Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Should Take A Leaf Out Of The Old Hunters' Book (2023)

Story Highlights

  • Elden Ring took the world by storm on launch, and now a DLC for the phenomenal game is to be released.
  • FromSoftware has always been superb with its DLCs, bringing in new mechanics, intense battles, and expanding the lore.
  • Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters expansion was a masterpiece for many, as it skillfully told past events with a twist, brought exceptional new areas, and highly memorable boss fights.
  • Speculations and expectations for Elden Ring‘s Shadow of the Erdtree expansion continue to develop, and exploring past events to connect the story would be an excellent idea.

Elden Ring is the latest addition to FromSoftware’s iconic Souls series, and it was a gigantic success, going above and beyond to deliver much more than everyone had anticipated. I fondly remember its release and the wonderful experience of diving into The Lands Between for the first time. Everything from the beautiful landscapes to the classic Souls combat masterfully refined was an epic sight.

The premise of a full-fledged open world in a Souls game, integrating the formula with exploration and discovery was indeed an exciting proposition. The game had enough hype to be crowned Most Anticipated Game twice and even won GOTY against stiff competition. Since FromSoftware’s DLCs have all been excellent, the demand for a DLC was enormous, and finally, the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion announcement was here to reward us.

Rise, Tarnished, and let us walk a new path together.
An upcoming expansion for #ELDENRING Shadow of the Erdtree, is currently in development.
We hope you look forward to new adventures in the Lands Between. pic.twitter.com/cjJYijM7Mw

— ELDEN RING (@ELDENRING) February 28, 2023

FromSoftware Never Misses With DLCs

Ever since the completion of the venture into Elden Ring’s absolutely massive open world, discovering its secrets and exploring every corner of the map that could be found, players had a craving for more and thus had started a demand for an expansion. The community was disappointed when the anniversary celebration of the game brought no news of it but turns out it was a minor setback as the DLC announcement came soon after.

It’s true everyone just wanted more of Elden Ring, but another important reason for the desire was that FromSoftware DLCs are simply amazing. At this point, no one is unaware of the superiority of DLCs in Souls games. The expansions not only provide fresh content and lore points but the epic boss fights are among the best the particular game offers, even surpassing the base game in some ways.

The best bosses are always in the DLC (agree or disagree?)
by u/AudiblePlasma in fromsoftware

The revolutionary series started from the original Demon Souls, however, Dark Souls received mainstream recognition and started it all. With the trademark crushingly difficult combat and absolutely phenomenal world design and connectivity, perhaps the best in the series. The areas of the game like Sen’s Fortress, Blighttown, Tomb of the Giants, etc. are both iconic and excessively frustrating to fuel the thrill.

Despite the game’s brutal areas, the bosses were less difficult compared to the overworld difficulty, and that is where the DLC comes in. Other than the impressive new areas to delve into, and past lore to explore, the game brought magnificent boss fights, effectively improving the established game. With duels like Artorias, the vicious dragon Kalameet and finally Manus to guard the conclusion, the DLC itself was an epic adventure.

Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Should Take A Leaf Out Of The Old Hunters' Book (1)

Dark Souls 2 is generally considered the weakest entry to the series by many and for valid reasons too like clunky mechanics and certain gameplay additions that were not that favored. However, the three DLCs of the game are still superb and have some of the best content of Dark Souls 2. One of the best features of Dark Souls 3, the next game for me was its direct connection to Dark Souls and the many easter eggs you can discover.

Dark Souls 3 was a return to the roots of the series and provided a glorious adventure with more fluid combat. The game really depicted the combat becoming more fluid and fast-paced as a lot of time had passed since Dark Souls, with the bosses and enemies being equally fast and punishing. To the excellent boss fights, the two DLCs brought some excellent additions. We can rest easy, Elden Ring’s DLC bosses would definitely be punishing.

Ashes of Ariandel provided a unique snow-covered landscape that felt very distinct and was a re-visit to a Painted World (A hidden area in Dark Souls). The DLC ended with a frustratingly unexpected three-stage battle. Ringed City was a visual marvel, plus interesting lore of being built up from various bits and pieces and convoluted time. The memorable side quests and the grand duel with Gael to conquer the DLC was a sight to behold.

Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Should Take A Leaf Out Of The Old Hunters' Book (2)

Bloodborne’s DLC Is Nothing Short Of Perfection

Bloodborne was a phenomenal addition to the series, considered the best by many, and is a perfect example to showcase just how good Souls games are. Releasing in close proximity to Dark Souls 3, FromSoftware put a new spin on the formula. Deviating from the conventional setting, Bloodborne was set in a gothic Victorian era and the appropriately gloomy environments were designed with mastery. Sadly, no PC port yet.

The setting was not all that was different, the combat saw many distinct changes as well. Bloodborne highly favors fast-paced combat and aggression, rather than blocking and distancing yourself. In fact, shields are removed altogether from the game to promote fast gameplay. In addition, the game has a unique rally mechanic, you can regain your health by hitting enemies quickly after getting hit, thus encouraging aggression.

FromSoftware’s last DLC before Elden Ring was also The Old Hunters expansion of Bloodborne, and what a magnificent adventure it was. In concept, it behaves a lot similar to Dark Souls’ Artorias of the Abyss, as you explore past events, but it comes with a twist. You actually travel to the past in Dark Souls, as your actions are shown to have an effect, but it’s not the case in Bloodborne.

Here, you’re basically traveling to an alternate dimension of sorts that goes through the events of the past. Another point of great interest is that the story here behaves like a reverse narrative, as you progress through the DLC, you’re actually going through events further in the past (FromSoftware’s convoluted lore strikes again). This adds a lot more meaning to the experience, as it fills in the holes untold before.

The story is not the only plus point, as the expansion brings mind-blowing areas with a visible distinction. Starting right from the Hunters’ Nightmare which has a Yharnam-like setting, you move on to the Research Hall, visibly unique, and finally the alienated Fishing Hamlett, the area design is a glorious sight as it fits according to the lore it wants to put forward.

My god the Old Hunters DLC is the one of the best expansions I’ve ever experienced
by u/phambach in bloodborne

Then comes the battles, and I firmly believe the DLC had already surpassed the base game for me, but this just adds to it further, and is more tough than ever. Entering Ludwig’s arena for the first time and facing his chaotic and ferocious attacks was a great ordeal. Though the real surprise came soon, as the epic cutscene initiates his transition, and I was practically blown away by the grand cinematic.

Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Should Take A Leaf Out Of The Old Hunters' Book (3)

The details in his stats really establish the importance of this transition, as after it Ludwig also loses his beast affinity, signifying the change in his mental state, how awesome is that! Furthermore, you encounter Lady Maria in a heated duel, where you put your reflexes and quick dodges to practice. In the end, Orphan of Kos awaits to frustrate the hell out of you with his deceptive and super-aggressive attacks.

The DLC also fulfills FromSoftware’s tradition of hidden bosses that are a pain to overcome. With Kalameet in Artorias of the Abyss and Darkeater Midir in The Ringed City, we have Laurence in The Old Hunters. Sporting one of the largest health pools of FromSoftware bosses and difficult-to-predict attacks, the First Vicar is sure to give you a sturdy challenge. Everyone is eagerly looking forward to what awaits us in Elden Ring’s DLC.

Elden Ring’s Story Events Carry Vast Potential

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Elden Ring is among the few games that vastly changed the landscape of gaming in general. Even before the release, the game’s hype was unreal. Since the gamers were aware of how well FromSoftware handles Souls games, the idea of an open-world Souls game was indeed fascinating. Our expectations were high as it is, but the game ended up delivering beyond them.

Elden Ring's Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Should Take A Leaf Out Of The Old Hunters' Book (4)

Elden Ring soon became a landmark in gaming and enhanced the appeal of open worlds as a whole. The game was so well known that many players that got into it were unaware of the Souls series before, and it reached much further than just pre-existing audience. Couple the game’s immense quality and popularity with FromSoftware’s reputation of epic DLCs and the demand for an expansion soon skyrocketed.

As mentioned earlier, Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters was FromSoftware’s last DLC. Sekiro, the most ambitious game of 2019 brought an unprecedented combat system and setting, was the most detached game from the series, and FromSoftware’s masterful creation. It has not received any full-fledged DLCs and so Elden Ring became the next candidate. So far, the only thing known to us about it is the title – Shadow of the Erdtree.

Ever since its announcement, fans have been continuously speculating about what to expect and what is likely to appear in this expansion, past events, or new content. Since we don’t have much to go on other than the one image, the character in the image is speculated to be the mysterious Miquella, and thus players speculate the DLC might go into the depth of his story and involvement.

Place your bets now: DLC set in past or present?
by u/Lodus1 in Eldenring

While that is indeed interesting, I believe the game has multiple routes to take. A fascinating approach is to delve into the lore further and explore the events of the past, much like the previous games have done. Elden Ring’s setting leaves much to be explained about the events leading up to the Shattering, and this is an excellent opportunity to explore them.

We know the gist of the events that transpired, with the theft of Destined Death and killing of Godwyn that started it all, but the expansion can dive into the pasts of characters like Godwyn and Maliketh, and of course, Miquella to connect the dots further. It will also be an exciting aspect if it decides to include a unique twist to how the story is told as Bloodborne handles it with reverse time.

Everyone has their speculations and expectations for the upcoming expansion, but one thing we all can agree on is that FromSoftware is gearing up to blow our minds once again. The Colosseum update added an excellent PVP arena to demonstrate your skills, and now the expansion is here to quench our thirst with more of Elden Ring, whether it explores the past or continues to future or alternate events.

Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is to arrive on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC with no release date yet confirmed.

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