Elden Ring looks absolutely incredible and my humanity is restored

Elden Ring
Elden Ring (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

A new gameplay trailer for FromSoftware's upcoming action RPG Elden Ring was unveiled at the Summer Game Fest ahead of the main E3 2021 show, and it was absolutely incredible. Speaking as a big time fan of FromSoftware's Dark Souls series, Elden Ring looks to be everything I want from its spiritual successor and more. Here's a look at everything I loved most about what was shown.

Elden Ring's horse gameplay

Source: FromSoftware (Image credit: Source: FromSoftware)

The thing that impressed me the most about the trailer was how exciting and fun, yet balanced and situational, the horse gameplay looks. We've known that Elden Ring would have horse mechanics ever since FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki announced them alongside Elden Ring's more open world-style structure. However, up until now, it was unclear what they would actually look like in-game and how well they would mesh with on-foot melee combat with various attacks, dodges, and parries, which has been FromSoftware's bread-and-butter.

While we won't truly know if the horse mechanics are designed well until we get the game in our hands, I'm inclined to believe that FromSoftware has struck a good balance based on what I saw in the trailer. It looks like players can gain a mobility advantage in combat and do big chunks of damage with charging attacks, but are forced to dismount if they need to engage in prolonged melee encounters. It also looks like you can dodge attacks with your horse by making it jump, which adds an element of skill to using your mount.

Additionally, I love that you can initiate a melee fight by jumping off of your horse and performing a leaping attack. Plus, it looks like enemies can use horses against you, too, meaning you'll likely have to master countering the same cavalry tactics you'll also be using.

Elden Ring's environments are stunning

Source: FromSoftware (Image credit: Source: FromSoftware)

I was blown away by how beautiful and enticing the world of Elden Ring looks. Something I've always enjoyed about FromSoftware's games is how the studio is capable of crafting worlds that are gorgeous, yet also grim and unsettling. Yet, they still invite you to explore everything to discover their bleak secrets. Elden Ring is no different with its vibrant and colorful skies and lush, life-filled environments that are contrasted with war-torn battlefields, grotesque creatures, and boss enemies that look straight out of a horror movie.

I've rewatched the trailer at least a dozen times now, and each time the camera pans over one of Elden Ring's stunning locations, I feel an immediate desire to go on adventures in this amazing world and uncover the dark mysteries that lie beneath its surface. My girlfriend said it best: "I can't wait to get my ass beat in this beautiful world."

Elden Ring's bosses look intimidating as hell

Source: FromSoftware (Image credit: Source: FromSoftware)

We can't wait to fight these extremely intimidating-looking bosses. Boss fights have traditionally represented the best of what FromSoftware has to offer, and one of the core reasons why its bosses are loved by so many players is because their scary appearances and brutal movesets make you feel like you're David going up against Goliath. It's obviously important for bosses to be readable and fair, but ultimately, the reason why people like to fight top Dark Souls bosses like Dancer of the Boreal Valley over and over again is because of how good it feels to overcome the odds.

It's true that we don't know how Elden Ring's bosses will feel to fight on a mechanical level yet, but the fact that every single one shown in the trailer looks like they could put me in the dirt with a flick of their wrist gives me the same intimidated-but-excited feeling that I had during my first playthroughs of the Dark Souls games. FromSoftware's developers are masters at making intimidating bosses, and Elden Ring's are arguably some of the most threatening ones we've seen from the studio.

Your thoughts

What did you think of the Elden Ring trailer? Do you agree with my feelings about it? Are you excited for Elden Ring to arrive on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 (and Windows 11) PCs? Let me know. It may end up being one of the best Xbox One role-playing games ever, so we're definitely keeping a close eye on it. Notably, it's available for preorder now for $60, too.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.