Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC Should Break One Soulsborne Convention For a Truly Unique Story


  • Elden Ring’s upcoming DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is expected to be the largest expansion yet from developer FromSoftware, surpassing their previous DLCs.
  • The DLC could explore previously mentioned but unseen characters, with popular theories suggesting that Miquella may have a central role in the story.
  • Allowing players to control a voiced character like Miquella would provide a fresh perspective and potentially make the expansion more accessible to players who may not be at the right point in the game’s story.

Elden Ring is approaching its second anniversary, and loyal fans are growing increasingly restless over the lack of concrete news surrounding its first major expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree. The project is shrouded in mystery, with just a name and a single image to go by so far, so many are eagerly speculating over what the finished product could entail. Given the supposed size and scope of this DLC, developer FromSoftware could attempt to do something a little different by allowing players to control a voiced character from Elden Ring‘s world, instead of their usual customized protagonist.

Typically, the established FromSoftware road map is to have players create their own nameless protagonist from scratch, with their appearance fully customizable. This protagonist will then traverse the world, interacting with NPCs but never actually speaking. It helps the player to feel more attuned to their created character, as if they have actually stepped into this person’s shoes and are experiencing the world through them. It works nicely and has served FromSoftware well over the years, but with Elden Ring‘s lore being so vast, a change of perspective may prove fruitful.


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Elden Ring’s DLC is Shaping Up to Be Huge

FromSoftware is no stranger to DLC, with many titles, including the Dark Souls trilogy, given more than one expansion of their own. That being said, it is reported that Shadow of the Erdtree will dwarf all the Japanese developer’s previous DLCs, so this is new ground even for Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team. Never one to compromise on quality, and with a pretty flawless record of game releases for over a decade, FromSoftware is perfectly primed to once again find creative ways to surprise its audience with its newest project. A change in approach would be the perfect way to subvert fan expectations.

Elden Ring Still Has Lots of Lore to Uncover

Given that Elden Ring‘s lore was co-created by George R. R. Martin, it is perhaps no surprise that the Lands Between are so vast and full of interesting characters and themes. Despite the base game being huge, with a standard playthrough taking around 50 hours, some of the referenced characters were only mentioned in passing, and never actually seen. This leaves Shadow of the Erdtree with numerous narrative directions it could go in, with the most popular theories so far predicting that Miquella, brother of Malenia, will be central to the DLC’s story.

With so much of Miquella’s backstory unknown at this point, making him the main playable character would allow players to learn about his history and role in the plot firsthand. Doing this would also eliminate one of the most obvious pressing issues, which is the matter of exactly where in the game’s story this DLC would pick up. FromSoftware tends to insert its DLC into a specific point in the story, but considering the larger-than-usual gap between the game and the expansion’s release, doing this may risk alienating certain players who would be unable to start it straight away, either due to their save files not being at the right point in the game, or just general rustiness having not played the game for so long.

Having Miquella (or another character) taking center stage would allow Shadow of the Erdtree to be something of a standalone expansion that players could jump into straight away without worrying about story repercussions. Players could still customize Miquella’s build and look, so that the feeling of personalization remains, but it would certainly be a fun, unique new way to further Elden Ring‘s story.

elden ring cover

Elden Ring

Elden Ring is a fantasy action-RPG adventure set in a world co-created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of the influential Dark Souls video game series, and George R.R. Martin, the author of the best-selling fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. This collaboration between two renowned creators has resulted in FromSoftware’s largest game to date, filled with danger and discovery at every turn. Hidetaka Miyazaki, president and game director of FromSoftware, has a history of directing highly acclaimed games in franchises such as Armored Core and Dark Souls.

February 25, 2022

Online Co-Op , Online Multiplayer


M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

How Long To Beat
58 Hours


Platforms That Support Crossplay
PS4 & PS5 and Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S

PS Plus Availability