The time for the release of From Software’s next blockbuster is fast approaching; now is the time to take stock of this announced contender for the title of Game of the Year.
Unless there is another postponement, the video game world is preparing for a small earthquake with the arrival ofElden Ring the next February 25. The next game from From Software is certainly one of the most anticipated titles of the moment, so much so that we already expect to find it among the favorites in the race for the title of Game of the Year. There are exactly a few weeks left to prepare psychologically; a good opportunity to do a final recap of all the information we have before the release. Warning: some paragraphs may contain elements that could be considered spoilers!
What kind of universe should we expect?
With Demons Souls, From Software has got its hands on a real vein of game design that has allowed it to establish itself among the best studios of the moment. Since the departure of the spiritual father from Dark Souls, its designers have chained several masterpieces of atmosphere and immersion; the studio is now one of undisputed masters of the atmosphere and there is no reason thatElden Ring breaks with tradition.
If we rely on the images and the first feedback from beta testers, we immediately see that the studio’s characteristic graphic style is back. Let’s not beat around the bush: the artistic direction ofElden Ring already looks like a true masterpiece. Even more than in other Souls, the player seems almost insignificant in the midst of the grandiose settings of the Underworld.
We find these spectacular landscapes, punctuated by majestic structures reminiscent of Anor Londo and titanic monsters. And as always with From Software, the whole thing is enhanced with a particularly developed sense of staging. The general atmosphere, it navigates between two waters, sometimes very dark, sometimes almost biblical, often a bit of both. And for our greatest pleasure, this fundamental ambivalence to the identity of the franchise once again seems to be implemented brilliantly.
Will Elden Ring have an open world?
In contrast, Elden Ring is very far from relying on the achievements of its elders in terms of level design. Completed, the segmented and interconnected levels of the series Dark Souls; place in an open world of Dantesque proportions. It’s a hell of a bias, and also a real gamble on the part of the studio.
By moving away from its favorite formula, it takes the risk of disappointing some of the regulars. A maneuver all the more perilous as this format will force From Software to make some concessions. Indeed, the studio has always set the bar high enough in terms of level design, with obvious attention to detail and particular attention paid to the sequence of the different sequences. A titanic work that will certainly be difficult to replicate on this scale, and in a non-segmented environment. We therefore look forward to discovering how the studio has chosen to approach this aspect of the game.
George RR Martin is in the game
But on the one hand, this format strongly resembles the ideal substrate for developing a lore exciting, extremely dense and above all cryptic as the studio has the secret. And at this level, Elden Ring looks simply awesome. It starts with the presence of a brand consultant: George RR Martin, father of Game Of Thrones in person ! Could this be another excuse to continue torturing fans of the Iron Throne ?
Either way, it’s a great catch for Hidetaka Miyazaki’s troops. With a world-maker of this caliber to lend a hand to the geniuses at From Software, we can expect a new epic as epic as it is obscure made of strong charactersbut mysterious, apocalyptic wars and of supernatural forces.
Once is not custom, the studio has even unveiled a short, but relatively explicit video on the universe ofElden Ring. On the other hand, this one also poses a whole bunch of questions for which we are already looking forward to seeking the answers in the depths of a dungeon. It will also be interesting to see if and to what extent the lore ofElden Ring will be linked to that of the series Dark Souls.
Will it be as difficult as Dark Souls and Sekiro?
Elden Ring also inherits another fundamental aspect of the design of its elders, and which defined the video game niche of “Soul’s Like”: Challenging but oh so rewarding gameplay. There is a combat system relatively slow and methodical based on movement precision, timing, and energy management. We also find the weight system, parries, rolls, and other usual Souls sleight of hand.
On the other hand, the boss of the studio wanted to reassure the players; he knows full well that his games have the reputation of being quite difficult. The studio has therefore taken great care to seek a happy medium. Elden Ring will be difficultand it’s for a good cause, but there won’t be no need for lightning reflexes like in sekiro or uncompromising discipline as in Dark Souls.
“I know games have that reputation,” he explained in an interview with Sony. “But we try to design games that make you appreciate this routine of constant effort to overcome a challenge. We hope to achieve this goal with Elden Ring and all the new options available. We didn’t knowingly lower the difficulty of the game, but I think more people will manage to complete it this time.”
What will the boss fights look like?
The most striking sequences of the Souls are undoubtedly the boss fights, which constitute the soul (it is the case to say it) of the series. With more than a hundred very heterogeneous bossfights to its credit, From Software has a gigantic experience in this area and we therefore expect a lot ofElden Ring at this level.
At present, beta testers have already identified more than a dozen bosses. But the final version number release still remains unknown. We know, however, thatElden Ring has prepared a whole arsenal of new mechanics, sometimes original, sometimes derived from Bloodborne, sekiro and Dark Souls 3. Unless there is a real disaster, we can therefore expect epic battles, certainly difficult, but also infinitely rewarding.
Will Elden Ring be playable in multiplayer?
In a word: Yes! The studio has already confirmed several aspects of the online experience that awaits players. If you are familiar with the online mode of Dark Souls, you’ll be happy to hear that the invasion system will still be around; it will always be possible to track down a poor wretch in the middle of his quest… or to be reciprocated by a more experienced player.
But the competitive aspect has also been fleshed out beyond simple wild PvP. Players will be able to engage in duels in good and due form, a good way to fight without risking a swordfish blow to the back of the neck by surprise.
For those who prefer mutual aid, the game will also offer a cooperation system. As in other Souls, there is an item that allows you to summon other participants – up to three additional players in this installment. A particularly interesting option that will allowexplore the world of gaming with friends after progressing a little solo. Note that the cross-gen will be there for console players. Note however that at present, From Software has made no mention of a cross-play feature.
Should we worry about security vulnerabilities at From Software?
Recently, a security breach put the servers of Dark Souls upside down. A legitimate concern has therefore begun to arise on the side of the players, anxious at the idea of seeing the release ofElden Ring marred by security issues. And right now, that remains a real concern. For the moment, the studio has not yet communicated on the matter. But we imagine that he took good note of the controversy and that he will work hard to get rid of this vulnerability.
What is the release date of Elden ring, on which platforms?
Unless there is another last minute postponement, Elden Ring will come out on February 25 next. It will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox Series One and Xbox Series X & S. PC players will either have to go through Steam or a third-party retailer.
The basic version, called Launch Edition, will be marketed on consoles at €69.99 on the official Elden Ring website. PC players will be entitled to a small discount since the game is displayed at €59.99 on Steam.
Are there any special editions?
Elden Ring will also be offered in two more expensive editions, called Digital Deluxe, Collector’s Edition and Collector’s Edition Premium. The version Digital Deluxe will be marketed at €79.99 on PC, and €89.99 on console. We find there :
- -Elden Ring
- -The original band
- -A digital artbook
- -An adventure guide
Collectors will be able to opt for the superb Collector’s Edition, sold at the single price of €189.99 on all platforms.. provided they arrive before the shortage of stock which seems imminent.. It includes:
- -A physical copy ofElden Ring and a download code
- – 3 illustrations in the format 13.5 x 17 cm
- -an embroidered crest
- – three stickers one poster 39.3 x 33.4 cm,
- -An exclusive steelbook
- -A bound artbook of 40 pages in 24 x 21.5cm on the lore of the game (in English)
- – A detailed 23 cm figure of Malenia, sword of Miquella
Finally, die-hard fans were able to shell out €259.99 for the Collector Premium version, which comes with a 1:1 scale helmet and a physical copy of the game for…all platforms. On the other hand, this limited edition of 6000 copies has already been out of stock for a long time.
Buy Elden Ring on Amazon