Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review

Elden Ring’s additional package, Shadow of the Erdtree, which has been developed for a long time, was released recently and I have been experiencing this new adventure that FromSoftware has prepared for us for a while. So, without further ado, let’s move on to our review.

It’s brutal and not for every Elden Ring player.

I finished Elden Ring the month it was released and shelved this adventure. When I returned for Shadow of the Erdtree after two years, I was a little stunned. As you know, in Souls games, you need to know many in-game details as well as your hand habits. Bonuses, synergies and much more offered by dozens of weapons, armor, coins and consumable items. Therefore, after all this time, I can say that it took me an hour or two to adapt to the game again. When I entered Shadow of the Erdtree, I never thought that such a difficult adventure was waiting for me.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Shadow of the Erdtree Giants

In fact, FromSoftware’s expansions have always presented quite difficult challenges, but considering that Elden Ring is a much more mainstream game and has introduced many new players to the series, Shadow of the Erdtree is nevertheless a bit more balanced and follows the flow of the main game. I guessed it would work. Of course, FromSoftware showed no mercy in this regard and left us face to face with one of the most difficult adventures we have ever seen. I thoroughly enjoyed my Shadow of the Erdtree experience. I was a little intimidated at first, but I quickly adapted to this challenge and learned how to cope with this challenge. But overall, I can say that Shadow of the Erdtree is a truly brutal work and definitely not for every Elden Ring player .

At times throughout my gameplay experience, I felt like this difficulty was unbalanced and not an enjoyable challenge. In other words, I saw that FromSoftware’s masterfully adjusted difficulty balance was not included in many sequences of the DLC. There are fights that are really unfair and you have to devote everything to adapt to these fights . Shadow of the Erdtree is an experience that does not forgive any of your mistakes and punishes you in seconds. An atmosphere prevails where you can only eat from a ghost you despise, where your character’s level almost doesn’t matter, where you’ll encounter boss fights that don’t even give you a breath, and where you’ll fall into despair at times.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Shadow of the Erdtree: Dancing Lion

Having said that this challenge feels unbalanced at times, I also want to point out why I feel that way. The main reason why I feel this is that while creating this difficulty, the focus was almost entirely on the health of the enemies and the damage they caused. So, while you cannot easily damage an enemy, he defeats you in one or two hits. I remember eating it almost dozens of times while playing Shadow of the Erdtree. I think the maximum number of hits I endured might be around four. Of course, things are not limited to just that. Some bosses have almost infinite stamina values ​​and their hit animations don’t even end. These enemies, which deal 50 hits in a row before you even drink a potion to replenish your health, are very difficult to beat except with perfect gameplay . To demonstrate this flawless gameplay, serious patience and getting used to it are required.

Besides all this, I felt that runes and level did not matter much during my Shadow of the Erdtree adventure. Of course, it is beneficial to be above a certain level, but it seems like you have no escape from the enemies defeating you in two or three hits. Therefore, the important factor here was to increase our defense and attack power in the land by collecting Scadutree Fragments specially prepared for Shadow of the Erdtree.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review

The more we collect these Scadutree Fragments, the stronger we become, and as long as we are in Shadow of the Erdtree, almost all of our stats become stronger at a certain rate. I think it’s around 5% per buff. This reveals the importance of playing the DLC with an exploration focus. You already find these items as you progress through the story, but they are largely scattered around.

I can’t forget my glorious fight with Messmer the Impaler.

”Those who are deprived of the Golden Blessing will meet their death in the arms of Messmer’s flames.” I heard this sentence so many times while playing Shadow of the Erdtree… Messmer was the pinnacle of the Shadow of the Erdtree experience for me. I also think he has a relationship with Malenia. There are already such theories. Shadow of the Erdtree is a game that hosts truly incredible bosses, and every enemy you encounter here is quite brutal. Each one was designed with great mastery as well as great ruthlessness. So they don’t forgive any of your mistakes, their moves and combos are very long. Their damage is much higher. Messmer is one of them. It took me more than thirty tries to dodge his spear, learn his moves, and face my sword.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Shadow of the Erdtree: Messmer

Messmer was also a very ruthless enemy who did not forgive any mistakes. But it attracted my attention with both its move set and the mysterious story behind it, and I enjoyed every second of this fight. I think the last time I experienced such a magnificent fight was with the Nameless King while playing Dark Souls 3 . Although each boss in the expansion made me feel different emotions, my favorite was definitely Messmer. This enemy, who was my nightmare for several hours, tasted defeat like all the others.

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Of course, there is a very important point I want to touch upon here. I have said many times that the enemies in Shadow of the Erdtree are very brutal and almost unbearable. The main solution you can use against these enemies is to change your playing style at every point you feel stuck. Yes, this is a pretty tiring process and something that really takes time to learn, but I think it would be much more tiring to fight these enemies’ move sets in a different way.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree

I preferred playing styles where I could analyze the weaknesses of my enemies when I got stuck, make the best use of them, and use them to their detriment. For example, Messmer was only one-hitting my character, which was based entirely on playing without taking damage. Therefore, I switched to a more heavily armored knight and managed to defeat him by trying one of the new weapons added to the game . Of course, heavy armor or something didn’t make much difference. This time I had two hits but whatever. If I were to give a tip for the additional package, I think it would be this shield and a heavy spear. I managed to advance without using a shield until the last boss of Shadow of the Erdtree, but when I encountered him, I quietly equipped my shield and spear. Of course, I don’t want to spoil the surprise by telling you who he is.

Shadow of the Erdtree very much continues Elden Ring’s exploration success.

Elden Ring was a game with an incredibly strong exploration aspect . While wandering around, you encountered all kinds of different things and found yourself in completely different places with the events triggered by these. What made this most impressive was that the things you encountered by chance were completely optional and very easy to overlook. This increased the value of the discovered event chain and pushed it to consume all the items and contents it contained.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Shadow of the Erdtree

Although the map of Shadow of the Erdtree may seem small at first, it is divided into layers and it is necessary to consume the contents by exploring these layers separately. Even from a tiny ladder, you can reach huge land masses and explore the surroundings through different biomes. You are impressed by the size of the dungeons you enter, and you become uneasy about the traps and evil that await you. It also has the rewarding effect that a game with such a high spirit of exploration should offer. You always come across something that interests you. I think this is one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s strongest points .

I can say that another thing that complements the spirit of exploration of Shadow of the Erdtree is the magnificent landscapes in the game. The atmosphere and the way the universe is reflected in the game is so beautiful that it is impossible not to be fascinated while wandering around. Riding my horse accompanied by the magnificent castles, environments and scenes I encountered impressed me greatly.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring’s success in this regard has continued. There is nothing left behind when it comes to music. A critical factor that makes all those glorious wars even more glorious. It is impossible not to get caught up in the atmosphere of war, desperation and struggle at that moment.

It has performance issues.

The biggest drawback of Shadow of the Erdtree that stood out to me was its performance problems. I played the game on a relatively high system and encountered freezes from time to time . The interesting thing is that these freezes only occurred when I was in the world of Shadow of the Erdtree, and I did not encounter such problems when I visited the map of the main game.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Review

Additionally, the frame rate could drop from time to time, so I had to turn down some settings. Since the frame rate is something that can be solved, it was not much of a problem for me, but since I experienced the freezing problem quite often in very critical fights, I can say that it was definitely a negative factor and undermined my gameplay experience, at least a little.

Last Words

Even though I was glad to have completed this challenge when I finished Shadow of the Erdtree, I was sad to say goodbye to such a gripping adventure. Even though I complain about some points, I think FromSoftware did a great job and introduced us to a great additional package. While most of them, including the final boss, weren’t very memorable for me, I won’t forget my fight with Messmer in particular anytime soon. By the way, if you need a little support in this challenging adventure, you can take a look at our Shadow of the Erdtree guide content we have prepared for you.

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