FromSoftware tried something new with Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree: "We wanted to go more in-depth and bring a denser and richer level design"

Elden Ring DLC weapons
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

FromSoftware is changing its approach to level design with Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

Speaking to Eurogamer in a new interview, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki explains how the developer's mindset has changed for the new Elden Ring DLC. "This time, we wanted to go more in depth and bring a denser and richer level design, which brings these types of layout together a little more seamlessly," Miyazaki says.

This is a change from level design which previously had a distinctive divide between "field" areas and dungeons. "There will be large open areas, there, of course, will be legacy dungeons, but we've also experimented with something a little more in-between these as well to bring a more diverse gameplay experience," the director adds.

The "denser" level design certainly sounds like something from FromSoftware's past, considering the likes of Dark Souls' Blighttown or Bloodborne's Central Yharnam. One could argue Elden Ring never went quite this intricate with its level design, so it'll be interesting to see how these areas mesh with the "large open areas" of Shadow of the Erdtree.

On the subject of level design, we now know that Shadow of the Erdtree is FromSoftware's "largest expansion" ever, beating out the likes of The Old Hunters from Bloodborne and The Ringed City from Dark Souls 3, two pretty huge DLC packs in their own right.

The Elden Ring DLC is set to launch later this year on June 21, and so far at least, FromSoftware's RPG has shot up the Steam best-sellers chart, which is probably a good indication of just how positively yesterday's new Shadow of the Erdtree trailer was received by newcomers. 

Elden Ring 2 isn't guaranteed to happen after Shadow of the Erdtree, but Miyazaki has said that the "possibility" is there for a new entry. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.