The final boss from the Elden Ring Closed Network Test can be circumvented in the main game.
This new comment came earlier today on January 24 from Elden Ring producer Yasuhuri Kitao. Speaking in a pre-recorded presentation for the Taipei Games Show 2022 (opens in new tab), the FromSoftware producer said of Stormveil Castle and Margit the Fell that "it is possible to skip this whole area, and head on to a different region."
It's a little difficult to parse whether Kitao means the entire area of Stormveil Castle is optional in Elden Ring. While the producer's initial comments point to you being able to circumvent the area entirely, he does then mention abandoning an area if you find it too difficult, as you're able to level up elsewhere and then return later on for an easier experience.
Past FromSoftware games have featured optional areas in abundance. You don't need to have seen every region and defeated every boss in the likes of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or even Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, to reach the end of the respective game and hit the credits.
Elden Ring is on course to finally launch next month on February 25, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, after years of anticipation. FromSoftware's collaboration with Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has been a long time coming, and it's been a damn painful wait for fans of the studio's past games, but we're now counting down the days until launch.
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