Elden Ring is an action role-playing game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and made in collaboration with fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, who provided material for the game’s setting. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 25, 2022.
Elden Ring is presented through a third-person perspective, with players freely roaming its interactive open world. Gameplay elements include combat, featuring several types of weapons and magic spells, horseback riding, and crafting. Elden Ring received critical acclaim, with praise for its open world gameplay. The game sold 12 million copies worldwide within three weeks of its release.
Elden Ring is an action role-playing game played in a third-person perspective with gameplay focusing on combat and exploration; it features elements similar to those found in other games developed by FromSoftware, such as the Souls series, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Director Hidetaka Miyazaki explained that players start with a linear opening but eventually progress to freely explore the Lands Between, including its six main areas, as well as castles, fortresses, and catacombs scattered throughout the open world map. These main areas are interconnected through a central hub that players can access later in the game’s progression—similar to Firelink Shrine from Dark Souls—and are explorable using the character’s mount as the main mode of transport, although a fast travel system is an available option. Throughout the game, players encounter non-player characters (NPCs) and enemies alike, including the demigods who rule each main area and serves as the game’s main bosses.
Combat in Elden Ring relies heavily on character-building elements found in previous Souls games and related intellectual properties, such as calculated and close-ranged melee-based combat with the use of skills, magic abilities, as well as blocking and dodging mechanics. Elden Ring introduces mounted combat and a stealth system, the latter being a core gameplay element from Sekiro; these features are expected to encourage players in strategizing their combat approach with each unique enemy they encounter. The game makes use of a player character stamina bar after being absent from Sekiro, although its overall influence over combat was reduced compared to previous FromSoftware games that utilized it. Unlike in Sekiro, resurrection mechanics after in-game death are not available; however, some elements were added to ensure players’ progression within the game.
Miyazaki stated that the customization in Elden Ring would be richer, as players are able to discover different skills through their exploration of the map instead of unlocking skill trees as in Sekiro and differing from the pre-fixed weapon skills of FromSoftware’s previous games. These skills are interchangeable with a large variety of weapons which, alongside equipment, magic abilities, and items players can craft using materials found within the world, can be used to customize the player character. The game also features summoning mechanics, where players can summon a large variety of collectible spirits hidden throughout the game’s world map, including previously defeated enemies, as allies to assist them in battle. Similar to the Souls series, the game’s multiplayer allows other players to be summoned for cooperative play.