A hot 15 minutes of Elden Ring gameplay has been released, giving salivating FromSoftware fans a good look at what they’ll get to sink their teeth into during next week’s closed network test.
Set in the Lands Between, the first thing shown was a Site of Grace, seemingly an equivalent to Dark Souls’ bonfires, but with the ability to manifest rays of guiding light. You can follow these or not, immediately summoning a horse out of the aether to ride.
The second vignette saw a fearsome battle with a dragon, before cutting to a third that introduced Alexander, the Iron Fist, a character who’s managed to get his robotic body stuck in the mud, needing you to clobber him from behind to set him free.
A key new features for a FromSoftware game is the map that you draw together from map fragments. Using this map lets you place markers to remind you of things you need to be aware of, such as crafting materials or dangerous enemies, and you can also place beacons that appear in the world to help with orientation. Getting around, you can use Spirit Springs when on horseback to send you high into the sky, getting you around the verticality of the world.
In combat, you can prepare yourself by crafting before a fight using materials found in the world. Gain the upper hand by leaping from on high to break a stance with a heavy attack, or pull of combos that interchange between weapons. You can also ring a bell to summon spirits to fight by your side.
Of course there’s also online multiplayer, both for co-op, PvP and invasions. The trailer showed off a co-op segment featuring stealth to get past large monsters, before heading into magic-filled combat with a boss enemy.
There’s also catacombs, caves, mines and dungeons that can be discovered in the open world, which can feature hidden treasures, hidden bosses and more. There was a nice theatrical moment as a co-op buddy emoted to the player strike a wall and dispel it.
Stormveil Castle is a complex, multi-layered dungeon to tackle within the Limb Grave region. Encountering an NPC nearby, you’re given a hint not to use the main entrance and to use a secret passage instead. It’s up to you whether you trust them or not – it quickly becomes clear that, maybe, they should have listened.
The video ends with a final boss fight, coming up to fight one of the game’s demigods Godrick the Golden, the ruler of Stormveil. He’s a big lad, but he does look rather handsy, you might say.
This comes from ‘pre-verification test’, as FromSoftware and Bandai Namco have called it, will run across five sessions, each at varying times to cater to the fanbase around the world. The test will run from 12th to 15th November with those wanting to get involved having had to apply a couple weeks ago. If you’ve seen this new video and thought “I want to play that!” then I’ve got bad news for you: applications have now closed with the lucky few to be contacted by email.
Those times are:
- Session 1: 12PM-3PM November 12th 2021 CET
- Session 2: 4AM-7AM November 13th 2021 CET
- Session 3: 8PM-11PM November 13th 2021 CET
- Session 4: 12PM-3PM November 14th 2021 CET
- Session 5: 4AM-7AM November 15th 2021 CET
The above gameplay video will surely help to sate some of the pent up appetite for there to be literally any details about the game. A few weeks ago, just before the test was announced, a tiny sliver of new gameplay was leaked onto the internet. Truth be told, it was a waste of everyone’s time. We didn’t get to see any Elden Ring combat gameplay, nor any story or quest content. Instead it showed what is presumably early build footage of the player character travelling through the game’s open world.
Read more: Why Elden Ring should have an assist mode
Thankfully we do now have more details from the official gameplay video. FromSoftware are getting close to concluding development on this ambitious new game in the studio’s oeuvre.
Elden Ring has a more open world structure than their previous games. With that phrase it’s hard not to picture games like Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, or Far Cry, where maps are densely populated with icons, quest markers, and other activities. FromSoftware won’t be following their lead, believing that navigation and exploration should be a challenging part of the experience. Players will need to unearth map fragments and summon waypoints to help them get around, creating a sense of reward.
Like past Soulsborne games there will obviously be a major emphasis on melee combat though we’ve also seen ranged weapons and magic spells in action. Stealth mechanics similar to those seen in Sekiro will be featured in Elden Ring, too.
Elden Ring will release on 25th February 2022 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One and PC. That date is a little bit later than the January release that was originally released, but FromSoftware just needed a little bit more time in order to finish off their latest title.