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Elden Ring: Release date, trailer, gameplay, story and more

Elden Ring: Release date, trailer, gameplay, story and more
(Image credit: From Software)

Elden Ring is yet another Souls-like brainchild of Hidetaka Miyazaki being developed by FromSoftware. Just when you thought a lineup couldn’t get any better, the team got a little help from the Game of Thrones author himself, George R.R. Martin, in designing the mythos of Elden Ring. With such a development team, FromSoftware fans are in for quite the treat. 

While Elden Ring was first announced back on June 9, 2019 and officially revealed on June 10, 2021 during the Summer Game Fest event. FromSoftware was supposed to debut another trailer at the Taipei Game Show before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Some important details about this anticipated fantasy have already been released. Here’s everything we know so far about Elden Ring.

Elden Ring release date

Elden Ring is coming January 21, 2022 to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well as last-gen consoles.

In an interview, a Bandai Namco representative and Miyazaki revealed that Elden Ring has been in development since early 2017, when the final DLC of Dark Souls 3 was completed. However, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in the way, we suspect Elden Ring wasn’t getting very much hands-on development time.

FromSoftware previously reached out to the community on Twitter, saying that it appreciates all the enthusiasm and support shown for Elden Ring, and that it hopes that fans look forward to it.

Elden Ring gameplay

We finally got a gameplay reveal for Elden Ring at the Summer Game Fest. There are horses, dragons with lightning spears, wild big boys with even bigger swords. It looked like there was even some stealth mechanics. You can jump, and even double jump with your freaking horse (bro, are you kidding me?) The massive gorgeous landscapes that were shown off are reminiscent of Breath of the Wild levels of adventure, except dark as hell.

FromSoftware has dubbed it an action RPG, so it’s going to be more like Dark Souls and Bloodborne than it is Sekiro, which was a full-blown action game.

Miyazaki did talk about the boss fights that you’ll experience in the game. "Boss fights are something we enjoy making and make up one of the climaxes to this title as well. We feel there is a wide variety of unique and horrifying bosses for players to look forward to."

And much like Dark Souls, you get to create your own unique character, as FromSoftware will be focusing heavily on RPG elements. Miyazaki also stated that FromSoftware is not shying away from “the fun of responsive melee-based combat.”

In the Summer Game Fest trailer we saw a soldier fighting monsters and beasts, traversing beautiful medieval landscapes, and fighting off "the tarnished" in search of the Elden Ring. The main character traveled on foot and horseback, and the combat consisted of sword fighting and bow and arrow shooting. 

Some info about the gameplay recently leaked. It may be obvious, but take this "leak" with a ton of skepticism as it's coming from 4chan, which can harvest some shady claims. However, credible leaks and info dumps have come to light via 4chan before, so it's not entirely implausible.

The leak comes from someone who claims to be on the team working on the Italian translation of Elden Ring.

Combing through this dump of short details, it states that Elden Ring will play similarly to Dark Souls 1 and 3 with an emphasis on a slower but more dynamic fighting style. Apparently, you can jump and air dodge. There are no starting classes, but you can join covenants to change your "mastery."

Other details include players having a ghost horse mount, an inventory management system similar to Demon's Souls, day/night cycles, checkpoints similar to bonfires, and no difficulty options whatsoever.

Additionally, there are five main bosses and 12 regular bosses. Bosses will have health bars similar to the Sekiro system and enemies are stronger at night but drop better loot.

One of the most annoying features, if true, is the return of an unseen aid system, which was in Sekiro. Instead of being able to retrieve your fallen goodies, your experience and money were reduced to half unless you rolled well enough on percentage die to get your stuff restored. This just adds an arbitrary difficulty that you have almost no control over, which isn't what these games should be about.

The leak also states that the first trailer will launch on July 21 at the Xbox Games event, but the event was recently revealed to be July 23. However, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Xbox debuted Elden Ring, as they've marketed FromSoftware games before, such as Sekiro.

As I mentioned earlier, all of these details may very well be inaccurate, although some of them would be nice to see. That is, except unseen aid, which nobody should want.

In an unsuspected twist, the head of Xbox himself, Phil Spencer, talked about playing Elden Ring and what he thinks of it. In an interview with GameSpot, Spencer was questioned about how much of Elden Ring he'd actually seen, and he said, "I've seen actually quite a bit. I've played quite a bit."

"As somebody who's played all of Miyazaki's games over at least the last decade, this is clearly the most ambitious game that he's done," Spencer said. "I mean, I love his games, but seeing some of the gameplay mechanics stuff that he's tackling, he and the team are tackling this time, of the setting, working with another creator in terms of story. I love it."

Of course, the other creator he's talking about is Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, who worked on the lore and universe of the game. Spencer also talked about how Miyazaki is "expanding his horizons" with Elden Ring, but says that doesn't apply to how the head of Xbox plays.

"I think that's because I'm a bad player, and then when he comes back we'll have a conversation about things that I think," Spencer said. "He's so passionate about what he does. It's one of the things I just love about getting to work with him on some of these games and seeing them come to our platform."

It's not a big surprise that Spencer got his hands on Elden Ring, especially since the trailer for the game debuted at the Xbox show in 2019. It's exciting to hear about Elden Ring from another perspective, especially since we've heard pretty much nothing about the game so far.

If you're still desperate to see something of Elden Ring, a fan upscaled the leaked trailer footage to 720p and uploaded it on YouTube. It looks and sounds terrible, but this is seemingly more than enough to get the neediest fans excited.

Apparently, there was also a leak on 4Chan via a Reddit post, but it's not much.

Elden Ring story

The announcement trailer gave us a small glimpse into the world that Miyazaki and G.R.R.M. created with a gloomy voiceover saying:

"I doubt you could even imagine it. That which commanded the skies, giving life its fullest brilliance. The Elden Ring. Shattered, by someone or something. Don't tell me you don't see it. Look up at the sky. It burns."

Based on the official trailer shown at Summer Game Fest, the plot revolves around a "tarnished" soldier in search of the Elden Ring. It's clear that retrieving the ring will release the world from the dangerous beasts who are bound by an "unending curse."

G.R.R.M. constructed the mythos of Elden Ring for Miyazaki, and the entire FromSoftware team is taking that mythos and running with it into the deep dark places that you’d typically find Miyazaki’s work.

Elden Ring setting

We don’t exactly know where Elden Ring is taking place, but we imagine it’s outside of the Souls and Bloodborne mythos. Considering that Souls and Bloodborne share similar themes and connections, it’s not necessarily a leap to say that Elden Ring could be similarly connected. However, since G.R.R.M. was in charge of the mythos of Elden Ring, we imagine this is going to be entirely different.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Something that’s unique to Elden Ring is that the entire game will exist in an open world. Previously, games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro featured open areas that you can freely explore, but there was never a sense of openness in the way that Miyazaki is currently promising.

“It is without a doubt our biggest title yet in terms of sheer volume,” Miyazaki said. “It is a world full of danger and threats, as well as many areas ripe for exploration. Among those areas, you will also find intricately designed, multi-layered castles and such.”

In an interview with IGN, Miyazaki said, "Creating a new type of game is a big challenge for us. If we would add towns on top of that, it would become a bit too much, so we decided to create an open-world style game focused on what we are best at.” 

Apparently, it’s going to be big enough that you’ll be able to traverse the lands of Elden Ring on horseback.

Elden Ring music

We typically don’t cover the music section of a game, but this one is pretty special because veteran FromSoftware composer Yuka Kitamura is coming back for Elden Ring. She previously worked on Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro, so if you’re a fan, you know it’s going to be good.

Kitamura confirmed this via Twitter when a fan asked if she would be working on Elden Ring’s soundtrack.

Elden Ring doesn’t even have a store page on Steam or any other launcher, let alone any minimum or recommended PC requirements. However, we could glean just what kind of hardware you might need by looking at Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro.

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

The minimum requirements for Sekiro are an Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD FX-6300 CPU, 4GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon HD 7950 GPU. For Dark Souls 3, the minimum requirements happen to be the same, apart from the Nvidia GPU, which drops down to GTX 750 Ti.

The recommended requirements for Sekiro are an Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 970 or RX 570 GPU. Meanwhile, Dark Souls 3 recommends Intel Core i7-3770 or AMD FX-8350 CPU, 8GB of RAM and GTX 970 or Radeon R9 series GPU.

From these specs, we imagine that getting your PC to run Elden Ring on lower settings won’t require god-like components. However, since this is an open-world game, there will be a lot more assets rendered on-screen all at once, so keep that in mind.

Rami Tabari

Rami Tabari is a Senior Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.