One of the scariest things Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki's ever said: Shadow of the Erdtree "pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player"

Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree
(Image credit: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco)

FromSoftware games are often noted for their difficulty, and you can bet Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is no different. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki admits the studio has "pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player." Well, shit.

Talking to CNET,  Miyazaki explains that boss encounters and the "different kinds of threats" you'll meet exploring the Land of Shadow make up the new challenges the DLC poses. 

As for the bosses, you can expect "10-plus," and varying levels of difficulty. On the higher end, FromSoftware has set the difficulty bar with players who've tackled the majority of the base game in mind, and that means "we've kind of really pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player."

"Of course, some bosses are a necessary part of the story development and arc, but some are not," Miyazaki says. "The ones that aren't are especially difficult, I think will pose a very good challenge and obstacle for players." 

It sounds like Miyazaki is looking forward to seeing how fans react to one fight specifically, teasing that "A lot of fans are probably going to react, 'Oh wow, this is a FromSoftware boss'" when talking about one in particular.

Miyazaki then explains that FromSoftware looked at what Elden Ring players found fun and what they found stressful about boss fights post-release to find the difficulty sweet spot. "We tried to make that the foundation of the boss encounters of the DLC, so hopefully players will find it much more engaging and fun," he says. "But if that is not the case, then I'm sorry!"

Ominous, very ominous. Thankfully, you won't have long to wait to see for yourself. We loved our time with the DLC, giving it a perfect score in our Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree review. While we did find that the bosses and enemies "remain (largely) top-notch," we also note that challenge and direction "sometimes reach the point of being unreasonable" and that experimentation with mechanics "doesn't always land right."

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree releases on June 21.

Here's how to prepare for Shadow of the Erdtree from somebody who's actually played it.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.