6 reveals from the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC trailer that had us shaking in our greaves with excitement

An image of a knight with horrible rot growths spiking out of their back in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

It's been a long, weary wait since Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree was announced almost a full year ago. Finally, after nearly 365 entire days, we've been treated to a trailer—and we're all feeling very normal, calm, and rational about it—reports of us attempting to pull more details from the weave of our dreams are unsubstantiated.

We're feeling so well-adjusted about the news, in fact, that we've decided to share our favorite morsels from father FromSoftware's table—here's what made an impression on the PC Gamer team from the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree trailer.

We're finally getting some answers

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Sean Martin, Guides Writer: So just what is kind Miquella cooking up in his cocoon? All those who speculated that the DLC entry point would be the creepy ass egg with the giant arm in Mohg's lair seem to have been right on the money. Similar to The Old Hunters for Bloodborne or Ashes of Ariandel for Dark Souls 3, it looks like we'll be delving into a forgotten "Realm of Shadow" filled with all sorts of misfits. 

There's potentially an element of time travel as with The Old Hunters, but to me it feels like all these different characters are likely seeking something, or have fallen into the realm at different times similar to Dark Souls' painted worlds. We've got a Carian Knight, what looks like a Hunter of the Dead, and even that heavily armored dude with the repeating crossbow who gives off real Lapp vibes.

Honestly, I'm just surprised we didn't actually get to see Miquella, but instead got a glimpse of the big boss of the DLC; Messmer the Impaler. He's got the red hair of Radagon and a load of snakes coiling around him? It seems from his appearance that he's perhaps been corrupted by the influence of an Outer God—his dialogue references what sounds like "Vesper's flame", so perhaps Vesper is an as yet unknown god. There's also a decent possibility that he's a secret child of Marika and Radagon that we didn't know about before, considering the context in which he mentions his mother—unless his mother is "Vesper", that is.

If there's one thing I'd love from this DLC from a lore perspective, it's more details about the Outer Gods, since they remain one of Elden Ring's biggest unresolved mysteries. On the plus side, it looks like we're going to get a lot of answers.

Heck yeah, it's more open world exploration

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Right off the bat we saw a horse galloping down a wide open road and meadow full of graves leading to a spooky city so this is definitely an open world DLC, which wasn't a given. There are foggy depths and cliff vistas, crumbling bridges and creepy meadows. Oh, and a swamp too. Why must there always be a swamp?

FromSoft could have definitely done a more linear, classic Souls dungeon crawl for SotE but instead it's built up what looks like another large chunk of the world to explore. After being a bit of a skeptic about an open world Souls game prior to Elden Ring's launch, I became a full convert to the concept and I'm not mad to see it taking a victory lap on me. 

Harvey Randall, Staff Writer: I'll enjoy the open-world stuff just fine, and I'm sure there are plenty of dungeons to poke my fragile head into—though as you say, Lauren, I was also skeptical going into Elden Ring about the open-world stuff. I played the game, beat it just fine, but I did find myself missing the sprawling megadungeon vibes of Souls games past. Still, I'm happy for Torrentheads, and it's not going to stop me from chewing into this thing like a ravenous dog.

Fraser Brown, Online Editor: Not gonna lie, I cheered for the swamp. Can't wait to be grabbed by the many horrors lurking in the filthy water. 


Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring bosses: How to beat them
Elden Ring map fragments: Reveal the world
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets

Finally, I get to kick some monsters in the face

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Harvey: FromSoftware games have a lot of terrifying enemies—aggro dogs with oodles of poise damage, giants that'll squash you flat, and of course 'boss that's just a guy in armor' (which you should underestimate at your peril). They've had a lot of ways to deal with them—greatclubs, katanas, magic. But never have I been able to just roll up my sleeves and throw down with my enemies.

Sure, we've had claw and fist weapons, but there's not been anything that hit me square in the martial arts fantasy. Even Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice relegates you to the way of the shinobi and their (admittedly awesome) sword arts. But in a snippet clearly dedicated to player options and armaments, we see some dude in a hat lay out a Muay Thai combo that'd make Bruce Lee blush. Whatever build that is, I want to play that.

Fraser: We're going to be able to kick massive, skyscraper-sized bosses to death! We are truly living in a golden age. 

Lauren: Harvey, are we ignoring the machine gun crossbow? You can have your foot-to-face combat but I'll be taking the aggressive ranged option, thanks.

Sean: What about those throwing blades, too? Not sure if that'll be an ash of war like the Follower Javelin weapon art in Dark Souls 3, but it looks pretty fun either way.

A clip of a monk executing some sweet kicks in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Harvey: Sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of my karate flips.

My new least favorite enemy: worm man

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Harvey: Listen. I like monsters, I think they're great—but some are great in a 'man, that was fun to fight that' way, while others were designed by a wrathful god to torment me specifically. I don't know what it is, but beasties with grapples have always messed me up, and I can already tell this horrid worm thing will be the source of many long, drawn-out deaths. 

I don't know how adding less worms to Elden Ring's existing wormface baddies makes things worse, but it does. Kill them with fire. Shoot them into space. I hate them already.

So many bosses

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Sean: I know it's FromSoftware DLC tradition to have at least one messed-up Ludwig-esque boss each time, but I'm not sure my mind can withstand this grafted, lightning-bolt hurling, Omen lion creature. What even is it? It looks like someone took Godrick, Godfrey, Serosh, and Morgott, mangled them together, and put a cloak on it.

Harvey: Honestly, I'm not even sure that lion head's not an elaborate costume. Design-wise I'm reminded of one of those giant puppets they use in Chinese Lion Dances—part of me feels like that's even the vibe they're going for. Meanwhile, I'm over here staring at that burning wicker man. I just hope Nicholas Cage isn't trapped inside, though that'd be one heck of a phase 2 transition.

Big explosions and creepy weirdos

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Fraser: Gosh, there's a lot going on in this first glimpse of Shadow of the Erdtree, but all the creepy weirdos really steal the show. The overly-friendly worm is a fave (who doesn't love big smooches?), and that Messmer fella is giving me the big heebie-jeebies. Out of all the spooky things that make me lose sleep, there's something about enemies with out-of-proportion limbs that unsettle me the most. Maybe it's just because I'm cursed with short legs. 

And I'm wavering between excitement and being absolutely horrified by the prospect of dealing with that hippo-rhino-porcupine beastie. Look, even normal hippos are absolutely terrifying. I once gave up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to canoe next to Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River because the guide said I'd need to watch out for hippos. To hell with that. Even knowing it's got those secret spines, I'm for sure gonna get impaled on them over and over again. Can't wait. 

Finally: big explosions! Sure, the kung-fu stuff looks rad as hell, but just give me an oversized jar full of explosives and I will be content. Throwing junk at enemies is an underrated tactic. 

Harvey: Fraser's incorrect feelings of love towards the giant worm abomination notwithstanding, I can't help but agree. I feel like FromSoftware's consumables haven't quite sold the fantasy of lobbing a big flaming pot at somebody—they're more like pebbles that just so happen to explode. How you're gonna stuff this thing in your pocket I've got no clue, but if it's an interactable weapon from the environment? Then that's just as interesting. Time to go kobold mode.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.

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