The E3 trailer for Elden Ring, the collaboration between From Software and George R.R. Martin, didn’t reveal too much information about the game, but the developer has given more details in interviews during the event. One big piece of news is that Elden Ring’s open world will be explorable on horseback, but it will not feature the towns and cities you might typically expect from an open-world game.
Hidetaka Miyazaki, the game’s director, detailed how Elden Ring’s open world would work in an interview with IGN. Miyazaki said that the player will be able to explore the world on a horse, which makes sense, given that he also said that the game’s environments will be much larger and more open than the small, interconnected areas that made up the world of Dark Souls.
Putting the focus on exploring large, open environments is a big change for From Software, which has traditionally built tightly designed environments full of winding paths. According to Miyazaki, making such a significant change to the studio’s typical formula also accounts for why we won’t be seeing towns in the game.
“Creating a new type of game is a big challenge for us,” he told IGN. “If we would add towns on top of that, it would become a bit too much, so we decided to create an open world style game focused on what we are best at.”
As expected, combat will play similarly to how it does in the Dark Souls games, but the structure of the open world itself will change how battles play out. “With a more open and vast environment, the way combat plays out becomes fundamentally different,” Miyazaki said.
Before Elden Ring’s official announcement at E3, rumors were swirling that the game would be a Norse-inspired open-world game called Great Rune, where the player would explore the world on horseback. Miyazaki’s confirmation that the player will be able to ride a horse is the only part of that rumor that has so far confirmed to be true. Obviously, the name Great Rune wasn’t true, and given what we saw in the trailer, any Norse influence in the final game is likely to be minimal.