Over two years have passed since From Software first shared a prerendered tease for Elden Ring at Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference. During a streaming Summer Game Fest event on Thursday, publisher Bandai Namco showed the first gameplay footage from this collaboration between Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones scribe George R.R. Martin and announced a release date of January 21, 2022, for “next-gen and current-gen” consoles.
The trailer below (and the screenshots above) speak for themselves, and the Dark Souls vibes are apparent throughout. That means a lot of dodge-rolling out of the way of some massive attacks from beasts many times the player’s size, including a prominent dragon. It also means a smörgåsbord of dramatic magical effects, including telekinesis, fire, and thrown stone amid the vaguely medieval setting.
A voiceover gives some hints about the “tarnished” protagonist, who has returned “in search of the Elden Ring, emboldened by the flame of ambition.” The protagonist is shown summoning a ghostly horse and fighting against mounted enemies. At one point, the mount leaps straight up a sheer cliffside. It looks like you can also summon a ghostly companion to fight alongside you to attack from multiple angles.
The Elden Ring reveal capped off a trailer-filled “Summer Game Fest” kick-off event that assaulted us with upcoming games, never-before-seen footage for previously announced games, and new content for games that are already available. Among the highlights (with links to relevant trailers):
- Metal Slug Tactics, an isometric tactical RPG that borrows heavily both the style and the characters of the popular Neo Geo run-and-gun shooter.
- Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, a PS5 update to Hideo Kojima’s 2019 release featuring an enigmatic trailer in which Sam Porter Bridges does his best Solid Snake impression.
- A brief slice of gameplay from Annapurna Interactive’s Solar Ash, which gives off real Shadow of the Colossus vibes despite its DayGlo color scheme.
- The Anacrusis, a sort of Left 4 Dead-inspired team shooter in space, co-created by ex-Valve dev Chet Faliszek. Check out our full write-up here.
- Lost Ark, a Diablo-style, multiplayer RPG game from Amazon Studios and Smilegate, coming to the US in fall 2021.
- Vampire: The Masquerade — Blood Hunt, a supernatural action game coming later this year with a closed alpha starting July 22.
- House of Ashes, featuring circa 2003 American and Iraqi soldiers battling their way out of a cursed temple. Coming October 22.
- Planet of Lana, a “hand-painted” game that appears to involve a boy and his tiny black blob navigating a forest amid the end of the world. As one does.
Expect many more game announcements in the coming days as companies—including Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Warner Bros., Take-Two, Capcom, and more—host their own streaming reveal events as part of a virtual E3 show.
Listing image by Bandai Namco