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Shadow of the Erdtree: Elden Ring’s Darkest Adventure Yet – Review

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As the sun rises on another day in the Lands Between, players are once again beckoned into a world of mystery, peril, and dark fantasy with the highly anticipated DLC, “Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.” FromSoftware’s latest expansion promises an adventure that delves deeper into the enigmatic lore that has captivated gamers since the original release of Elden Ring. Shadow of the Erdtree is not just another add-on; it is an expansive journey that reveals the hidden secrets of the world, inviting players to explore new terrains, confront more formidable foes, and unravel the story of Miquella, a mysterious deity whose fate is intricately tied to the Erdtree.

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From the outset, “Shadow of the Erdtree” captivates with its atmospheric storytelling and world-building, true to FromSoftware’s signature style. The new regions introduced in this expansion, including the foreboding Land of Shadow, are as beautifully crafted as they are treacherous. Players will traverse a world obscured by the Erdtree, where the goddess Marika once walked and where new, unsettling secrets lie buried. The environments are a visual treat, combining the haunting beauty of desolate landscapes with the intricate design of new dungeons, each teeming with deadly enemies and hidden lore​.

FromSoftware continues its tradition of light-touch interpretive storytelling, where the lore is conveyed through subtle in-game cues such as item descriptions, environmental details, and the placement of enemies. This method allows players to piece together the story, fostering a deep sense of immersion and personal interpretation. The expansion focuses on Miquella, a figure shrouded in mystery, offering players the opportunity to uncover long-hidden truths and deepen their understanding of the game’s expansive mythology​.

Gameplay-wise, Shadow of the Erdtree introduces many new features that enrich the Elden Ring experience. Players can expect a range of new weapons, equipment, and magic, each adding fresh dynamics to combat and strategy. Among these are Light Greatswords, which are lighter and faster than regular greatswords, offering swift, combo-based attacks. The Great Katanas, larger and more powerful, trade speed for devastating power, resembling traditional Japanese Odachi swords. Reverse-hand Swords bring a unique combat style with a reverse grip, allowing for quick slashes and blocking capabilities. The DLC also introduces throwable weapons like daggers, spears, and axes that can be used without consuming Focus Points, adding a significant range advantage. Perfume Bottles, functioning like magical grenades, provide area-of-effect elemental attacks without depleting FP. Thrusting Shields combine defense with offensive capabilities through thrusting and slashing attacks. Martial Arts bring a fast, close-range combat style with powerful kicks, akin to “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.” Additionally, Beast Claws offer rapid, claw-like attacks, further diversifying combat strategies and enhancing the overall gameplay

The new enemies and boss encounters are designed to test even the most seasoned players, with advanced AI and devastating movesets that require careful planning and execution. This heightened difficulty, a hallmark of FromSoftware’s design philosophy, ensures that every victory feels hard-earned and rewarding​​.

The expansion also excels in its RPG elements, offering greater freedom in character customization and progression. Players can acquire new powers and skills, which can be tailored to their preferred playstyle, whether it’s through melee combat, magic, or a balanced approach. New skills focus on enhancing stance damage and status effects. Players can utilize abilities like “Square Off,” “Unsheath,” and “Impaling Thrust,” which are designed to break enemy stances and deliver critical hits. Status effects like bleed, frostbite, poison, and scarlet rot remain effective regardless of potential nerfs to attack power, making them valuable tools in the new content.

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For spellcasters, the DLC adds spells that synergize with existing builds, such as buffs to enhance attack power and defenses. Combining these new spells with martial arts or weapon arts can create powerful hybrid builds tailored to tackle the DLC’s challenging content.

Despite its many strengths, Shadow of the Erdtree is not without its shortcomings. The difficulty level, while a draw for many hardcore fans, may prove daunting for newcomers or casual players. The expansion’s high price point has also been a point of contention, especially considering the already significant investment required for the base game. Additionally, some players might find the interpretive storytelling style frustrating, as it demands a higher level of engagement and patience to piece together the lore​.

However, these minor drawbacks do little to detract from the overall experience: the daunting challenges ahead, the spirit of adventure and discovery that defines Elden Ring is ever-present, urging the Tarnished to rise again. With its intricate design and immersive storytelling, “Shadow of the Erdtree” reminds us of the enduring allure of Elden Ring, promising countless hours of enthralling gameplay.

RATING: 4.5 out of 5.0.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is available for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X on June 21st, 2024.

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  • Luis

    Wish I could watch these movies everyone else gets to see but I'm too busy playing games 24/7. Thanks Dad for the trust fund!

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1 Response

  1. Dallas Burn says:

    The graphics are just mind blowing and the storyline is super engaging. However, I found the difficulty level a tad too high for my liking. But overll, a fantastic game!

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