Elden Ring is the next game by FromSoftware and is a collaboration with Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin. Here’s everything you need to know about Elden Ring, from release date to trailers, platforms, and leaks.
Elden Ring is an action RPG that is heavily inspired by FromSoftware’s earlier games such as Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. However, Elden Ring will be a new experience and will be more of a narrative-driven adventure thanks to George R.R. Martin’s involvement, with the author writing the game’s story alongside iconic designer Hidetaka Miyazaki.
Unlike previous Souls games, Elden Ring will be an open-world adventure that takes advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S hardware, although it will also release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
- Elden Ring release date
- Elden Ring trailers
- What is the story of Elden Ring?
- How long will it take to complete Elden Ring?
- Elden Ring gameplay demo details
- Elden Ring multiplayer, co-op, PvP, invasions
- Elden Ring character classes
- Resolution and frame-rate options for Elden Ring
- Elden Ring closed beta
- Edge Interview with Miyazaki
- Elden Ring references to Berserk manga
Elden Ring will release on February 25, 2022, across all platforms.
The game was originally going to be released in January 2022 but was delayed to give the developers more time to add polish.
As release draws near, Elden Ring has now become the most wishlisted game on Steam. Reportedly, over 278,000 users have added the game to their wishlist now, which has knocked Dying Light 2 into second place. This makes Elden Ring the most hyped ‘Souls’ game of all time, at least prior to release.
The first Elden Ring trailer was revealed at E3 2019, and mostly created more questions than answers. However, the game’s dark medieval fantasy setting seemed in line with other games created by FromSoftware such as the Dark Souls trilogy. Most of that footage has been shown in subsequent trailers. The second Elden Ring trailer dropped during the Summer Games Fest on June 10, 2021. This was the first time players got to see any Elden Ring gameplay.
During 2021’s The Game Awards, a 4-minute story trailer was revealed for the game, giving fans another glimpse into the world’s narrative. Narrated by ‘The Storyteller’, the trailer opens with the line: “It happened an age ago, but when I recall, I see it true.” Featuring shadowy forests and huge sieges, lore fans are in for a treat as the clip explores Elden Ring’s backstory.
The plot of Elden Ring is still mostly shrouded in mystery, but we do know that the player is referred to as ‘Tarnished’. The player, and other Tarnished characters, are being hunted for reasons unknown. One character mentions the protagonist coming “through the fog” which will sound familiar to Demon’s Souls fans.
As with most of FromSoftware’s titles, it’s likely that most details will be kept under wraps so that players can discover everything for themselves, likely through environmental storytelling found within the game’s world.
George R.R. Martin’s contribution and reaction
When Elden Ring was announced, the involvement of George R.R. Martin was a major selling point. The creator of Game of Thrones writing the story of a Souls game (and Elden Ring fits that description despite being a new IP) seemed like a perfect fit. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the story, which is normal for a From Software game, but with Martin at the helm, fans suspected Elden Ring may place a greater emphasis on narrative than previous games from the studio.
George R.R. Martin has now broken his silence when it comes to Elden Ring, giving us a little insight into his contributions, and his thoughts on the (very nearly) finished product. On his ‘Not a Blog’ blog, Martin confessed that video games are “not really his thing”, but the author was approached by Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki who pitched him the Elden Ring idea.
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Martin said, “Miyazaki and his team from FromSoftware were doing groundbreaking stuff with gorgeous art, and what they wanted from me was just a bit of worldbuilding: a deep, dark, resonant world to serve as a foundation for the game they planned to create. And as it happens, I love creating worlds and writing imaginary history. But the day of Elden Ring is finally at hand… And I’ve got to say, it looks incredible.”
Martin also confirmed that his involvement in Elden Ring has concluded now that the lore is written. We look forward to seeing which Elden Ring plot elements feel like they came from the wonderful but twisted minds of either Miyazaki or Martin when the game releases on February 25, 2022.”
At the 2022 Taipei Game Show, Yasuhiro Kitao of FromSoftware was interviewed regarding the game, revealing new details about the game and also divuldging some other interesting stuff. Yasuhiro was asked the question: “Approximately how many hours does it take to complete the game?”
He pointed out that the overall time with the game will obviously vary depending on the player’s ability and propensity to explore. But on average: “The idea is that the main route should be able to completed within around 30 hours.”
Kitao elaborates that there is “dozens more hours worth of gameplay,” but 30 hours is roughly the playtime for the main story.
Timestamp – 32:55
FromSoftware have shown off 15 minutes of Elden Ring gameplay during a detailed demo. This showed a vast open-world alongside combat gameplay which retains many of the qualities of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. The gameplay also takes cues from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Witcher 3, and Skyrim.
Combat appears similar to the usual FromSoftware style – methodical and unforgiving – and players will also be able to tailor their build to suit their own preferred style. We saw melee tanks, wizards, and more dexterous builds throughout the gameplay demo.
Fans can traverse the landscape on horseback, but unlike games like Red Dead Redemption or Assassin’s Creed, rather than whistling for their horse, players must summon them through a spell. They can also scale cliffs and other high or jagged surfaces on horseback by taking advantage of areas that grant temporary flight.
Bonfires also return from previous FromSoftware games, serving a similar function to what they did in Dark Souls. They work as checkpoints for progress or somewhere the player can heal, level up, and more. This time they are known as Points of Grace.
Important bosses reside behind fog gates like in previous Souls games, but others freely wander the game world. Players can take them on, or use stealth mechanics to avoid them, as they could in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – another FromSoftware title.
Most of the game will take place in the overworld which seamlessly blends into dungeons and other landmarks like buildings and castles.
You can watch the full gameplay preview below.
Open world and map
For the first time in a Souls game, Elden Ring will feature an open-world similar to that of Skyrim or The Witcher 3. The beta gave us an impressive amount of ground to cover, but one Reddit user has estimated that we’ve only seen 13% of The Lands Between so far.
User AdLivTho has used mathematics to calculate the size of the map by comparing the existing released area to the overall world map. If their calculations are accurate, then Elden Ring could feature a very vast world indeed, and one that rivals previous open-world RPGs.
You can see how AdLivTho worked out the geography of The Lands Between in this helpful map.
The narrator on the gameplay preview confirmed that co-op, PvP, and invasions are also returning from earlier games like Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne, but didn’t provide many details on how this will work. The nature of Elden Ring’s open world will mean that some mechanics are likely to change when it comes to summoning players for support or avoiding invaders.
Players can also summon AI spirits to back them up in combat. Earlier FromSoftware games had a similar mechanic, but this version seems greatly expanded, allowing the protagonist to summon multiple spirits at once. They can also choose which spirits they summon and the narrator implies there are options to customize them.
Elden Ring Beta multiplayer details
The Elden Ring Beta has given us our first look at the game’s multiplayer. Those who’ve played Bloodborne, any of the Dark Souls trilogy, or 2020’s Demon’s Souls remake, will be instantly at home with the mechanics. Elden Ring uses what is essentially the same system, but with a few tweaks.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Beta hasn’t revealed everything we wanted to know about Elden Ring’s multiplayer, but we now know the basics.
Co-op in Elden Ring
The co-op gameplay in Elden Ring is very similar to the titles listed above. Hosts can summon guests into their world to support them in combat and aid in exploration. Guest characters will take the form of guardian spirits, meaning they can only interact with the world in a limited way. For example, they can move around, battle enemies, and collect Rune Fragments (this game’s currency and version of ‘souls’), but they cannot progress in quests or rest at Sites of Grace (bonfires). This can only be done in their own world.
Players wishing to summon aid can do so by using a consumable item called a Furlcalling Finger Remedy. This will enable you to see other players golden signs on the floor. By stepping on them, you’ll then be given the option to summon that player as a guardian spirit. Furlcalling Finger Remedies are limited in number, and players will need to gather them in solo play if they wish to summon help frequently. Therefore it may be wise to use them sparingly, such as when needed for boss fights or against invaders.
However, like the similar functioning Humanity consumable in Dark Souls, we expect Furlcalling Finger Remedies will become more plentiful as the game goes on. FromSoftware will not want to restrict those coming to the game for its multiplayer components too much.
Joining another Tarnished’s world
Entering the world of another player can be very rewarding. While you’ll be unable to advance in quests, it’s still an excellent way to gather Rune Fragments. It’s also a good way to scout areas and learn boss battle strategies ahead of facing these obstacles in your own world. Downed bosses drop a large chunk of Rune Fragments too, so it’s an ideal way of leveling up.
To enter the world of another player, you’ll need to use an item called the Tarnished Furled Finger. Unlike the Furlcalling Finger Remedies, this is not a consumable item and can be used as many times as you like. You’ll also begin the game with one, meaning you won’t need to track it down before you can play co-op.
This lets you place your golden sign on the ground for other players to find and summon you. Your sign will be visible to all players on your server. Other Elden Ring players will be keen to summon you for support, so it’s often easier to be summoned than to summon. Aiding another player to get through a difficult spot is also a great way to encourage them to do the same for you.
PvP and invasions in Elden Ring
Like previous SoulsBorne titles, Elden Ring also features PvP battles and invasions. This is when a player enters another’s world, but not as a guardian spirit, but as a plunderer, intent on taking what belongs to the host.
The first PvP option in Elden Ring is an honorable duel. Players can use an item called the Duelist’s Furled Finger to leave a red sign on the ground. Others can then accept the challenge and summon you into their world for a fight to the death. To the winner, the spoils, which in Elden Ring is a stash of Rune Fragments.
However, more predatory players can use the Bloody Finger in the game’s multiplayer menu to seek out vulnerable players and invade their world. They can then hunt down the host player to take their Rune Fragments by force. This is often a thrilling high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse for both players, and one where it’s fair to use dirty tactics.
Invaders also need to beware, some players are not as vulnerable as they appear, and may be luring you in for precisely the same reason you’re invading them. Hosts have the home field advantage and may have a squad of guardian spirits waiting for you. Invading players are also just as likely to be attacked by the game’s AI enemies as the host is, so this playstyle is not without its risks.
Elden Ring multiplayer mysteries
There are still questions regarding how and when co-op partners and PvP invaders are expelled from a host’s world. Previous Souls games did this once the guardian spirits had successfully helped the host slay that area’s boss.
Co-op partners would then return to their own world, armed with knowledge and a hefty chunk of experience points. Invaders could continue to attack the host once they enter the boss arena, but this was treacherous for both players. Once the boss was destroyed, the invader would also be banished.
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With Elden Ring being a more open-world adventure, these mechanics will be harder to maintain. Players are likely to take more time exploring the world, so co-op partners will inevitably last a lot longer. This also means invasions are likely to go on to the bitter end, until either the player or the invader best the other.
Players can use an item called the Finger Severer to dismiss co-op partners, but this won’t work on invaders who’ve forced their way into the world. We’ll be keen to see if the rest of the Elden Ring Beta provides the answers to these questions, as the very nature of the game means it won’t be able to fully follow the multiplayer mechanics of previous SoulsBorne games.
FromSoftware has confirmed that there will be five playable character classes in Elden Ring. The five playable classes include: Warrior, Enchanted Knight, Prophet, Champion, and Bloody Wolf.
The devs haven’t gone into any more detail, but we can make some assumptions based on the names of the classes. Warrior is likely to be the typical tank build while Enchanted Knight sounds like a mixture between a caster and a dexterity build.
We suspect the Prophet character class may resemble a miracle build from Dark Souls. The Champion and Bloody Wolf classes are a little harder to pin down and are likely new to Elden Ring. The second Elden Ring trailer showed a character howling at the moon, so we’re going to go out on a limb and suggest that may be a shot of the Bloody Wolf class in action.
We also wonder if the Bloody Wolf class may be similar to some of the gameplay types we saw in Bloodborne. Despite Bloodborne borrowing heavily from Dark Souls, the game featured a much more aggressive combat system, and some builds were geared around becoming more ‘beastlike’.
The game looks a lot like a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, but could the Bloody Wolf class be a throwback to Bloodborne?
FromSoftware has also confirmed that the title will feature a 4K graphic mode and a 60fps performance mode, both on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Ray tracing will also be available on these editions of the game but not on the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
2020’s Demon’s Souls offered similar features. It will be interesting to see if the game benefits more from a higher resolution or a frame rate bump. We can imagine the latter being especially helpful in boss fights, the performance boost giving players the edge when it comes to combat.
The Elden Ring closed network test (or beta) was playable during the weekend of November 12-15th, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Players who took part were able to experience the opening hours of the game.
ELDEN RING will release on Feb 25, 2022, as the depth & strategic freedom of the game exceeded initial expectations. Thank you for your trust & patience. We look forward to seeing you experience the game in the Closed Network Test in Nov.
The #ELDENRING Team
— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) October 18, 2021
In an interview with Edge Magazine, Elden Ring (and Dark Souls) creator Hidetaka Miyazaki opened up about the game’s development and the evolution of FromSoftware’s Souls series.
He said, “Elden Ring is based on a culmination of everything we’ve done with the Dark Souls series and with our games thus far.” Miyazaki also went on to say that a game with the scope of Elden Ring may not have been possible even a few years ago, saying that the game is a “brand-new world that wouldn’t have been possible before.”
He elaborated, saying, “We wanted to create this world that was full of the joy of exploration of the unknown. So we wanted to create lots of enticing things for the budding adventurer.”
“Variety is something we strived for when creating this game, and something I believe we’ve managed to achieve, I believe it [the game] will be our best to date.”
It will be fun to see what elements Elden Ring borrows from games like Demon’s, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne. The game even seems to take elements from other FromSoftware titles not considered Souls games, such as the stealth elements from Sekiro.
Longtime Souls fans will know that creator Hidetaka Miyazaki wears his influences on his sleeve. Miyazaki was obsessed with reading western fantasy, like Tolkien, as a child, but he’s also a lifelong fan of Manga. One of his favorites is Beserk a series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.
Beserk is set in a dark fantasy world not unlike Miyazaki’s Souls games. The story follows a lone mercenary called Guts and his band of warriors know as the “Band of the Hawk.”
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The influence of Beserk has been felt several times in the Souls series. Weapons, key item, enemy designs, locations, and even NPCs and bosses have at times felt reminiscent of the manga series. In Dark Souls 3, an NPC (and potential mini-boss) Hawkwood the Deserter also resembles Guts and his story from Beserk in several ways.
Elden Ring also seems to be following this trend, with several references to Beserk already being noticed by eagle-eyed fans of both. The biggest reference being the winged-helmet worn by one of the god-like combatants in the story trailer. This character model looks remarkably similar to a popular character from Beserk.
For a full breakdown of Beserk references in Elden Ring, check out this impressive sub-reddit full of them.
So, there you have it – that’s everything you need to know about Elden Ring, from release date to trailers and more.
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