At this point—and you’re well within your rights to still have reservations—it’s becoming pretty difficult to refute that Elden Ring...is real? Today, during a digital showcase, publisher Bandai Namco shows off 15 minutes of the next action-adventure game from FromSoftware. (Update, 10:20 a.m. ET: It’s over, and it was actually closer to 20 minutes—you can watch it all below.) Have a look:
Yes, yes, Elden Ring, which was first announced at E3 2019, technically showed up earlier this year during Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest. After two years of crickets about the game, FromSoft debuted a three-minute trailer. Any fans of the studio’s previous games, like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, were no doubt delighted, as Elden Ring clearly featured those games’ signature cocktail of dark fantasy, gothic mystery, and tough-looking combat. At one point, a horse double-jumped. It ruled.
Following the official release, FromSoft unveiled a bunch of details in a 15-minute clip shown off to press during GamesCom, like the fact that it’ll be an open-world game and feature dynamic weather. (Today’s showcase appears to be the same footage.) But Elden Ring has been largely under wraps since, save for snippets of blurry footage of the game repeatedly leaking, most recently a few weeks ago.
Pretty much all of the GamesCom details were confirmed in today’s footage, which showed a player character (called the Tarnished) navigating a Skyrim-esque world full of dragons, trolls, horseback beasts, and other nightmare abominations. Various forms of multiplayer were confirmed, included cooperative, competitive, and invasion modes. Fall damage appears to be nonexistent, a design choice that should be implemented in every game. The showcase ended in a boss fight against that many-armed giant you see in the screenshot up top. Combat’s as weighty and skill-based as you’d expect from a Soulslike.
But the best part? Pot goblins.
The game’s lore, set in a fictional world called The Lands Between, is notably written collaboratively between game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones. That series’ sixth mainline novel, The Winds of Winter, has been in the wings—and repeatedly pushed back—for years now, leading some fans to snarkily quip that Elden Ring’s slow road to release is the result of Martin’s association.
Elden Ring is currently scheduled for a PlayStation, Xbox, and PC release on February 25, 2022, pushed back from an original release date of January 21, 2022. Starting November 12, FromSoftware will host a closed technical test (why can’t we just call these things demos?) for the game, but only in the United States.
Update, 10:20 a.m. ET: Tweaked text to include details from the showcase.