FromSoftware has become a major staple within the gaming community ever since they first brutalized players with the original Demons Soul’s back in 2009. Sure, there have been several incarnations of the Demons Soul’s games since then and they have been mostly revered with seasoned and newer gamers alike. When the rumblings that FromSoftware was collaborating with George R.R. Martin with a title called Elden Ring, fans were hungry for more information. Well, things were painfully quiet for a few years until a gameplay trailer was finally dropped during Summer Game Fest 2021. Gamers got an eyeful of what Elden Ring was about and it answered a few questions while raising others.
In classic FromSoftware fare, the story that surrounds Elden Ring is both cryptic and ominous. Based on the reveal trailer, a shadowy narrator mentions, “That which commanded the stars, giving life its fullest brilliance, The Elden Ring. Oh, the Elden Ring. Shattered by someone or something. Don’t tell me you don’t see it. Look up at the sky. It burns.” So, according to this line, the Elden Ring is a mystical notion that brings balance to the world. Evidently, it was destroyed and it has caused huge repercussions upon the land. The creator of the “Souls” series Hidetake Miyazaki says, “The Elden Ring is the name given to a mysterious concept that defines the world itself. This Elden Ring has been shattered. The significance of this will be one of the important themes of the game.” The story has been mostly weaved by George R.R. Martin with Miyazaki giving feedback to build the mythos of this title. There’s going to be a host of stylized characters to interact with along with unique and magical elements.
The design of the world seems to be grounded in Nordic roots based on the weaponry and armor that was seen in the new gameplay trailer. What really stood out in the gameplay trailer was the fact that the players’ avatars will be able to travel the map on horseback. To date, FromSoftware never utilized a feature where players could mount a steed to explore the area. So, this would be a first. Thus, Elden Ring will very well be an open-world adventure or at least a semi-open world. It seems that the horse will prove useful in both combat and traversing across unreachable areas. Of course, like every other FromSoftware game, Elden Ring is going to be a third-person RPG. This isn’t really a surprise since this is the sub-genre that FromSoftware thrives at.
There won’t be any buzzing villages with NPCs walking around to visit. This world will be full of ruins and it will appear desolate. The trailer almost gave off a Shadow of The Colossus vibe in that aspect. There are going to be six main sections in the world that can be explored. They all have their own dungeons and bosses that will need to be vanquished. On top of that, this world will also have a dynamic weather and time system that will organically change during gameplay. Even though all seasoned FromSoftware players know that this world will be bone-crushing, there will be a fast travel system implemented to help out.
Joining The Fray
The RPG elements in Elden Ring will probably be the deepest and most detail-oriented in any FromSoftware game to date. Miyazaki mentions, “This title will include a wide variety of weapons, magic, and ways to engage enemies, that makes it possible to provide users with a style of gameplay and strategy that suits them. Similar to the Dark Souls series, Elden Ring allows players to design and control their own unique character.” The bread and butter of the “Souls” games is the community aspect of it all. Being able to leave messages for other players, invade and play co-op is what makes the series special. Well, it looks like Elden Ring will be following that path, as well. During E3 2021, FromSoftware gave confirmation that Elden Ring will support online co-op multiplayer that will have up to four players. However, it’s not entirely clear if the “invading” element that is prominent in Demons and Dark Souls will play a factor.
It appears that the combat will be akin the the “Souls” game as opposed to Bloodborne. The way it appears in the trailer, there’s; blocking, dodging, parrying, and using magic. The combat might be a little more nimble compared to Demons and Dark Souls, but the animations seem to be very similar. There will also be a stamina bar to nurse in Elden Ring. This feature has been around since the days of Demon’s Souls, so it makes sense that it’s going to be a part of Elden Ring, as well. Stealth will also play a part in smiting enemies in this game, however, it won’t be as heavily influenced as some players might like.
With the “Souls” games before, players needed a certain “Skill Level” in order to brandish a particular weapon. This made the games feel a little restricted with customizing the warrior that players want them to be. So, with Elden Ring, things are going to be a little more flexible. The skill level will be allowed to be interchangeable across a bunch of different weapons. There will be a total of over a hundred skills and they can all be mixed up and experimented on with a variety of armor and weapons. The gameplay trailer clearly showed that there will be a slew of; swords, whips, axes, and blunt instruments to try out. Of course, there are also magical melee weapons and projectiles that can be summoned, too.
Even though fans have been salivating about getting their hands on Elden Ring, it’s good to know that it’s not too far away. It’s quietly been in development for a few years and it seems to be nearing completion. If the gameplay trailer is any indication, FromSoftware just might have created a title that’s the combination of all their projects rolled into one. Elden Ring is slated to be released on January 21, 2022, for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
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