Elden Ring sounds like it'll be a much open and free-form game when compared to Dark Souls titles of the past, with six main locations to explore and a demigod to conquer at the end of each one. The structure is detailed in a new interview with director Hidetaka Miyazaki, courtesy of IGN. The setting itself is called The Lands Between, a name invented by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin himself.
Miyazaki then explains that six major areas make up The Lands Between, all of which are governed by a demigod. There will be a natural order to the boss fights, but you can break the sequence and forge your own path. "We wanted to give a free level of progression and exploration through the Lands Between, so there’s a lot of different ways. You won’t be able to access everything from the start, but there are a lot of different ways you can approach each area. And there’s a lot of freedom as to which order you tackle different areas as well."
All of the areas in question will have their own main dungeon, with a main hub area linking them together — it's unlocked later in the game. More optional content includes "a wide variety of catacombs and castles and fortresses which are interspersed throughout the map".
In another piece from IGN, Miyazaki touched on the contributions from George R.R. Martin, stating the game should be easier to understand than past FromSoftware narratives. "We feel like, because this is a game that's based around its characters, this is a lot easier to understand, a lot easier to approach in that sense. So it's less abstract. While the player-character themselves is, as you might be familiar with other games, a little more nameless, a little more of a blank slate for the player to project themselves onto, other characters will provide that sense of depth and that sense of color and multifarious motives and ulterior motives that are going to keep them engaged and keep them second guessing as they explore through the world."
Do you like the sound of Elden Ring's open world and structure? Happy to hear you might be able to actually understand the story on your first playthrough? Prepare to die in the comments below.