The trailer for Elden Ring shown during Summer Game Fest 2021 came as a relief to fans of From Software, who couldn't wait for new information about the game announced back in 2019. The details emerging in recent days about the title poured a nice warmth into our hearts, and now the father of the Souls series added fuel to the fragile fire, Hidetaka Miyazaki, in interviews for IGN and Famitsu explained many elements of the trailer shown on Friday.
Elden Ring's lore
Let's start with who will be the game's protagonisy and why we'll set out on a quest to find the eponymous ring. Or rather, fragments of it, because it was split into six parts in unexplained circumstances. These were taken by the old gods of the world - the main bosses of the game - who gained amazing powers thanks to them.
We will play as The Tarnished. Our ancestors were banished from The Lands Between, where the action of Elden Ring takes place, as they lost the blessing of the Erdtree - manifested by the golden glow in their eyes - seen in the trailer. The shattering of the ring - whose presence is manifested by the glow emanating from the Erdtree - restores to us the grace lost years ago and urges the Tarnished to return home.
Our goal will be to reclaim the six fragments of the shattered ring. The demigods who gained possession of them and went madness will not give them up willingly. And before we fight them, we will have to get to them.
Elden Ring will be the biggest From Software's title to date. The Lands Between will be divided into six areas, each a kingdom of sorts - Miyazaki has dubbed them Legacies - of one of the ancient gods. All of them will also contain numerous side locations, such as catacombs, castles, and fortresses. We won't be forced to visit particular lands in a specific order, but not all of them will be available at once. The situation is similar with the game's hub - it will also appear, but we'll gain access to it only at a certain stage of the story.
Locations will be connected in various ways. We decide for ourselves whether we want to move between them on foot, on horseback or using fast travel. Miyazaki admitted that the developers didn't want to take that option away from the players, but also added that he thought it was it's worth the effort to explore the world. Especially since...
How we will it be played?
Especially since, just like in Souls, many weapons, spells and special abilities will be hidden in the game world. Only a small part of them can be purchased. What's interesting, one weapon can have only one additional feature assigned. However, we get the ability to change it at any time during the game. It makes sense, since there is to be about 100 types of such additional qualities. Miyazaki directly stated that Elden Ring will provide the widest spectrum of "builds" compared to previous From Software games.
As in most of them - not counting only Sekiro - we will also be able to summon other players to help. However, it looks like this will be limited to larger open-world locations and boss battles - so forget about going saddle to saddle with best pal. However, in return we'll gain another option - summoning the spirits of fallen opponents, which will help us in combat in different ways.
The latter can sometimes avoid, because in Elden Ring, just like in Sekiro, there will be a stealth system. It will enable us to avoid some opponents or reach vantage point from which we can look around the area, which will enable us to arrange a plan of action.
What about the difficulty level?
So everyone will be able to play in Elden Ring in their own way. The title will also be easier than Bloodborne or Sekiro. Miyazaki compared it to the latter game, but admitted that the ability to summon other players to help, as well as the multitude of character builds should make the game easier for many people.
The difficulty level of From Software's upcoming work may also vary depending on the time of day in the game world. This is because both players and monsters are expected to attack with more or less aggression depending on visibility. In addition, some monsters will only be encountered at night.
Taking into account everything you have read above, as well as knowing the previous titles of the Japanese devs, you can guess that Elden Ring will be a long game. This was also confirmed by Miyazaki - in his opinion, reaching one of the several endings is expected to take around 30 hours. And that's by keeping exploration to a minimum, as well as avoiding side quests. The dev admitted that estimating the time needed to complete Elden Ring is difficult because everyone can play differently. And if, in addition, we get stuck on some boss for a few (dozen?) hours, the number on the clock at the end of the adventure may surprise us. Just like...
George R.R. Martin's contribution
Just like we were surprised by George R.R. Martin's participation in the development of the title. The American writer was to create not only the foundation and mythology of the world of The Lands Between but also write the stories of the main bosses of Elden Ring. Hidetaka Miyazaki admitted that the developers approached the concepts of A Song of Ice and Fire's author in their own way, adapting some of them to the needs of the game and simply throwing out others, but Martin was said to be open to any changes. His collaboration on Elden Ring was to be a source of inspiration for the studio and a valuable experience.
That would be it. It is very possible, that soon we will know - and maybe even see - more, because today a conference call with the game's publisher, Bandai Namco, is scheduled for 2:25 PM PT. So stay tuned for more news from the world of Elden Ring.