in the community for a few reasons and speculation on the reason abound. The most commonly accepted reason for the change is due to Twinks, players who deliberately seek out overpowered gear on a low-level character. When they get said gear, they invade other players with the same level but less powerful gear and kill them.
This was seen as a problem by the developers and for good reason. Twinks regularly do this on new players who just touched the game. And while it’s not a problem when the game is recently released, it becomes more prevalent the longer a game goes on. Thus, it’s probable that FromSoftware decides to just tank an invader’s chances from the get-go. It might be a bit scummy, sure, but they brought it to themselves.
Officially, though, FromSoftware stated that the reason for this change is due to the changes in Elden Ring that they want to implement. These changes include the mount, as well as the game’s added verticality. For now, they’re open to any input on the PvP changes they’ll implement, so nothing is set in stone.
Graphics and World Design
Graphics-wise, Elden Ring shares a lot of similarities with Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. What’s different between them is their aesthetics. Elden Ring has a lot more fantastical elements compared to Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro which were showcased on the gameplay trailer. Of course, most of these elements are inspired by notable manga series Berserk like the glowing tree of light and other things.
Other than that, we don’t know anything much about how the game will look yet or in the different environments. Of course, because this is FromSoftware we’re talking about here, there’s going to be a swamp level, no question. Other than that, We can probably expect the usual ruined castles, destroyed towns, and in general, the awesome world that helps in the lore aspect of the game.
We don’t know that much about Elden Ring right now in terms of its setting and lore. However, we do have a few things that were released by FromSoftware and Bandai Namco to whet the appetites of the lore heads a bit.
First off, Elden Ring takes place on “The Lands Between,” a place that used to be a land of great beauty and plenty. A perfect and peaceful realm. That is until the titular Elden Ring was shattered by something, and the Greater Will’s guidance left the Lands Between.
Thus, the world is then marred, the Elden Ring’s shards scattered far and wide. Most of these shards are claimed by the demigod children of Queen Marika the Eternal, who rules over the Lands Between. These shards corrupted them, tainted their minds, and drove them mad. Thus, these siblings warred amongst each other, further ruining the land and deviating more and more from the Greater Will.
This is where you come in. You are the Tarnished, inhabitant of the Lands Between, who, long ago, lost the Grace of the Elden Ring. This ostracized your people, and thus they have been driven away from their homes. But now, with the Elden Ring’s shattering, you, a lowly Tarnished, come back to the Lands Between. To claim what’s rightfully yours, the Grace that you once lost, and the right of being an Elden Lord.
We also don’t know much about Elden Ring’s sound design or OST yet. However, it’s still being composed by Yuka Kitamura, who did most, if not all of the games FromSoftware made. Thus, we can expect some good quality beats while we bang our heads in the wall of Elden Ring’s various enemies.
Is Elden Ring Worth Getting Excited For?
For a lot of Dark Souls veterans, Elden Ring is something to be hyped about because it’s a new IP. FromSoftware’s putting out all of the stops for this one and we hope to see more info later this year. For now, though, we’ll just have to enjoy the various snippets that they’ll give out on Twitter posts and interviews.
Elden Ring vs Similar Games
Now that we’ve talked a bit about Elden Ring, let’s talk about games like it. Of course, we’ll first talk about the Dark Souls series and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice as they’re made by FromSoftware. After that, we’ll need to talk about the Dragon Age series, and lastly, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning.
Dark Souls Series and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Elden Ring is considered by Miyazaki to be the natural evolution of the Dark Souls series for good reason. There’s a lot of influences from the Dark Souls series that made their way to Elden Ring. From various attack animations to the game’s graphics with some improvements. All in all, a lot of the games in the Souls Series—and Sekiro for that matter—made their contributions to make Elden Ring possible.
As per usual with FromSoftware, a lot of the story isn’t told outright, with small snippets given through dialogue and item descriptions. That’s in Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Demon’s Souls, and Sekiro. This will also be at Elden Ring now but from a more open-world variant. There’s going to be a lot of environmental storytelling, character dialogue, and item descriptions. You might say it isn’t an understatement when Vaatividya says that Elden Ring would immediately revitalize Souls channels.
Dragon Age Franchise
The Dragon Age franchise is the face of high fantasy RPGs for a long time and for a very good reason. Bioware, before their fall, was one of the best game developers when it comes to creating character-driven stories. Their portfolio in those things speaks for itself. The Dragon Age franchise is widely acclaimed for a long time due to the lore and worldbuilding aspects. Something that the Souls series also has, and something we can also expect to see when Elden Ring is released.
In terms of gameplay, there’s also not that much of a difference between the Souls franchise and the Dragon Age franchise. Of course, the Souls franchise is more punishing and way more difficult. But in terms of the general gameplay, both are pretty similar. However, it’s also notable that the Dragon Age franchise has a party system. Meanwhile, the Souls franchise, and most definitely Elden Ring, needs to be completed mostly by the player only, unless they get help. In which case, it’s a co-op game, and they’re open to being ganked by invaders. Soulsborne everyone, you love it, no question, but the invasions can sometimes get too tiring.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
Next on the list is Kingdoms of Amalur, which is a pretty great RPG overall, just very much shafted. The game is set on the Faelands, which is currently at a shitty time in their history as it’s currently on a sort of civil war. Said civil war is between the Tuatha Deohn and everyone else living on the Faelands. These include the humans, the light and dark elves, gnomes, and others.
You are the Fateless One, someone who used to have a fate and then died. However, by the experiments of several individuals, you are promptly resurrected. This feat removed you from the weaves of Fate itself, an anomaly in the world where everything is preordained. This has ramifications. For one, you now can sever the fates of others, changing the outcomes of several events in the game. Your very existence reverberates throughout the weaves that fate has created, and you can kill the Fae, permanently.
All in all, you’re the only one that can defeat the Tuatha Deohn and their Dragon God Tirnoch. Their whole campaign against the Faelands was destined to be successful. Allowing them to consume the whole world in the process. But with your help, the Faelands might stand a chance.