Shadow of the Erdtree Puts the Cherry on Top of Elden Rings Main Strength

shadow of the erdtree puts the cherry on top of elden rings main strength

Shadow of the Erdtree Puts the Cherry on Top of Elden Rings Main Strength

  • Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC expands on the main game's open-world model with new visuals and challenging encounters for players to explore.
  • The Land of Shadow introduces new blessings that enhance gameplay, rewarding players for thorough exploration in the DLC.
  • Shadow of the Erdtree successfully builds upon the base game's impressive world, solidifying Elden Ring's status as the gold standard for open-world gaming.

Since its release in 2022, FromSoftware's Elden Ring has been widely recognized as a standard for open-world video games. At the time of its launch, the open-world genre had been the target of some arguably well-deserved criticism, primarily due to the fact that most open-world games were adopting the same bloated model that robbed players of discovery and instead gave them a long list of chores to complete. However, Elden Ring continued and even improved upon what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild started by offering players a world where exploration is a reward rather than a requirement. Now, Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has graced the stage with an encore of the base game's performance.

Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC has been one of 2024's most anticipated gaming experiences, and now it is finally here. Rather than keeping players in the base game's Lands Between, Shadow of the Erdtree takes players to the Land of Shadow (or "Shadow Realm") where they are tasked with following in the footsteps of Kindly Miquella for an original story with new items and challenging encounters to boot. Despite being set in a brand-new location, Shadow of the Erdtree honors Elden Ring's open-world model by giving players the same experience they had in the base game, albeit with fresh visuals and more reasons to explore.

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Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC Has Already Made History

The highly-anticipated Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC makes history before it's even released to the public.

Shadow of the Erdtree's Open-World Is Elden Ring's Encore

Shadow of the Erdtree Continues What Elden Ring's Open-World Started

It can't be denied that Elden Ring's biggest strength is its open-world design and execution. Rather than bloating the game's map with a multitude of icons that show where anything noteworthy can be found, Elden Ring's map is almost entirely empty and even starts off covered in darkness. As players discover map fragments at the steles noted on the map, more of the map will be revealed. However, even with the map revealed, players still explore independently rather than being led to optional locations like a dungeon or an abandoned village. Elden Ring does guide players along the route of the main quest, but that's about as far as the game's hand-holding goes.

Shadow of the Erdtree is essentially more of Elden Ring's open-world, only with different visuals and new encounters for players to find. As players follow Miquella's footprints across the threatening Land of Shadow, they might be ushered off the beaten path by their own curiosity, only to find a valuable item or a challenging yet rewarding encounter. This is arguably the one area Shadow of the Erdtree needed to succeed in, and it has done it with aplomb.

There Are New Reasons to Explore Every Nook and Cranny in Shadow of the Erdtree

Despite all it does to honor Elden Ring's open-world model, Shadow of the Erdtree's Land of Shadow isn't necessarily identical to The Lands Between. The familiar execution is still there, but there are now new reasons to explore in Shadow of the Erdtree than there were in Elden Ring's base game experience. As players explore every nook and cranny of the Land of Shadow, they will come across various Shadow Realm Blessings called Scadutree Blessings and Revered Spirit Ash Blessings that will increase their damage output and negation while in the Land of Shadow. This makes exploration all the more rewarding in Shadow of the Erdtree, especially with the DLC's difficulty being kicked up a few notches above Elden Ring.

Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC could have been much smaller and more insignificant than it is, so the fact that it chose to be nothing less than the cherry on top of what the base game started is something to be thankful for. Elden Ring continues to shine as an open-world standard in its Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, and future games in the genre should keep taking notes.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Base Game Elden RingPlatform Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox OneReleased June 21, 2024Developer(s) FromSoftwarePublisher(s) FromSoftware, Bandai Namco EntertainmentGenre Soulslike, RPGMultiplayer Online Co-Op, Online MultiplayerESRB M For Mature 17+ Due To Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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