Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is hard as nails, says Miyazaki: 'We've really pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player'

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot
(Image credit: Tyler C. / FromSoftware)

The day of the DLC is finally upon us, but before players jump into Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, some are debating whether they have what it takes to face off against all its new foes.

Those trying to dunk on Mohg, aside from speedrunners or benevolent sorcerers, should be around level 100-120. Elden Ring has been around for over two years now, though, and some players are realising that they may be a little too prepared for the fight ahead. 

PC Gamer editor Fraser Brown even went into the DLC with his overpowered NG+ Blasphemous Blade build and found it to be a piece of cake. But after opting for a fresh start, Shadow of the Erdtree started to hit him just right.

For those looking for that sweet spot, studio director Hidetaka Miyazaki suggests that it's difficult to overprepare. "We've kind of really pushed the envelope in terms of what we think can be withstood by the player," Miyazaki says in an interview with CNET

It doesn't seem like every boss will be a perilous fight for your life, as they apparently have varying degrees of difficulty, but the DLC will still pose a serious challenge for players who've already beaten the base game. 

"Of course, some bosses are a necessary part of the story development and arc, but some are not," Miyazaki says. "The ones that aren't are especially difficult, I think, [they] will pose a very good challenge and obstacle for players." That sounds like we'll be getting a new and improved Malenia for players to spend days of their lives trying to beat. As of last year, Malenia had brutally reminded players she is the blade of Miquella over 300 million times, and to this day only 35.9% of players have managed to defeat her, so imagining a boss that's harder than her is pretty terrifying. 

Boss fights that are so hard you'll end up pulling most of your hair out is part of the twisted fun of souls games, though: Elden Ring in particular. When asked whether FromSoftware had considered what players enjoyed or found too stressful in the base game, Miyazaki says that the aim was to find that balance again: "We tried to make that the foundation of the boss encounters of the DLC, so hopefully, players will find it much more engaging and fun. But if that is not the case, then I'm sorry!" 

Elie Gould
News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.