Today’s first look at gameplay for Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s highly-anticipated upcoming title, is all-encompassing. The 19-minute video from the developer offers details on everything in the game, including the random encounters that players can expect, new gameplay mechanics like crafting and stealth, and the changes that have come from giving players the option to do a little hop whenever they want.
Elden Ring takes place in The Lands Between, and that’s pretty much all we got of the game’s story or setting during today’s presentation. It’s not clear why players will be adventuring through the strange, cursed land or what their goal is. Like the Dark Souls games, Elden Ring‘s story may be told through item descriptions. However, much like a Dark Souls game, there are places scattered throughout the world for players to rest at called sites of grace. Lights from the sky point to these sites, giving players a beacon to head towards if they need to get away from the action.
Elden Ring‘s largest departure from all of From Software’s other games is that it’s totally open-world. Players can summon a spectral horse and ride through The Lands Between, meeting NPCs or taking part in random encounters. One such encounter shown today had a dragon swoop in and attack the player as they were passing a patrol of enemies.
Players will also be able to ambush convoys of enemies, stealing treasure from the carriages they carry. In today’s video, the player accomplished this by sneaking up on enemies and stunning them with a heavy strike before taking them down. Similarly, players can prepare for fights by crafting useful items, including arrows, from the materials they find around the world.
When they approach enemies or the game’s dungeons, players won’t be bound to the same constraints of other Souls-like games, either. Movement in Elden Ring seems to be a blend of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, with fast dodges being available in combat and quick, high jumps performable at any time. Giving players the ability to jump without needing a running start has evidently affected the design of the game’s dungeons as well. Players can take multiple routes through Elden Ring‘s dungeons by climbing across rooftops or into open windows.
Not everything in Elden Ring is different from FromSoftware’s previous games, though. Players can still summon other players for co-op play or invade others to ruin someone’s day.
Elden Ring is set to launch on February 25, 2022, for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Anyone who wants to try out the game early can register for a Closed Network Test slated to take place next week.