Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree - An impressive expansion
4.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

Rise once again Tarnished, answer the call of the kindly Miquella and follow his pilgrimage through the lands of shadow. Journey across a new land filled with beautiful and grotesque landmarks to behold. Discover a new cast of characters to introduce yourself to and follow their journeys. Not only that, uncover an arsenal of new weaponry and magic to wield and unleash upon your foes. Remember one important thing, when you get to the Shadow Realm, you are going to die. A lot. Shadow of the Erdtree is the newly released DLC of FromSoftware’s critically acclaimed 2022 title Elden Ring. It is a huge expansion on top of the base game taking place solely within the impressively massive Shadow Realm, where you once again step into the shoes of the Tarnished as they answer the call of Miquella.

The content can be accessed once you defeat Mohg in the base game (I highly recommend using a guide for this if you’ve forgotten how to access his arena as a returning player). From there you are teleported into a dark cave in total silence and as you make your way outside you are greeted by an absolutely stunning skybox. A gigantic golden tree looms in the distance, draped in cloth-like shadow, the world washed with different shades of gold and black and a score rises alongside as the reveal happens, the opening minute sets the tone and easily reminds you why you fell in love with this game two years ago.

The world of Elden Ring has never been so scary in scope

The map is massive, with more verticality in the placement of locations, layering them above and below the player. It is so easy to get lost in this world and I don’t mean in the sense of wandering with no direction. You can fall deep into the beauty and horror of the lands you travel. The world is littered with landmarks in the distance and just travelling over to them will start a Rube Goldberg machine of events taking you off the beaten path and on an adventure. The sense of discovery in this game feels so natural. You will find secret areas, items, bosses and accomplishments that feel like you have earned them with no guidance, just your own intuition. You made this discovery possible by just having a nosey around the sides of a cliff or behind a waterfall.

I’ve found myself re-assigning my levels constantly during my playthrough. This is mostly due to the new arrangement of weapons available (shoutout to the ‘DryLeaf Arts’ martial arts weapon). Each one provides its own unique style of play and has been tremendously fun to play around with so far. I highly recommend you use a save file with most of the base game explored. At the very least grab the bell bearings to easily have access to buy all purchasable smithing stones back at the Roundtable from the Bell Maidens so you can hastily upgrade the new weapons as you acquire them and jump back into the DLC to try them out. Weapons are great but what you use them on is what’s important. Shadow of the Erdtree has a plethora of new enemies and bosses for the Tarnished to run at.

Some of these new foes are returning from the base game but the new additions will leave you either in awe as you see them approach or shout out in fear when you see them charging you down. FromSoftware’s approach to balancing this DLC was the introduction of ‘Scadutree Fragments and Revered Ashes’.

Beware the shadow of the Erdtree

Fragments will increase your attack and defence while ashes strengthen your summons. These only apply inside the DLC, and they do not affect stats when you return to the base game. I cannot stress this enough you need to collect these things! I entered at level 215 and I was being killed in either two or three hits by regular enemies. The difference these upgrades make is night and day. A number of them can be found by exploring the opening area of the DLC.

Shadow of the Erdtree is a beautiful expansion on an already beautiful game. I’ve not finished the DLC as of writing this and most of that is because I just can’t stop running off in the opposite direction of the main path looking for stuff to discover. It’s big, bold, brutal and beautiful. My only gripe is the game has great difficulty keeping a playable framerate in some areas. I had to stop using one of my weapon arts during an encounter due to the game chugging so much.

These are things that get ironed out down the line in a patch hopefully. I really enjoyed my time and once I regained my muscle memory of the controls and familiarised myself with my build again, I left like I was catching up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. Just picking back up where we left off like no time had passed at all. FromSoftware has created a magical world again. They could easily be looking at even more awards for Elden Ring due to their hard work and craft.

These words were written in blood by the Tarnished Lewis Magee.

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About The Author


Graham is the founder of GamEir and his knowledge is ever growing whenever it concerns gaming, films, and cartoons. Just don't ask him about politics.

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