Ah, Elden Ring. Who could’ve imagined this dream team of fantasy fiction murderers Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin?
The new From Software title is shaping up to be another heavy hitter from the devs, combining Miyazaki-san’s stellar game design in the Dark Souls franchise with the intricate worldbuilding of Martin, as seen in his work on the acclaimed A Song of Ice & Fire novels.
While we’re still in the dark as to how exactly Elden Ring will play, Miyazaki-san promises that the game will be a step up from the likes of From’s predecessors in Dark Souls, Bloodborne and, most recently, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
In an interview with IGN, Miyazaki-san stated that Elden Ring will feature a more “open and vast” environment, as compared to the relatively linear and claustrophobic nature of the abovementioned games (sans Sekiro, which already had inklings of a move to an open-world concept with the new vertical mobility options).
Despite a more sprawling game environment, however, Miyazaki-san reminds gamers that there will still be a ton of his dark fantasy trademark present in Elden Ring.
Villages will be the dark dungeon-like ruins that you have come to expect from us. 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.
Of course, with a bigger world comes a bigger story. While Miyazaki-san and his team are masters at environmental and visual storytelling, having a narrative colossus like Martin come on board to fill in the story details is a huge watershed for the devs.
“Storytelling in video games – at least the way we do it at FromSoftware – comes with a lot of restrictions for the writer. I didn’t think it was a good idea to have Martin write within those restrictions,” said Miyazaki-san.
“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 story-driven experience for Elden Ring. Both issues could be solved by having Martin write about the world’s history instead.”
With Martin at the narrative helm, Miyazaki-san and his dev team have full responsibility in polishing the game design aspects of Elden Ring, which should cement the game as From’s best yet when it releases.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.