The Dark Souls series and other Souls-like games, such as Bloodborne and Sekiro, Consistently praised by fans for the storytelling hidden throughout the worlds. Hidden is the key word here; players can go through the entire game of Souls without ever really understanding its story. For the most part, mythology is largely optional within the genre, set between the cracks and crevices of the world. Item descriptions, environmental design, architectural aesthetics, and building blocks are filled with lore and can often cause less observant players to forget.
Of course, that’s not a negative for many fans; it became one of FromSoftware’s larger and bulkier features. Many fans come to the series simply to play with the characters they create and create their own stories, whether to enjoy alone or to share with a community of people. play does the same.
Latest Souls game, Elden Ring, could shake that narrative approach, bringing some unique twists to the genre. The main difference is that it has a designated lead story. George RR Martin, novelist responsible for Game of Thrones, is building the story of the game’s universe. The latest trailer for the game and newly released details reveal a new approach to storytelling that only amplifies the strengths of the series rather than dismissing them entirely.
It is speculated that Elden Ring could be a more authoritative, narrative experience instead of the passive variety we’ve seen lead players to YouTube lore explanations in the past. That doesn’t mean the days of reading item descriptions will be left in the past. In an interview with DualshockersFromSoftware’s Hidetaka Miyazaki confirmed that Elden Ring will still share the traditional Dark Souls storytelling and world-building methods.
Miyazaki continued to tell PC Gamers that the partnership was built around Miyazaki explaining his vision to Martin. Using Miyazaki’s ideas, Martin created a world full of “interesting and dramatic characters with lots of mystical and mysterious elements”.
This means that Martin isn’t necessarily responsible for the in-game storytelling so much as the lore behind everything. That could add depth to Miyazaki’s more refined storytelling style, Elden Ring becomes the narrative the Dark Souls series aspires to.
The new trailer for the game introduced a bit of the story involving a world bound by the laws of a force or object known as the “Ring of Elden”. This story is even more thoroughly researched on the official website in the classic nebulous FromSoftware style:
The Golden Order has been broken. Rise, be punished, and be guided by grace to wield the power of the Elden Ring and become Elden Lord of the Middle Lands. In the Middle Land ruled by Queen Marika the Eternal, the Ring of Elden, the origin of Erdtree, was broken. Marika’s offspring, all demigods, claimed the shards of the Elden Ring to be known as Great Runes, and the frenzied weakening of their newly formed powers sparked a war: The Shattering . A war meant to be abandoned by the Great Will. And now the guidance of grace will be given to the Tarcked, who have been shunned by the grace of gold and exiled from the Lands Between. O dead not alive, thy grace long lost, follow the path to the Midlands beyond the sea of mists to stand before the Elden Ring. And become the Elden Lord.
After reading, many fans shared similar reactions: “Yeah, Dark Souls is fine.”
That’s exactly what fans of the Souls game want, but Martin’s role could set the stage for a game richer in narrative than those of the past. Anyway, Martin is a critically acclaimed master world builder. That leads to an interesting possible interaction between Martin and Miyazaki. The former will reinforce the world and history, while the latter can focus on building the explicit story the player experiences in the game. That should give both distinct storytelling methods plenty of room to become their own complete thing, while still giving fans a lot to analyze and dig deeper into.
There’s another piece of news that sets the stage for the game’s narrative potential. In an official Press Release, The CEO of Bandai Namco, Yasuo Miyakawa, said that Elden Ring will be pushed beyond the boundaries of video games. With companies around like Netflix, constantly adapting video games into animated spin-offs and movies, Elden Ring can send souls like spirits to unexpected territory.
The basic details we’re used to reading in the Souls game through random items could soon become extended full-length stories. Elden Ring into a media giant.