FromSoftware, the legendary creators of Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne, recently reminded everyone about their new project. It is a brand-new IP named Elden Ring and supposedly a collaboration between FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin. Here is the latest Elden Ring news, plus a handful of predictions.
Elden Ring’s Gameplay
The trailer currently out for Elden Ring shows no gameplay footage. We know FromSoftware specializes in Action RPGs, however. Both their Twitter account and lead designer, Hidetaka Miyazaki, have described Elden Ring as an Action RPG as well. Miyazaki’s claim comes from an interview with Bandai Namco. He also expressed that Elden Ring will lean further towards the RPG-oriented Dark Souls than the action-oriented Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This means character creation tools will return, as well as choice of equipment.
Surprising few, Miyazaki confirmed in the same interview that intense boss fights will be included. He stated the team at FromSoftware enjoy developing varied and horrifying bosses to appear during climactic moments.
Elden Ring’s Setting
The E3 2019 trailer shows very little clue of Elden Ring’s setting. The land the game will take place is still nameless and could, theoretically, encompass any terrain that fits the medieval fantasy genre. Viewers of the trailer have speculated Norse Mythology could have influenced the setting and lore. Others have speculated Roman and Viking influence.
According to multiple sources of Elden Ring news, Miyazaki has supplied some details of the setting from a gameplay point of view. He confirmed the world of Elden Ring will be a large open field similar to Dragon Age, though without towns populated by NPCs. This would still contrast with the seamless series of levels associated with Dark Souls, where player-funnelling positioned its design closer to the immersive-sim genre than the open-world.
Though Elden Ring will lack NPC-populated settlements, as with the Souls series, Miyazaki has still described it as a “new type of game” for FromSoftware. He claims the setting will be traversable on horseback too, further hinting at a greater focus on exploration.
Intricate, challenging levels are predicted to fall within this open world. Miyazaki described what his team have developed so far as “multi-layered castles” which could resemble Sen’s Fortress or the Boletarian Palace. From an interview with IGN, he implied the individual landmarks within the setting will be similar to levels in previous FromSoftware games.
Elden Ring’s Plot and Writing
With perhaps the exception of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, recent FromSoftware titles are focused on lore over present storytelling. Considering what Miyazaki has said about the setting of Elden Ring, we can safely expect a return to the environmental storytelling technique used in Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
Those two titles were praised for limiting their storytelling to subtle details in levels and item descriptions. This allowed players paying special attention to discover lore slowly. For example, entire characters or bosses could spill greater meaning after the player reads a line of text from an item they drop.
The final clue to Elden Ring’s story comes from the voiceover in the trailer. The narration hints at a dark tone, which would be consistent with most expectations of a FromSoftware game.
The voiceover narrates, “I doubt you could even imagine it. That which commanded the skies, giving life its fullest brilliance. The Elden Ring. Shattered, by someone or something. Don’t tell me you don’t see it. Look up at the sky. It burns.”
Elden Ring’s Lore
Fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin, known for his A Song of Ice and Fire series, has been hired to write the world-building for Elden Ring. Considering the author’s famous works, Elden Ring could end up with a rich lore stretching back years or even centuries. We know little of the amount of input Martin will have, but Miyazaki claims he is excited by it. He has declared himself a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, frequently recommending the books to employees at FromSoftware.
“The actual collaboration itself begun with Mr. Martin ever so politely confirming what sorts of themes, ideas as well as many game-related aspects I had envisioned for the game,” Miyazaki said.
“Even I myself find it hard to contain my excitement from time to time. We hope that everyone else is looking forward to the world we have created.”
Several players of Dark Souls have observed story details similar in theme and tone to Martin’s work. These themes include the idea of mythology masking the grimness and disappointment of reality. Many of the bosses across FromSoftware’s titles hide tragic, sympathetic pasts that align them in a similar shade of moral grey to Martin’s characters. Miyazaki appears to favour gritty, historically-influenced worlds far from our current reality yet so close, just as Martin has.
Elden Ring’s Release Date
There has been no release date revealed in Elden Ring news as of yet. We do know the game has been in development since FromSoftware released Dark Souls 3’s final DLC, The Ringed City, back in late 2017.
Considering George R.R. Martin’s decade-long delay with The Winds of Winter, many have suggested this could mean a long wait for Elden Ring too. However, it’s been rumoured the delay for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series comes from Martin having written himself into a corner; the previous two books were so expansive they left him with a lot to cover in their follow-up. There is no reason to believe his writer’s block should extend to Elden Ring. After all, he released the first three Ice and Fire books within just four years.
Furthermore, the amount of input the fantasy author has in Elden Ring is still up for debate.