Reducing player stress was a major focus.
The Taipei Game Show 2022 has offered an extended look at Elden Ring ahead of its release next month.
In a 45-minute presentation, producer Yasuhiro Kitao gave a full rundown of gameplay and answered fan questions, offering a few extra pieces of information.
Perhaps most interesting is the focus on reducing player stress, though Kitao assures that combat will still be typically challenging.
Rather, expanding into an open world game has added extra hurdles for the developers. Fast travel and the ability to ride a horse were born from this design choice, as well as balancing enemy placements with moments of downtime for the player.
Now, upon dying in certain areas such as the intricate legacy dungeons, players can choose to restart from a checkpoint or much closer to the point of death to collect their dropped runes.
Despite being a grand open world, Kitao reiterates that the main story will take around 30 hours to complete – something said about the game last year, too. It’s possible to complete the game without seeing everything in your first playthrough, but it won’t be possible to 100 percent the game the first time due to branching points towards the end.
Many of the game’s smaller dungeons and crypts, for instance, won’t be required to finish the game but offer risk and reward with the bounties they offer.
The whole world also won’t be fully accessible from the start, but players will have the freedom to travel around most regions and choose their order of completion.
Elsewhere, the focus on character customisation has allowed the team to make their most accessible game yet. A variety of battle styles are available without being locked to a specific class, with magic in particular promising to be the most spectacular it’s ever been.
The addition of spirits, stealth elements, plus the standard FromSoftware multiplayer suite of summons and messages, all combine to offer diversity of approach and reduce player stress.
Elden Ring is due out on 25th February across PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and PC. Check out Aoife’s thoughts on the beta test here.