Elden Ring rises. After a two-year-long vow of secrecy, Elden Ring premiered a new gameplay trailer as well as announced a January 21, 2022 release date for consoles and PC.
Bandai Namco, who is publishing Elden Ring for FromSoftware, has released a new fact sheet that dives deeper into the gameplay trailer we saw today as part of the big reveal. This includes several key points about the world FromSoft and George R.R. Martin have cooked up together.
This is FromSoft’s Biggest Game
According to the fact sheet, Elden Ring is set to be FromSoft’s “largest game to date.” While FromSoft’s Soulsborne games have always had a sense of scale to them, the trailer for Elden Ring looked to take things to a whole new level. The player character has to traverse this land by horseback to get around, which is a first for any Souls title.
A rewatch of the trailer, particularly a scene where the player is riding a horse across a stone bridge, appears to be the developer’s showcasing that yeah, Elden Ring just might be that big.
The World Is Also Seamless
One of the hallmarks of FromSoft’s world design is making it so that everything feels interconnected. Dungeons at the start of the game maze around and seamlessly connect with an end-level dungeon. Elden Ring will do this as well with “shadowy, complex dungeons that are connected seamlessly.”
That means keep an eye out for shortcuts as you might be able to traverse the world faster the deeper in you go.
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Elden Ring Will Have Dynamic Weather
Snuck into a press release, Elden Ring will also have a “natural weather and time-or-day progression.” While night and day (and various moon cycles) have featured in FromSoft games in the past, they have always been marked by specific encounters or instances. In Bloodborne, for example, a changing of the moon cycle was permanent, but in Elden Ring, it appears night and day, and even specific weather conditions can come and go dynamically.
The NPCs Can Help or Hurt you, and There’s Probably a Sad Reason For It
The NPC ins FromSoft games have rich, and deep backstories, and a world crafted by director Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin will continue this tradition. According to the fact sheet, Elden Ring will have “adversaries with profound backgrounds” and characters will have “unique motivations for helping or hindering your progress.”
As FromSoft YouTuber VaatiVidya says, “Prepare to Cry.”
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Plains, Swamps, and Other Environments
The fact sheet has shared a couple of different locales and biomes players will encounter in Elden Ring. This includes” grassy plains, suffocating swamps, spiraling mountains, foreboding castles and other sites of grandeur on a scale never seen before in a FromSoftware title.”
I’m sure fans familiar with the swamp level in Dark Souls are absolutely pleased to hear this.
You Have to Become an Elden Lord
While plot details are under wraps still, a brief summary of Elden Ring shares some key details. According to FromSoft The Golden Order is broken, and it is through the Elden Ring that the player becomes an “Elden Lord in the Lands Between”
Who knows what any of this means just yet, but if past games have told me anything it’s that becoming an Elden Lord might not be all that is cracked up to be.
Yes, You Can Make Your Own Character
Despite the plot summary, you’ll still be able to create your own character as in past games. Characters can be tailored to suit your specific playstyles whether you prefer certain weapons or enjoy using magic. And of course, weapons, spells, and more are hidden throughout the world of Elden Ring.
Upgrade Your PS4/Xbox One Version to New-Gen
Elden Ring will include an upgrade path for players who purchase it on the previous-gen and then upgrade to a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S. For Xbox owners, this will be done through Smart Delivery, while PlayStation players will likely need to download an update for disc and digital copies.
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Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.