How Elden Ring Will Fix One of Dark Souls’ Worst Features

Elden Ring's character creation system will finally let you create actual humans as well as monstrosities.

Elden Ring
Photo: Bandai Namco

A notable Elden Ring leak reveals that the upcoming game will seemingly address one of the Dark Souls franchise’s weirdest weaknesses: its character creation system.

Recently, YouTuber ER-SA posted a video of Elden Ring‘s character creation system (or at least an early leaked build of it). While you should take some of the details in this video with a grain of salt given that official info on Elden Ring‘s character customization features haven’t been released, it’s worth noting that a number of accurate leaks have emerged from the recent Elden Ring network test. That means that the footage below likely represents at least a working build of Elden Ring‘s final character creation system.

While that may be an early (and, again, unofficial) preview of Elden Ring‘s character creation system, fans are already pointing out the many ways that system seems to improve the similar creation systems featured in the Dark Souls trilogy and Bloodborne.

As you can see, the humans in Elden Ring look more…well…human than the custom creations featured in many previous FromSoftware games. They no longer have that strange “waxy” look or those exaggerated features that often clash with each other and make it incredibly difficult to create a character that looks like they weren’t assembled from a loose collection of spare human parts.

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In fact, I remember that some fans used to theorize that the character creation systems in those games were “intentionally bad” because FromSoftware was trying to encourage you to create a warped player character that looked like they were constantly teetering on the border between life and death (which would certainly be true to the lore and universe of those titles). After all, you don’t run into a lot of unmasked human NPCs in the Soulsborne games, and those you do meet tend to look like they were thrown through the same character creation meat grinder that you had to survive.

The nature of those character creation systems often encouraged fans to abandon their dreams of making a reasonable-looking human avatar and instead create elaborate monstrosities who defy the laws of man and logic. Thankfully, Soulsborne fans who prefer to construct monstrosities will apparently still have the chance to do so in Elden Ring.

Elden Ring character creation

So how much does this seemingly improved character creation system actually matter? Well, the answer to that question is obviously going to vary from person to person, and, if we’re being fair, you rarely ever really see your created characters in these games due to the amount of armor you typically wear (unless you’re one of those brave souls that love to suffer through a “naked run”). That being the case, I imagine some gamers who are otherwise excited about Elden Ring simply won’t care about this feature.

Still, given how much better the character creation system in the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls was, it’s nice to see that FromSoftware seems to have taken this popular criticism of some of their previous games to heart. While it’s doubtful that this improved system will please those who feel that Elden Ring should look as good as that Demon’s Souls remake (which is a ridiculous suggestion for many technical and design reasons), this still feels like a big step in the right direction as well as another indication that Elden Ring will feature a compelling combination of some of the best features in previous Soulsborne games as well as a series of intelligent improvements to some of those titles’ shortcomings.