Towards the end of the Summer Games Fest Kickoff Live event hosted by Geoff Keighley on June 10, the renowned games evangelist and journalist helped reveal the official Elden Ring trailer. Unlike the teaser from 2019, this one showcases in-game footage, gameplay, and various features, but it confirms some of the most compelling Elden Ring leaks from over the last two years.
The thing is: Pretty much every leak turned out to be true. So what does tell us about some of the other secrets lurking behind the scenes in the trailer?
Let’s start with the leaked trailer that emerged in early March 2021, which actually shares several smaller clips — like the horrible giant corpses pulling a carriage — with the official trailer including in-game enemies and other assets like a dragon and the massive glowing tree. Therefore, we can safely assume that everything else in this trailer is factual. Both trailers depict mounted combat, which corroborates some of the earliest leaks indicating Elden Ring would be an open-world game that relies heavily on a horse for travel.
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The epic new trailer confirms just about every leak and theory in circulation.
A narrator in the leaked trailer notes that the player character “crossed the Sea of Fog all the way to the Riftlands.” Sea of Fog definitely evokes the art style of previous Dark Souls games and Bloodborne, where darkness and shadowy mist influence the atmosphere. But what of this “Riftlands” concept?
One key gameplay concept that’s been talked about previous are weather and day/night systems that influence the environment. A Reddit post from redditor u/AidThisFellowUser that contextualizes the March trailer leak makes three bold claims:
- PvP and online functionality returns, where other players can invade your game instance
- There’s a familiar character creation and class system
- Weather is going to be a “key feature”
Perhaps the most interesting leak goes all the way back to December 2019, or earlier. Those leaks claim that Elden Ring will feature eight kingdoms, and the player can explore them in any order where they’ll acquire unique powers. One interesting note here is that starting class determines which kingdom you start in. Each kingdom has specific vendors, various shortcuts, and a main “prayer sanctuary” that functions as a hub.
Many of the bosses in the trailer do seem like kings that have been mutated into horrible monstrosities which seems to confirm the eight kingdoms leak to some extent. That dragon might even be one of them! And at one point, the character leaps over a broken bridge while on his horse, so maybe that counts as a shortcut?
In terms of character customization, that leak claims there’ll be skill trees and stealth abilities like in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. While we do see a bit of sneaking in the trailer, it remains to be seen just how Sekiro-esque it’ll be.
“We will be able to summon 3 phantoms on our side and a specific item can make this 4 and increase the chance of getting invaded just like in Dark Souls,” that leak also reads. This bit is 100 percent factual based on what we see in the trailer:
Roughly 1:40 into the trailer, the character activates the magic in some kind of cube, and this summons two phantoms. Assuming this will function like previous FromSoftware games, these ghastly figures are friendly players that connected to the game instance over the internet.
Another leak from July 2020 claimed many similar things, namely that the world is divided into a set number of kingdoms. Most notably, however, it says, “You can mount a ghost horse that can be summoned at will and carry gear.” This is straight-up confirmed in the trailer. In one sequence, a horse materializes under the player. In another, it runs into a spectral sort of swirl in the ground and is then able to jump up a mountain.
That could mean that the jump option and air dodge features also noted by this leak are true. At the very least, the game does seem more acrobatic than your average Soulsborne.
An April 2021 Reddit post also makes some interesting claims about the lore.
“Some rulers are the spokesperson of ancient gods, granting them the special power,” the Reddit post reads, also claiming that the player gains these powers by defeating the rulers. It seems like there is a dark realm where gods came from and then a human realm split up into the aforementioned kingdoms. The aforementioned “Sea of Fog” could be the realm between the two and the “Riftlands” could be a starting kingdom? Some kingdoms might have stagnant weather but still a day/night cycle, such as a “snow only” zone.
Another interesting note here are the “weapon skills” that can be used on any weapon of the same type. At one point in the trailer, a sword wielder extends his blade into a beam of light. Rather late in the trailer, another uses a light-tipped spear to do a vaulting attack on some unsuspecting enemies. Right after that, another character uses a magic staff to shoot a blast of icy energy at a foe.
All things considered, even the wildest of leaks seem to have been totally accurate, but it remains to be seen how much of the nuance will be represented in the final product. Thankfully, we don’t have much longer to wait.
Elden Ring will be released on January 21, 2022.