Dark Souls Creator Says Elden Ring Is The Next Step For The Genre

"Elden Ring is a more natural evolution of Dark Souls."

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From Software's new game Elden Ring boasts a high-profile partnership with fantasy author George RR Martin, but it's shaping up to be more than a Souls game infused with Martin's lore. The transition to an open world game, and some of the world-building from Martin, are making it into what Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki feels is the next logical step for the genre he helped to create.

"With a larger world, new systems and action mechanics inevitably become necessary," Miyazaki told IGN. "In that sense, I think that Elden Ring is a more natural evolution of Dark Souls."

For example, the protagonist of Elden Ring can travel the world on horseback, and even fight enemies while mounted. Miyazaki says this leads to more diverse combat situations, rather than restricting players to combat within tightly confined spaces. The addition of horseback also means that spaces can be set further apart, including villages. But unlike many RPGs, these villages won't be safe havens full of NPCs and happy shopkeepers.

"Villages will be the dark dungeon-like ruins that you have come to expect from us," Miyazaki said. "Creating a more open game is a big challenge for us. If we were to add towns on top of that, it would become a bit too much, so we decided to create an open-world-style game focused on what we are best at."

Miyazaki also says the division of labor with Martin has resulted in an interesting process developing the lore. Your character is created and so the protagonist of the story has no fixed identity. Martin's work has been to lay the groundwork with the lore and history of the world, while Miyazaki's team has been developing the events within the timeframe of the game. Both worked independently, but their work would impact each other.

"Storytelling in video games--at least the way we do it at From Software--comes with a lot of restrictions for the writer," he said. "I didn’t think it was a good idea to have Martin write within those restrictions. By having him write about a time the player isn’t directly involved in, he is free to unleash his creativity in the way he likes. Furthermore, as FromSoftware we didn't want to create a more linear and storydriven experience for Elden Ring. Both issues could be solved by having Martin write about the world’s history instead."

Elden Ring is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PS4. For more on Elden Ring, check out our pre-order guide.

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