If you’ve been pondering what exactly FromSoftware’s nearly released game is all about, then help is at hand in the form of a six-minute-plus trailer that gives you a serious taste of what to expect from one of the most anticipated games of 2022.
From the outset there’s a definite feeling that Elden Ring is leaning more towards the Dark Souls side of From’s brutally tough dark fantasy games. There’s the backdrop of a ruined land mixed with ornate castles, mist-shrouded mountains, spindly trees and a vast ethereal tree. It all looks rather pretty in a dark way.
But with the trailer showing off trusty steed Torrent, the open-world element of Elden Ring becomes apparent; this will be a big game on a big map rather than a mix of cleverly interconnected locations. This looks just the type of world one could venture into way off the critical path, much like in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, only with more chance of being brutally killed by a monstrosity.
Speaking of monstrous things, the trailer showed off some boss/powerful enemy battles, which range from a typical Souls-style dragon to leathery giants and a multi-armed being with airs of royalty. That being said, a freakish monster that looks like it’s made up of multiple giant hands has a whiff of Bloodborne about it, as does a creepy doll-like character with two pairs of arms; one does wonder how the art folks at From come up with such… imaginative designs.
Combat initially looks very Dark Souls, but there's a speed to the movement that also has echoes of Bloodborne; aggressive players could crack a smile here. Horse-back combat is completely new, however, and looks pretty fun. But it's not clear if this will have the depth of tactics and skill of foot-based fighting.
Speaking of skill, early previews and the trailer itself do little to convince us that Elden Ring will be easier and more accessible than the games that have inspired and preceded it. But if things get too tough, the trailer showcased how you can summon spectral allies in the form of fellow fighters or a pack of wolves. And you’ll also be able to play the game with what looks like another two human players.
Check out the trailer for yourself to get a full feel for what Elden Ring has to offer when it launches February 25; we reckon the wait for a new FromSoftware game could be worth it. Sure, Elden Ring might not break any gaming moulds, but it looks like it will combine elements from some of the best games ever, and it could be a title that really shifts the needle for gaming in 2022. Just expect to die… a lot.