Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is PC Gamer's next cover story: Here's a sneak peek

PC Gamer Shadow of the Erdtree cover
(Image credit: Future)

When I found out that FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki wasn't going to be able to talk to me at 3 pm as initially planned, I couldn't believe my luck. Good luck. His busy schedule meant our interview was pushed back by two hours, which meant that I had two more hours to play Shadow of the Erdtree. I spent a whole day sequestered in a media room in FromSoftware's shiny new offices in Tokyo, sitting in front of a PC and jumbo gaming monitor with the whole expansion tantalizingly open in front of me. I defeated its first two major bosses, reached a whole new area, and walked away feeling like I'd seen just a small portion of what this expansion has in store.

Shadow of the Erdtree may not be as big as Elden Ring, but it's almost certainly longer and deeper than most other videogames you'll play this year—I expect most players will spend dozens of hours trying to find everything hidden in the Land of Shadow. In our interview, Miyazaki explained that the expansion's map just had to be this big to recapture "that sense of discovery and that sense of wonder and exploration again." 

As we talked more about Shadow of the Erdtree, I knew our cover story would be about more than just the bosses and dungeons of the new map FromSoftware has spent the last two years crafting. It would have to grapple with the significance of this expansion serving as the end of Elden Ring (at least for now)—and the culmination of the fantasy RPG journey FromSoftware has been on since its first game, King's Field, released 30 years ago this December.

"Making a game as large and ambitious as Elden Ring was obviously not without its troubles," Miyazaki said. "It was a challenging and long process. But it was also extremely fun, as a creator. I'd love to recreate that experience for myself, more than anything. Every time with these games there's things that go well and there's things that don't go so well. With Elden Ring it's the same. That two-way process, the communication with the players, has been really good this time, I feel—it's something we've managed to lock into a little better. So taking those bits that didn't go so well this time with Elden Ring and incorporating those and improving those in a future title—that's something I'm really excited for." 

You'll be able to read the full feature on the website—including Miyazaki's thoughts on the evolving designs of FromSoftware's worlds, his "dream" fantasy RPG, and what kind of spicy food Elden Ring is—before the release of Shadow of the Erdtree on June 20. UK subscribers to PC Gamer magazine will also be getting their hands on the issue just before the expansion launches.

For now, check out more of our hands-on coverage of the expansion going live today: 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).