Elden Ring fans have been chomping at the bit for DLC ever since the game released, and now, after a year of waiting, the announcement that something is indeed coming is here.
From Software Inc grabbed what felt like the majority of the games community by the throat with Elden Ring’s release. Even for players who have never been fond of From Software’s previous games (aka me) were seemingly enamoured, and it’s not hard to see why. This fantasy RPG hits hard.
With such a strong community clamouring for DLC, it’s no surprise that an expansion for the game is in the works.
From Software announced the Elden Ring DLC in a tweet earlier this morning. Translated from Japanese to English, the announcement reads as follows: “DLC ‘Shadow of the Erdtree’ for ‘Elden Ring’ is under development. The follow-up report is still a little ahead, but I would appreciate it if you could look forward to it.” From Software also provided a teaser image, which shows a woman on horseback in a wheat field, looking at the Erdtree in the distance.
While the Dark Souls trilogy features a suite of well-received downloadable content packs, it’s been several years since From Software actually produced any premium post-launch content. Despite winning Game of the Year in 2019, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice never received any substantial story expansions, instead earning a free update that introduced new skins and a selection of revised boss encounters. In fact, the last notable DLC release developed by FromSoftware was Dark Souls 3’s The Ringed City, which debuted just shy of six years ago.
With that in mind, anticipation for Elden Ring’s first DLC is through the roof. Let Me Solo Her only had a two-word response to the announcement, but “so hyped” likely surmises the sentiments of all From Software fans at the moment. Titled Shadow of the Erdtree, there’s not much to go on regarding potential DLC story elements, though it does appear to take place after the game’s climactic finale.
Of course, simple chronology means little in the worlds constructed by From Software; Dark Souls’ Artorias of the Abyss DLC took place long before the events of the main game and was accessed by way of time travel. Similarly, Dark Souls 3’s Ashes of Ariandel DLC was set inside a painting, a scenario that allowed the developers to escape the confines of standard serialized storytelling. Given the open-ended nature of the game’s many endings, Elden Ring’s DLC could go in several different directions, and it could perhaps provide a more definitive conclusion for The Lands Between and many Outer Gods vying for control of the realm.
The only clues we have are the photo above, and the name, Shadow of the Erdtree, referring to the giant tree that looms over the entire map, and is itself scalable later on.
- In the image, the Erdtree looks broken, charred and molten, which is not all that surprising, given the events of the game, and it implies that this DLC takes place after the main storyline, rather than alongside it.
- The landscape has some unidentifiable ruins and what appears to be a field full of ghostly gravestones. Not ghosts, like the gravestones themselves are ghostly.
- Then there is a lone, blonde figure clad in white on a horned horse, presumably Torrent. I suppose this could be a player Tarnished character, as you can make them look like essentially whoever you want, but it could also be a DLC NPC that is somehow important to whatever story FromSoftware is crafting here. But given that fact that it’s riding what appears to be Torrent, it may just be the player. (Update: actually, on further inspection, I believe it’s Miquella riding Torrent).
The lone promotional image FromSoftware released shows a dreary landscape suffering in the shadow of a devastated Erdtree, but it also includes a figure whom many believe to be Miquella. Those who explored the story threads concerning Mohg and Malenia will be familiar with that name, and players who sought the help of Let Me Solo Her know well the wrath of the latter boss. Maybe she’ll be a friendly NPC who serves some kind of role in restoring the destroyed Erdtree, or maybe she’s the next indomitable boss for Let Me Solo Her to conquer—only time will tell.
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