Image via Bandai Namco Youtube

8 things we learned about Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Kept you waiting, huh?

Two years after Elden Ring was released, we finally got our first look at the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC. From cryptic teases to ghastly enemies, it had it all, and it sounds like there will still be some challenges in store for those seeking more of them.

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Through interviews at IGN and Eurogamer with director Hidetaka Miyazaki and other places, including the trailer itself, we’ve got a clearer picture of what’s waiting for us in this new adventure.

01. There will be hardcore challenges

For those of you looking for a challenge, Miyazaki has good news, as he states to IGN: “To our more hardcore players, they will find optional bosses who have been tuned in a similar way to the likes of Malenia, who I’m sure you remember from the base game, who are not crucial.”

Knowing Miyazaki as we know him by now, I’m betting he’s being overtly humble by talking about bosses who are more or less as hard as Malenia. DLC bosses in Souls games tend to be much harder than in the main games, so we’re about to meet something devious. Can you imagine Manus from the original Dark Souls DLC with Malenia’s dual Katana? Or the Fume Knight with her speed? I can.

02. We’re tracking down Miquella

In the same interview with IGN, Miyazaki states that the DLC will figuratively and literally follow the footsteps of Miquella, confirming the set up made by the base game after we defeated Mohg. That’s cool, but it also spells a bunch of trouble, as Miquella is the brother of Malenia, famously the most challenging boss in the history of Souls games.

This does, however, seem to entail that Miquella himself might not put up as much of a challenge as Malenia, as he’ll likely be a mandatory boss. Though I could very well be wrong about this — the difficulty part — I mean.

Image via Bandai Namco’s Youtube

03. We’ll get to know more about Marika

Though Miyazaki doesn’t talk about it in the interview, the trailer for the DLC closes out with the silhouette of a shining figure. Who could that be other than Marika, the elusive goddess of this world? Could it really be her? Could it be that the DLC has a deity waiting for us as the true final enemy? Could she be one of these optional boss battles that will provide the ultimate challenge?

There’s no word on that yet, though that would make for quite the ending — and there are some indications that that might be the case.

04. We’re not in the Lands Between anymore

Shadow Of The Erdtree takes place in a completely new area that’s not the Lands Between, an area Miquella ventured into in an attempt to find Marika.

Miyazaki also talks to IGN about how this new area “technically occupies the same space as the Lands Between, the same universe”, so we might be looking at a scenario similar to Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters DLC, in which we enter a mix between an altered-reality version of the area from the first game and some awesome new areas. I like that idea, though that will inevitably come accompanied by even tougher enemies.

In either case, it seems like there will be no need to worry about a lack of stuff to do, as Miyazaki confirms the return of both vast open areas to explore, big dungeons, and smaller ones. For those curious, Miyazaki says that the total area of the DLC will be comparable to — if not larger than — the area of Limgrave.

05. George R. R. Martin is still around

Sadly, Miyazaki told IGN he’d never even once had the chance to meet up with the Game Of Thrones writer who helped shape the world of Elden Ring to celebrate. Still, he confirms that they already had all the work they needed of him to make Shadow Of The Erdtree, so the DLC will be as influenced by Martin’s work as the original game.

06. Elden Ring might not be done yet

Even though this DLC seems to transmit a feeling of finality, Miyazaki told IGN that this is not necessarily the end of the Elden Ring saga: “We don’t want to discourage the possibilities for that. There might be more ideas in the future.”

07. The price is steep

At $40, the DLC has already garnered some criticism from fans. For reference, the Old Hunters DLC was originally planned as two different DLCs, then merged into one, and it was still released at a lower price point. I fully trust FromSoft will deliver a banger, but I’m afraid to see the impact that this might have on other companies currently wondering which price tags they might stick to their upcoming DLCs.

08. There’s a healing swamp you this time around

Just kidding — Miyazaki has only confirmed the presence of yet another poisonous swamp. His explanation is that he really likes to create them.

“It was only after creating it that I realised I really like to create poisoned swamps,” Miyazaki told Eurogamer. “And this was a little place of introspection and reflection for me. So maybe, when players reach the poisoned swamp in the DLC, they will feel a little bit of this retrospection.” Woohoo!

Elden Ring Shadow Of The Erdtree drops on June 21, for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC.


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Author
Tiago Manuel
Tiago is a freelancer who used to write about video games, cults, and video game cults. He now writes for Destructoid in an attempt to find himself on the winning side when the robot uprising comes.