Elden Ring will be an opportunity for director Hidetaka Miyazaki to fulfill his dream of creating an open-world Dark Souls game. While offering the same depth of lore and brutal gameplay, a larger sandbox will give players a newfound freedom to explore in many ways.
According to the latest Play magazine issue, Elden Ring will not restrict progression if players find themselves stuck on a particular boss. Just like any other open-world role-playing game, players can keep exploring to level themselves up before returning to take down a boss on equal footing.
“If you get stuck on a boss, you will be able to ride your horse elsewhere to try a different approach while you level up.”
Elden Ring will feature multiple discreet areas, all of which have large boss fights in traditional Dark Souls fashion. These areas will be seamlessly connected to give players the freedom to decide where they want to go and what to do next.
The Dark Souls games too featured interconnected dungeons and pathways but on a limited exploration scale compared to Elden Ring which will offer larger environments. The latter being the reason why players will be using mounts to travel the open world as well as fight on horseback if they want.
Miyazaki himself recently confirmed that Elden Ring will take around 30 hours to complete if players stop taking any unnecessary detours. Dark Souls 3 in comparison required nearly 50 hours to complete both the campaign and optional content.
Hence, there stands a good chance that the newfound focus on exploration in a large open world will give Elden Ring a longer play-time. Perhaps more than 50 hours for completionists.
Elden Ring sees a collaborative effort between Miyazaki and fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, and will be releasing for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC on January 28, 2022.