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  • John Nubern

The Soulsborne Geek’s Most Anticipated Game of 2024

Join John as he shares his excitement for the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC that is coming out this year!

In the unlikely event you even had to wonder, do so no longer.

Special thanks to Mr_Slops from r/Eldenring for this killer desktop background I’ve been using for months

It’s Shadow of the Erdtree, of course. The DLC for Elden Ring, 2022’s Game of the Year, has been impatiently awaited by myself and my beloved and (un)holy legions of “Git Guders” for almost two years. By now we’ve watched and rewatched VaatiVidya’s entire library of lore videos; spent enough time in the Coliseum to write a master’s thesis on Elden Ring PVP and finished our obligatory Rune Level 1 runs. You haven’t? Well, there’s still some time yet, Tarnished, so get going. (I’m kidding. Please don’t do that, your maidens and/or family will thank you.)

The best part is that as well as we as gamers have been eating over the past six months (shout out to Baldur’s Gate 3 for absolutely demolishing what little social life I had left), it’s looking as though we have only a few scant weeks to wait for Shadow to drop as multiple leaks have shown. That’s right: February 2024 – exactly two years after the initial release of the game and exactly one year after the announcement of the DLC. Sounds like some solid math and “cautious optimism” be damned, I’m just plain hyped. I’ve enjoyed the constant discourse online with my fellow Soulsborners about what story beats we can expect, what bosses are going to dumpster our dreams, and so on. And let’s be real: if that really is Miquella on the Shadow teaser image FromSoftware put out last February, then we can certainly expect Malenia’s triumphant return.

And while I’m certainly ready for a rematch with the Blade of Miquella, I think what I’m most looking forward to is an overhaul and a redress of some of the sorcery schools and how they engage with PVP. FromSoftware has certainly been vigilant (if slow) about addressing balance issues in both single and multiplayer, but there are a ton of mechanics within the game which I don’t think are used to their full potential. For example, while it can certainly be said that Elden Ring is the most robust game in terms of magic, there are schools of sorcery which are just plain lacking. We’re all looking at you, Thorns Sorceries. Why, oh why, is there a staff and an entire armor set which manages to look absolutely dashing, but only enhances a whopping two spells?

Staff of the Guilty not pictured. Don’t sass me, nerds. I wasn’t going to farm a 2% drop on my fourth character for a single screenshot. Alberich’s set definitely checks all the Elden Bling boxes, though.

Furthermore, status effect mechanics like sleep which, once again, if this DLC is set to feature Miquella in a big way, could do with some interesting play aside from working on some third of the mobs in the game, though crucially working on a few bosses. (No spoilers, gang, my editor still hasn’t played it and I want him to suff…. I mean… git gud.) Status effect builds in general could do with some interesting play because, let’s face it, we’re all more than tired of having to keep stacks of boluses on hand to ward off Deathblight trolls and Scarlet Rot just being “poison, but better” has always seemed rather silly. But I digress.

Good, old-fashioned, high quality single player gaming is in a great spot and the triumphant return of video gaming as it should be appears to be upon us. 2023 was outstanding and 2024 is primed to be the literal sequel with sophomore entries for Hades, Space Marine, Hellblade, and the legendary Final Fantasy VII Rebirth all on the docket, just to name a few. I’m looking forward to all of it and more, but given the absolute death grip Elden Ring and its lore has held on me since I first stepped into the Lands Between, FromSoft obviously still has my heart.  And so fellow Tarnished, here’s to hoping that we truly only have weeks to wait for the release of Shadow of the Erdtree, easily the most anticipated FromSoftware project in their already esteemed history. No, we’re not going to count the supposed Bloodborne remaster. It hurts to have to say it, but I think we’ll be waiting forever on that one.

I’ll see you all beyond the fog.


About the Author:

John is the newest author to join the ranks of Podcasters United! John's 30+ year love affair with gaming first started on the tabletop and eventually segued into digital dungeon diving with the original Legend of Zelda on NES. He retired from technical work on air and spacecraft in 2021 and now teaches full-time. When he's not working or gaming he's avidly writing and reading all things sci-fi and fantasy.

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