The highly-anticipated Dark Souls-inspired RPG Elden Ring is nearly complete, and the devs promise an “unusual map” and nary a fetch quest in sight.
Elden Ring is one of those titles that feels like an urban legend–a new “open-world” RPG from the makers of Dark Souls in collaboration with George R.R. Martin? It’s been rumored and/or in hushed development for years, but now it’s in the final phase of development, according to producer FromSoftware. At the “Famitsu x Dengeki Autumn Game Day” during the Tokyo Game Show this past weekend, FromSoftware producer Yasuhiro Kitao spoke for about ten minutes about the highly-anticipated project.
Kitao described the project as a “culmination of FromSoftware’s expertise in dark fantasy action,” going on to say that it would bring the same “high level of difficulty and the sense of accomplishment of overcoming it,” as well as the “joy of discovering the unknown, and the creation of the world setting.” This jives with what we generally know about the project, but Kitao emphasized the open-world and “unusual structure” of the map during his video call as well:
“You can explore the open field and seamlessly visit small to medium-sized dungeons within it. There are several types of dungeons to explore, such as catacombs and auditoriums. At the end of the world, we have what we call ‘legacy dungeons’, which are huge castle-like dungeons like the ones in previous titles.
We have prepared a large field, but we don’t have any errand quests, so players can go there or there as they like. However, there are no errand quests. There is also a system to help players avoid getting lost.”
One of the new elements in the series are Reimas, a sort of spirit/spectral horse that you can summon to roam the world–but they’re also a way to fight your enemies, as Kitao explained:
“You can’t call them in dungeons, but you can call them in the field, and they have high mobility, such as the ability to jump two steps, so they can reduce the stress of moving. You can also shoot a bow or swing a sword while riding a horse. When there are several enemies, it is easier to fight by getting off the horse, but when fighting a big dragon, it is easier to fight by staying on the horse.”
Players will have to contend with the familiar souls-like difficulty and might find themselves needing to level up a little before approaching a given area, but if they are clever, they might be able to make use of stealth and assassination to achieve their aims, as a stealth system similar to the one introduced in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is in Elden Ring.
It’s been a long time coming, but with a January 2022 release date planned, Elden Ring is looking very good indeed.