During its reveal yesterday we didn't get a whole lot of information on the Dark Souls director meets Game of Thrones writer project, Elden Ring, outside of the fact that it's coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and unites From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki and famed fantasy writer George R. R. Martin. But thanks to a quick Q&A with Miyazaki on the Xbox blog, we have some semblance of what it might be.
According to Miyazaki, development started "just after" the final Dark SoulsDLC ended, and will be a "new dark fantasy action RPG full of things that [they] weren't able to do in the Dark Soulsseries." He says the project "still has a load of work ahead of it" (hence the no release window), and it will be a third-person action RPG that the company is known for. However, he says it will be more RPG-oriented "unlike Sekiro," and will "not shy away" from a melee focus.
Miyazaki says he intends to accomplish this with "a wide variety of weapons, magic, and ways to engage enemies," so the open-ended approach to combat is still very much alive (as are different builds, apparently, as character customization, including the power to build a "unique character" is in). It is open world (even though Miyazaki is reticent when using the term, probably so he doesn't over-promise), and it will contain "unique and horrifying bosses." Again, it doesn't seem to sacrifice what made the Souls series so memorable.
So how did George R. R. Martin get involved? Well, Miyazaki is a huge fan, for one. He name drops the always-popular A Song of Ice and Fire series, but also gets into deeper cuts like Tuf Voyaging and Fevre Dream, the latter of which he calls a "masterpiece of vampire fantasy," and something he recommended to everyone around the office. Miyazaki expected to get turned down when he reached out but were given the "rare opportunity" to speak one-on-one, and the rest is history. Martin wrote the "overarching mythos for the game world itself" and provided baselines for many themes. The fact that Miyazaki was able to work with a hero of his is extremely wholesome.
While a lot of chest pumping from execs is pure marketing speak, when Miyazaki talks, I listen. A release date for Elden Ring is nowhere in sight, but I'm waiting for it.
E3 2019 [Xbox Wire]