E3 2019: Elden Ring And Dark Souls Sure Seem To Have A Lot In Common
Which isn't all that surprising, honestly.
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After being rumored, and then outright leaked, From Software's newest game was confirmed with a cinematic trailer during Microsoft's E3 2019 press conference. Called Elden Ring, the Bandai Namco-published game tells a story that's a collaboration between From Software director Hidetaka Miyazaki and George RR Martin (author of A Song of Ice and Fire, which Game of Thrones is based on). Though the Elden Ring trailer doesn't reveal any gameplay, it does feature many similarities to the stories and world-building From Software's previous titles--specifically the original Dark Souls.
One of the first characters introduced in the trailer is hammering away at the Elden Ring until it is destroyed. Though their actions are destructive, their movements mirror the animations used for the blacksmith NPCs in the Dark Souls games.
"I doubt you could even imagine it. That which commanded the stars. Giving life its fullest brilliance." These words are spoken by the trailer's narrator in reference to the Elden Ring, which exists in the in-game world as some powerful otherworldly force. It sounds an awful lot like the Dark Soul, which is introduced in Dark Souls as one of the Souls of Lords that birthed light, life, dark, and death into the world.
The narrator adds that the Elden Ring was "shattered by someone or something." Similarly, in Dark Souls, the Dark Soul is fragmented by the Furtive Pygmy--an immensely important character whose identity is still mostly unknown. Perhaps the Elden Ring is broken into pieces for a similar purpose. It's certainly shattered by an equally mysterious person.
E3 2019 Conference Schedule
- Monday, June 10, 10 AM PT -- PC Gaming Show
- Monday, June 10, 12 PM PT -- Limited Run Games Press Conference
- Monday, June 10, 1 PM PT -- Ubisoft Press Conference
- Monday, June 10, 4:30 PM PT -- Kinda Funny Showcase
- Monday, June 10, 6 PM PT -- Square Enix Press Conference
- Tuesday, June 11, 9 AM PT -- Nintendo Direct Showcase
While this narration is going on, the trailer showcases the blacksmith's work in an illuminated light, which stands in stark contrast to the darkness around them. The shifting dichotomy and conflict of light and dark is a major theme in Dark Souls. In the trailer, we then cut to a golden armored figure who wields a spear. When fully armored and armed, they look and move similarly to Dark Souls' Orstein.
"Don't tell me you don't see it," the narrator continues in the trailer. "Look up at the sky. It burns." In Dark Souls--especially Dark Souls III--the sky is used to reflect the nature of the world. Bloodborne did something similar and it looks like Elden Ring will follow this pattern as well. During this narration, a figure falls to the ground, assumably dying. It looks like their soul or life force is seeping out of their body as a glowing force of energy. Enemies die in Dark Souls in the exact same way.
There are two other similarities to a previous From Software game in the trailer, but they seem to be in reference to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, not Dark Souls. The bowed figure from early on in the trailer (that's surrounded by arms) holds their face in the exact same way Sekiro's main antagonist, Genichiro, does when you nearly kill him. Also, the right arm of the Orstein-looking warrior is a prosthetic that fits and moves similarly to Wolf's wooden right arm in Sekiro. If the Orstein-looking character is the protagonist, then perhaps Sekiro's prosthetic mechanics will make a return in Elden Ring.
What other connections to From Software's older titles can you see in the Elden Ring trailer? Elden Ring is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Although its presence at the Xbox press conference didn't tout the PS4 version, Bandai Namco has since confirmed the game is also due out on Sony's console.
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