Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree's map leans heavier on Dark Souls DNA for "something that's not quite open field and not quite legacy dungeon"

Elden Ring
(Image credit: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is almost here, ahead of our journey into the Land of Shadow, game director and FromSoftware boss Hidetaka Miyazaki has been speaking about the creation of the expansion's map, and it sounds like it might feel pretty different to the vast open world of the Lands Between.

In an interview with PC Gamer, Miyazaki was asked if more of Dark Souls' map DNA had been brought into Shadow of the Erdtree, to which he said: "There was a sense of that as we were building it." 

Elaborating on this, Miyazaki says that, this time, FromSoftware has tried to create "something that's not quite open field and not quite legacy dungeon" – with the latter referring to areas such as Stormveil Castle and Raya Lucaria Academy in the base game, which feel more reminiscent of Dark Souls' classic dungeons. Instead, he says: "It's something that kind of blends the two together and creates that better sense of verticality. While you do have the large open field area… we wanted to not just capture the sense of scale and granularity, but the sense of variety as well."

Ultimately, it sounds as though Shadow of the Erdtree's Land of Shadow could end up feeling a little more like a middle ground between the Elden Ring we already know and love and the Dark Souls trilogy, which is pretty ironic given we're not venturing through the Lands Between this time. We'll just have to wait and see if that's actually the case. Either way, Miyazaki also mentions the developers have attempted to "add to the variety of how we space out and structure the open field to the legacy dungeons," so it certainly seems like we can expect the expansion to spice things up. 

Anyway, with just eight days to go, if you have any more DLC preparations to complete, now is definitely the time. It's worth noting that surprisingly few players have actually beaten the two bosses they need to access the expansion in the first place, so if you're one of them, you might want to consider referring to our guides on how to beat Mohg, Lord of Blood and Starscourge Radahn so that you don't miss out on release day.

If you're heading back into Elden Ring's treacherous lands, you might want to watch out for these snails, which veterans can't believe have had a deadly move up their shells this whole time.

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.