A new Elden Ring gameplay trailer walked us through its enormous map and gave us our best look yet at key elements like multiplayer, spirit summoning, stealth and stagger kills, crafting, and plenty more.
The trailer, which shows an in-progress build running on PC, opens with a Site of Grace, one of the bonfire-style checkpoints of The Lands Between. A Ray of Guiding Light coming off this site gives us a hint at where to go next, but the trailer stresses that it's up to us to choose whether to follow it.
The first character featured in the trailer sets off on horseback, passes some of those big, carriage-hauling lads seen in previous trailers, and is abruptly attacked by a dragon which they fight on horseback using magic and melee. The fight ends with a finisher attack to the eye, highlighted by an orange weak spot once the dragon is weakened.
We then cut to a much calmer scene: a giant, so-called Pot Boy is stuck in the ground and needs your help getting out. Our hero smacks this Pot Boy, who's apparently named Alexander the Iron Fist, out of the ground with a giant club – as you do – and strikes up a conversation. Elden Ring is said to be more character-focused than FromSoftware's previous RPGs, and we really need to know more about Alexander's role.
The trailer then transitions to a new character dual-wielding scimitars. This section gives us a nice look at the world map, which is apparently filled out by acquiring map fragments. The world of Elden Ring looks enormous, so it's a good thing we've got 100 custom map markers – separated into useful categories for marking everything from crafting resources to dungeons – to put all over the Lands Between.
This character apparently specializes in stealth, as evidenced by the way they pick apart a camp of enemies in the dead of night. By putting enemies to sleep with cursed arrows seemingly crafted from monster drops, staggering and executing them with aerial and heavy attacks, and summoning a friendly mob of armed goblins, they're able to dispatch everything with relative ease. This reflects the more offbeat strategies FromSoftware's discussed in the past, and it shows just how deep the stealth gameplay really goes. Never thought we'd be dive-bombing and sleep-killing enemies in a FromSoftware game like it's Far Cry, but here we are.
The third character in the trailer is armed with a spear and a staff, and calls upon another player before heading into a scarlet forest. Stealth plays a role here as well: our heroes are able to sneak by the giant robed creatures stalking the forest, but they're swiftly spotted by another boss which wields a giant club and shield from atop a gnarly horse. The ensuing fight gives us another look at the variety of magic in Elden Ring. We've seen characters pull magic bows out of thin air, lob familiar chunks of blue energy, summon spirit creatures and ethereal arrows, and now cast what can only be described as the Chaos Reach Super from Destiny 2. This boss has magic of his own, too, and calls forth storms of red lightning throughout the fight.
We then jump to one of the so-called legacy dungeons of Elden Ring: some catacombs filled with animated skeletons. Seem familiar? The latest character in the trailer heads in, sword and torch in hand, and comes upon traps ready to mince him up as well as a friendly masked lad that helpfully points out an invisible wall hiding a secret chest. These dungeons "each hold their own secrets, from hidden treasures to fearsome bosses," the narrator promises.
The next dungeon is a more open environment: Stormvale Castle, a massive fortress situated in the Limgrave region. This section demonstrates the importance of Elden Ring's newly added jump button, which can be used to access all sorts of unusual routes and vistas. "Dungeons are complex and multilayered meaning they can be tackled from a number of routes," the trailer explains.
To round things out, we finally make it through Stormvale until we reach Godrick the Golden, the ruler of the castle and one of the demigod bosses holding the Elden Ring fragments that we, as Tarnished, are so ardently pursuing. Godrick, also known as Mr. Many Hands, has an axe-wielding arm for every occasion, plus another arm that's just a straight-up dragon head for special occasions, and makes fairly quick work of our hero with a fiery grab attack. We do get to see a bit more magic before the curtain falls, though, including a spell that buffs your weapon with a red light (which may function like the Curse Weapon spell from previous games) and another that creates a giant sword of magic.
Phew! That was a whole lot of Elden Ring, and boy does it look promising. The map is big, the bosses are threatening, and build variety seems off the charts. With each passing trailer, Elden Ring looks more like the Big Dark Souls extravaganza we were hoping for. FromSoftware says more details will be shown at a later date, and we're already hungry for another showcase.
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