News on Elden Ring, the next title from beloved developer FromSoftware, has been relatively scarce since first announced in 2019. As a successor to Hidetaka Miyazaki’s top-rated Dark Souls franchise, it has quite the shoes to fill and millions of fans waiting in anticipation. Fortunately, the release date has been announced. So they won’t have to wait much longer to experience this collaborative effort between Miyazaki and A Song Of Fire and Ice author George R. R. Martin.
Much like the Souls series, Elden Ring‘s narrative will not be clearly explained to the player. Instead, it will be left up to the player’s interpretation through gameplay and interaction with NPCs. In addition, we can expect a dark, fantasy world as the backdrop for the adventure. A very brief synopsis can be found on the game’s official website, however.
Elden Ring will be a full-scale, open-world action RPG that ditches the more linear approach taken by the Souls games. Instead, players can expect similar combat mechanics popularized by From’s previous titles. However, stealth and the ability to hop on a steed for traversal are many new additions to the formula. Miyazaki believes this will be the next step in evolving the tried-and-true design philosophy From’s portfolio has established.
“With a larger world, new systems and action mechanics inevitably become necessary…In that sense, I think that Elden Ring is a more natural evolution of Dark Souls.” -Miyazaki
While pacing and progression may be more in line with Breath of the Wild or Skyrim, Miyazaki says that the game will retain some elements that fans of his work have come to know and love over the years.
“Villages will be the dark dungeon-like ruins that you have come to expect from us” says Miyazaki
Of course, the collaboration between Miyazaki and Martin also offered a fascinating dynamic. It was a huge deal back when it was first announced. Martin’s knack for world-building was incorporated into the game’s lore, and Miyazaki positively reflected on this experience. He notes that the two could work in harmony despite the experience indeed being a different experience for Martin.
“…we both weren’t restricted by each other, yet still influenced each other’s work,”
Elden Ring is set to launch for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Series X/S, and PC on January 21 next year. Unfortunately, there are no flashy special editions available to pre-order at the time of writing- just the standard $59.99 edition. In the meantime, there have been whispers of a demo on the horizon, but take it with a grain of salt.