(Pocket-lint) - When FromSoftware announces a game, you can bet your life people pay attention. Its long string of hits, starting with Demon's Souls (recently remastered in excellent style), running throught the Dark Souls saga, Bloodborne and Sekiro, has earned it one heck of a reputation.
If you take that game-making prowess, and add in the plotting of George R. R. Martin, the author behind Game of Thrones, you've got a seriously enticing proposition - and that's just what we're looking at with Elden Ring. Find out everything you need to know, below.
Elden Ring trailer and release date
Elden Ring was announced with a nice and splashy trailer, embedded above, at E3 in 2019, and as you'll see there's not been much news about it since then. The trailer, though, has absolutely loads to go on in terms of themes and ideas.
It ends without any indication of a release date, but things aren't looking great on that front anyway. There have reportedly been some big delays at FromSoftware, most recently cause by the shift to working from home, so anyone hoping for a 2021 release is barking up the wrong tree. 2022 is a likelihood, but we wouldn't even rule out a 2023 launch - be prepared to wait, basically!
More recently a second trailer with very early and unpolished gameplay has been doing the rounds after leaking - it's an interesting watch but also clearly not intended for public consumption yet, so we're not going to embed it - but you can view it here, if you're really keen. Be warned, this might spoil an eventual trailer for you!
Elden Ring platforms
FromSoftware has a chequered history when it comes to releasing its games on different platforms - some of them, like Demon's Souls in both incarnations and Bloodborne have been PlayStation exclusives.
That doesn't seem to be the case this time - Xbox has also shared the trailer for the game with its own branding, so it looks nice and cross-platform. Whether it appears on old-gen consoles is another question, and given the likely timing of its release we'd say there's every chance it ends up being exclusive to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S due to technical limitations.
Another major question will be around whether the game will launch on PC, and if so whether it'll be delayed. Only some of FromSoftware's games have made it to PC, and they've often done so years after release, but Elden Ring is currently slated to do so day and date - we'll see if it can hold to that in due course.
Elden Ring story
Here's where things get juicy - George R. R. Martin has co-created this dark fantasy world along with Hidetaka Miyazaki, the mastermind behind the Souls series. That's an amazing team up, and also brings together two absolute specialists in bleak surprises.
The trailer paints a scene of a shattered world, and it sounds like the Elden Ring, whatever it is, is the aim of many travellers - will we be questing to find it? To restore it, perhaps? Time will tell, but there's a lot more to unpack, but we know that it's been shattered, according to Miyazaki.
For one thing, there's a lot going on with arms here - arms shattering off bodies as a hammer strikes, an arm being attached in readiness for a fight, and more. After the importance of a prosthetic arm to the world and plot of Sekiro, there's cleraly come kind of theme being explored, but we don't have much more to go on for now.
Elden Ring gameplay
Elden Ring sounds like a big step for FromSoftware - multiple sources including Phil Spencer from Xbox have discussed it being the studio's biggest and most ambitious game yet. Part of that appears to be related to a wider gameplay scope.
We still expect to see challenging combat encounters, of course, and the game is again apparently a third-person action RPG, but there's going to be a lot more options for players. For one thing, we know that magic will be a big part of the world - it's big in the Souls games, too, but sometimes feels more like an addition than a core gameplay tenet.
Similarly, the leaked footage contains gameplay on horseback, confirming a new way to get around a bigger open world, and combat in another arena on the back of your mount. As in the Souls games, there will be character customisation, too. Hopefully it can take a leaf from the remake of Demon's Souls, and let us create people who don't look like potatos.
That open world format is also big news, of course, and will be a major change for FromSoftware. However, Miyazaki has confirmed they're not going all-out to imitate something like The Witcher 3 - there won't be towns full of NPCs to talk to or get quests from. Rather the open world will be available to explore as what we hope will be like a tied-up set of FromSoftware's already expansive levels.