A collaboration between Dark Souls developer FromSoftware, and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, Elden Ring has the potential to be one of the most expansive and detailed dark fantasy games we’ve seen in a while.
The trouble is, though, we don’t know much about it. Aside from a brief trailer comprising prerendered cutscenes from E3 2019, information about Elden Ring has been both vague and sporadic. Still, between the trailer and a few comments from the game’s creators, we can fill in a few gaps about Elden Ring until we get a more comprehensive look at the game.
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Elden Ring trailer
Elden Ring’s announcement trailer from E3 2019 remains the single largest source of information we have about the game. And that’s not saying much, since, like all of FromSoftware’s projects, Elden Ring’s story and setting seem somewhat obscure on purpose. But if you want to watch two minutes of every pretty dark fantasy cutscenes, watch it below:
In it, we see a warrior sacrifice her flesh-and-blood arm for a mechanical one, and a blacksmith breaking what might be the titular Elden Ring. The Elden Ring is a powerful artifact of some kind, and its destruction will apparently unleash some kind of chaos or calamity on the world. There’s an ogre, a battlefield and some ominous narration. This will all probably be a little bit clearer when the game comes out — but not completely so, if FromSoftware’s other games are anything to go by.
Elden Ring release date
Elden Ring was announced for PS4, Xbox One and PC when it got revealed at E3 2019, though next-gen versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X aren't out of the question. The game has yet receive an official release date; take any rumors about it with a significant grain of salt.
Elden Ring multiplayer
FromSoftware hasn’t revealed any information on Elden Ring’s multiplayer capabilities — if any — yet. The Dark Souls and Bloodborne games all had small multiplayer touches, from leaving messages for other players, to summoning players for assistance in boss fights. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, FromSoftware’s most recent project, has no multiplayer at all, though.
While fans seem convinced Elden Ring will have multiplayer options similar to Dark Souls, FromSoftware has remained silent on the matter, as far as I can tell. We’ll have to wait for information directly from the source.
Elden Ring pre-order
First and foremost, Elden Ring does not yet have a release date, so if you pre-order the game now, you could wind up waiting quite a while to receive it. Amazon lists December 31, 2021, although this is just a placeholder date. The game could come out before the end of the year; it could come out in 2022; it could come out even later, since many game studios hit significant development setbacks last year.
There’s also the question of whether Elden Ring will come to PS5 and Xbox Series X, which seems likely. As such, you probably won’t want to pre-order the current-gen game if you have plans to buy a next-gen console. (Theoretically, the Xbox One version will get a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X game through Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system, but this isn’t guaranteed for third-party games.)
Elden Ring story
We do know a little bit about Elden Ring’s story, thanks to the announcement trailer and a few tidbits from Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game’s creator. A powerful creation called the Elden Ring has been destroyed, and the world is apparently in a very bad state as a result. Warriors will need to sacrifice pieces of themselves (literally) in order to fight the demons that have manifested as a result.
As for how much of the story is Martin’s and how much is Miyazaki’s, it’s hard to say. Miyazaki is apparently writing the story, while Martin was responsible for the setting and mechanics. From Martin’s influence, we can expect a dark setting with a lot of intrigue; from Miyazaki’s influence, we can expect odd, detached characters and a story that’s extremely open for interpretation.
Elden Ring gameplay
While we don’t know much about Elden Ring’s gameplay, Miyazaki has said that it will be a little less restrictive than the Souls series and Sekiro. Elden Ring will have an open world, which will allow players to explore it on horseback. There won’t be any towns, however, offering dungeons and explorable ruins instead. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any longtime Souls fans, as those games don’t have dedicated towns, either; just a single safe “hub” area, where non-player characters congregate after you recruit them out in the world.
We got an incredibly short look at the game's combat thanks to some leaked trailer footage, but it's impossible to say whether this is still representative of the final game we'll get. If Elden Ring is still early in development, then expect to see a lot of changes between now and when it comes out.
Tom’s Guide will update this page once we learn more about Elden Ring. In the meantime, you can play through the Dark Souls series or read A Song of Ice and Fire to get a feel for how the game might look once it’s done.