Elden Ring’s last big reveal left us with two very important questions.
Firstly, is this Soulslike, a collaboration between From Software and author George R.R. Martin, really open world? And secondly, how much has Martin’s involvement pushed The Winds of Winter back?
We don’t have an answer to the latter question, though his role seems to have been limited to creating the world’s lore. But a new twenty-minute gameplay video, which dropped yesterday, has revealed that Elden Ring’s realm is open from the word go. Don’t expect something quite as vast as Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V’s worlds, but just watching your protagonist roam, without being forced through some hub world, has us excited for Elden Ring’s 2022 release.
The gameplay preview, which does have some overlap with previous trailers and previews, also features a little more horse-based combat. You can “Ride like the wind across The Lands Between on your Spectral Steed”, not to be confused with Write Like the Wind, Paul and Storm’s musical plea for George R.R. Martin’s plea to finish the last two Song of Ice and Fire books already. We know if we’ve got to take on a fire-breathing dragon, we’d sooner do it in horseback, giving us a chance of avoiding its fiery breath.
From Software is responsible for the original Dark Souls games and, as such, you won’t be surprised to learn that Elden Ring will feature some very striking locations. The video shows off a vast, foggy-wreathed castle which would be right at home in Demon’s Souls or any of the Dark Souls games. But it also gives us a glimpse of some of the game’s smaller dungeons and catacombs which, while initially spectacular, still have us intrigued. The icing on the Cake of Thrones is that, as you can see in the video, at least one of the previously-teased pot monsters is friendly.
You can check out out the full preview above, but that’s not the only recent Elden Ring revelation. You’ll also be able to purchase several different editions of the game, including an impressive-sounding collector’s edition.
Everyone who pre-orders Elden Ring will get access to a digital adventure guide and a “The Ring” gesture. No, “TEN YEARS, GEORGE.. ARE YOU EVEN HALFWAY THERE YET?” emote, but you can’t have everything. As far as specific editions, there’ll be the following, though not all of these editions will be available in all regions:
- The Standard Edition, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
- The Launch Edition which features the game on disc (except on PC where it’s a code), poster, art cards, stickers and a woven patch. This is exclusive to EMEA regions – Europe, Middle East, Africa – in other worlds, not the USA.
- The Digital Deluxe Edition which comes with a digital copy of the game, and a digital artbook and soundtrack.
- The Collector’s Edition, sporting the game on disc (again, a Steam code on PC), a 23cm statue of “Malenia – Blade of Miquella”, a steelbook, a physical art book ánd a digital soundtrack. In EMEA regions it’ll also feature all the launch edition content.
- The Premium Collector’s Edition features everything from the Collector’s Edition but also has an Official 1:1 Malenia helmet replica.
None of these editions contain a complimentary advance copy of The Winds of Winter, but there’s another reason you should consider your choice of edition carefully. Dark Souls III was infamous for its Estus Flask which, while it looked cool in promotional materials and so forth, was actually a complete embarrassment. We’re hoping From Software and publishers Bandai Namco have learnt their lesson and the helmet and figure are as cool as they sound but, well, you never know.
Elden Ring will ride onto PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC, February 25th 2022. As for The Winds of Winter? That’s anyone’s angry, entitled guess.