Elden Ring DLC Trailer Revives Notorious Dark Souls Traditions

Elden Ring's first DLC trailer features some callbacks to notorious Dark Souls challenges.

Elden Ring DLC
Photo: Bandai Namco

FromSoftware has finally released the first gameplay trailer for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, and the DLC somehow looks even more amazing than we ever could have hoped. Praise the sun.

There is much to discuss about that trailer, and we hope to share more info and analysis with you shortly. For now, though, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by a couple of the ways that Shadow of the Erdtree seemingly revives some painful Dark Souls traditions.

The first tradition is the proud legacy of comically difficult DLC bosses. FromSoftware games may be notorious for their difficulty, but those who know the studio best also know that they usually save their hardest fights for DLC releases. The idea is that your powerful endgame character and refined personal skills deserve tougher challenges. The developers are also notorious trolls in their ways.

While that aspect of the DLC experience isn’t outright confirmed in that Shadow of the Erdtree trailer…well, just look at it. Arenas full of lightning, towering flaming behemoths, blade dancers who will almost certainly spam unblockable moves, and more delightful horrors can be found throughout the preview. This trailer emphasizes the DLC’s many foes, and you can bet that they are going to test even veteran players.

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The second seemingly returning tradition is even more intriguing. Take a look at this screenshot from around the 1:00 mark of the full trailer:

Elden Ring Poison Swamp

That really looks like a poisonous swamp, right? If it is, that would mean that Elden Ring creator Hidetaka Miyazaki is firmly back on his bullshit after largely refraining from filling the base version of that open-world game with those poisonous areas he loves so much. Yes, Elden Ring included a few areas that featured poison enemies or lakes of unwanted status ailments, but the game rarely forced you to trudge through a nightmare area of poison and horror quite the way its spiritual predecessors did.

Not only does it look like Shadow of the Erdtree will make up for that relative piece of mercy, but some have already noted that this area specifically looks like a Deathblight swamp. If that’s true, then that means that navigating this swamp will also require you to deal with a status ailment that can instantly kill you regardless of your total health and other attributes.

Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited. We’ll see if Shadow of the Erdtree is as punishing as it appears to be when the Elden Ring DLC is released on June 21 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC.