The eternity of waiting is finally over. In the grand finale to Geoff Keighly's Summer Game Fest as part of our coverage of E3 2021, we got a major gameplay trailer for the long awaited dark fantasy action RPG Elden Ring.
After announcing the project seemingly a lifetime ago back in 2019, Elden Ring was heralded as the next big fantasy epic from Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki and acclaimed fantasy author George R. R. Martin. Now we have gameplay footage and it looks almost exactly what fans of the Soulsborne series have come to expect. Dark, diseased, and disheveled locations and tarnished warriors wander about blighted landscapes. Grotesque mutated horrors attacking seemingly at random. That all too distinct kinetic Soulsborne combat that fans know and love with well-timed dodge rolls and exploiting attack patterns. Elaborate boss monsters that range from the nightmarish to the weirdly beautiful. The ability to summon other players to help get through tough spots. All of it was shown off while drenched in brand new high fidelity graphics and visual presentation.
But the biggest surprise seems to be that the player can summon a horse and explore large open areas. Yes, it appears that Elden Ring won't just be another brutally difficult action RPG, but a full blown open-world experience on top of that. How exactly that will work is not exactly clear, but knowing how From Software and Miyazaki like to handle things, it'll probably be insane but somehow fair once you figure it out.
If you were expecting something a bit more coherent regarding the game's central narrative or major characters and themes, the trailer is vague. This is practically a tradition when it comes to all of Miyazaki's work. What we can gleam from the trailer is that characters keep referring to the hero as a Tarnished and mentions that they are seeking the titular Elden Ring for some unknown purpose. As for how this relates things like armored werewolf knights and giant flying demon heads that breathe fire we can only guess.
Thankfully, it appears that we won't have to wait too long for updates as the trailer ends with a release date of January 21, 2022. As for whether or not date will be kept or not remains to be seen. Elden Ring will be coming for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and X. Furthermore according to Namco Bandai, next-gen upgrades of the game will be free for both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game courtesy of Sony and from Xbox One to the Series consoles through Microsoft's Smart Delivery system.
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