Elden Ring publisher tries to cram the RPG's entire story into a 4-minute catch-up video for Shadow of the Erdtree, actually does a pretty solid job

Elden Ring Melina
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Ahead of the launch of the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, Elden Ring's publisher, Bandai Namco, has posted a short video to give players a refresher on the events of the base game, and while it's a solid recap of the Tarnished's journey across the Lands Between, it might not be the official, in-depth lore explanation many of us probably wanted.

Elden Ring's story isn't exactly… easily digestible, and chances are that if you approached the action-RPG casually and just focused on having a good time getting your ass kicked (and kicking ass in return), there are probably parts that you missed. As we've seen with the Dark Souls games in the past, director Hidetaka Miyazaki loves making us work for the lore – you tend to find snippets hidden away in character dialogue and item descriptions, but obviously if you miss any of those then you might not get the full narrative experience. That's why you see so many lore videos going over everything there is to say about the plots, because even if you've played the games, it's not always completely obvious. 

In that sense, this new video from Bandai Namco makes a valiant effort to do the same. It, in simple terms, touches upon the Shattering (the event which saw the Elden Ring itself broken into the Great Runes you recover in the game), as well as the fight between the demigods in possession of the Great Runes. For the most part, however, it focuses on the events that fans will likely remember from their experience playing – meeting Melina, the journey to take her to the base of the Erdtree, and the foes such as Malenia, Mohg, and Radahn who you encounter along the way. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for it to go in depth on how the characters are related, what the Greater Will is, and what the heck all the Fingers are about, then you might be a bit disappointed.

ELDEN RING - The Journey So Far - YouTube ELDEN RING - The Journey So Far - YouTube
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Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised, though. After all, one content creator previously made a YouTube series trying to comprehensively explain the entire lore of the action RPG, which lasted 35 hours, so there's no way that the same amount of detail could ever have been squeezed into a four-minute video. With that said, if you're still craving answers and don't have the time for a 35-hour viewing session, you can also check out our handy guide to Elden Ring's story.

Ahead of its launch, you can also refer to our guide on how to start the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC in Elden Ring.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.