5 Features We Wish To See In FromSoftware’s Next Souls Game

Elden Ring has set a pretty high standard.

Story Highlights

  • Elden Ring’s undeniable triumph has us all excited for what FromSoftware has in store for us in possible future Souls games.
  • Regrettably, there is no photo mode to immortalize the beautiful environments of Souls games, and hopefully, the next entry will consider one.
  • Fascinating features of past games like Jump, Rally Mechanic, Trick Weapons, and Optional Harder Difficulty modes could be a solid addition.

When you hear “Souls game,” what comes to your mind? Brutal difficulty? Punishing bosses? Complex lore? It takes all that and then some more to craft the masterclass project that touts itself as soulslike. And who better to stand at the helm of this ship but FromSoftware; the pioneer of this entire sub-genre? The latest entry, Elden Ring, is a testament to the series’ legacy and years of growth culminating in a peerless experience.

YouTube video

What made Elden Ring so impressive was how it incorporated functional elements from all past Souls games, cultivating and refining them to perfection. And although not a Souls game, the next FromSoftware game is already here. It hasn’t even been that long, and the studio has already delivered another exceptional title; Armored Core 6. However, it seems another Souls title might be possible, too, so let’s look at some of the essential features it can benefit from.

1. Photo Mode

The most critical thing to mention is the addition of a photo mode. I can’t stress enough how beautiful and atmospheric the Souls games are, and the absence of a proper photo mode is crucially felt as you embark on a journey through breathtaking landscapes. It is a feature that has become an integral part of many games lately and gives you the freedom to better capture your adventure.

Take a look at Elden Ring to get an idea. As you stumble across the Siofra Well and come out on the other side for the first time, you are greeted with a truly gorgeous view. The game is filled with memorable and visually distinct locations like the Siofra and Ainsel River, Mohgwyn Palace, Lake of Rot, and Crumbling Farrum Azula to name a few. The same can be said for the past games in the franchise.

The original Dark Souls’ impact and the world connectivity remain unmatched. Dark Souls 2 though weaker in mechanics, possessed brilliant areas. Dark Souls 3 was an epic revisit to the iconic locations of the first game. Bloodborne presented a matchless Lovecraftian Horror presentation and Sekiro with its Feudal Japanese architecture. All in all, Photo mode is something fans have been demanding for a long time now to immortalize their memories. It’s good to see it present in AC 6, and I hope the next project considers it.

Souls games' brilliant environments deserve a photo mode
Souls games’ brilliant environments deserve a photo mode

2. Jump Mechanic

When Elden Ring first showcased its jump feature, I couldn’t believe we finally had a dedicated jump button in a Souls game. Not being used to it, it felt pretty odd to use it, but when I did, I was surprised at how many more avenues it opened for the game’s combat. Now, it’s quite difficult to imagine the game without the jump feature, and I’m positive it’s the same for others, too.

As an open-world action game at its core, the jump feature highly facilitates exploration. It makes traversal feel a lot more natural, being able to overcome alleviated areas. In addition, the jump mechanic truly shines in combat. The brutal difficulty of a Souls game forces you to actively avoid enemy attacks, and the jump serves as an extension of your dodge ability since it possesses iframes. You can dodge attacks coming at your feet better using jump rather than dodge.

Jumping always feel way more satisfying than a roll
by u/Gromek999 in Eldenring

Moreover, jump attacks become an integral part of your arsenal. Not only can you quickly dodge low attacks, but strike back quickly with a jump attack. This attack also has better stagger damage than your regular strikes, which means a jump attack will stun your enemy more easily, opening up follow-up attack possibilities. Jump and its combat usefulness make this a must-have feature for any Souls game hereafter.

3. Rally System

Bloodborne remains one of FromSoftware’s most glorious works and certainly one of the best games ever. I can’t get enough of this game and it stands among my personal favorites, while some even consider it to be better than Elden Ring. It’s heartwrenching to see no news about it, and I’m still hopeful it will make a return. And among many of this game’s charms, one of the most exciting is the Rally system.

The Rally system is one of the best mechanics FromSoftware has ever put into the series, and I would love to see it return in Elden Ring in some capacity.
by u/cam_wing in bloodborne

How it works is that whenever you get hit, you have a small window to regain the health lost in that attack by continuously slashing away at the enemy. The amount of total health you can regenerate is displayed on your health bar, and the amount restored per hit varies from weapon to weapon, based on its Rally potential. What makes this mechanic so interesting is how well it complements Bloodborne’s playstyle.

With no shields at your disposal, Bloodborne encourages you to play aggressively and rewards you for doing so. The Rally mechanic helps in maintaining the flow of combat. If you get hit, instead of breaking the combo and falling back to heal, you can focus to dodge the next attack and create an opening, retaining your combo and killing two birds with one stone; damage the enemy and also heal yourself.

Playing through the Lies of P demo, I immediately noticed this feature taken from Bloodborne, and it made aggressive attacking much more preferable. Similarly, it is also found in Elden Ring as an ability of Malenia’s Great Rune, but it’s a toned-down version and you can only make proper use of it in the NG+. Thus, a Souls game that incorporates this mechanic can give its players a strong adrenaline rush.

Lies of P's Bloodborne inspiration is the best thing about it
Lies of P’s Bloodborne inspiration is the best thing about it

4. Trick Weapons

Another fascinating Bloodborne feature is its approach to weapons. I know Elden Ring and its Ashes of War make up a pretty good combo when it comes to weapons, but I think Bloodborne’s Trick weapons deserve the spotlight here. The game gives all of its arms a transformation ability. Your weapon has two states; base and transformed, and each state has a unique set of moves.

Some weapons only get minor upgrades like a change of damage type, extended range, or higher damage. While others can get brand-new abilities and stats in the transformed state. Consider Chikage for example. Its transformed state will continuously drain your HP while giving you substantially stronger attacks and a pretty high Bloodtinge scaling, creating high-risk high-reward gameplay.

In addition, you have unique transformation attacks. If you press the button to transform mid-combo, your character will do a quick attack to shift the weapon and continue the combo in the new state. This opens up a myriad of different approaches, and you can judge for yourself which particular weapon or state caters to your playstyle. Bloodborne’s unique weapons are one of its best traits, and I think it would be a good fit for future games.

Is it just me or this is one of the greatest concept for a weapon
by u/Drouds in bloodborne

5. Optional Higher Difficulty

Souls Games are pretty well-known for being brutal. And it’s not just unfair difficulty, but a thrilling challenge to test your mettle against. Still some people, myself included, crave a tougher and more punishing challenge. This is why you see so many jaw-dropping challenges being attempted like a complete no-hit run or finishing the game with bizarre controllers.

I believe there’s nothing wrong in demanding more difficulty, it all comes down to personal preference. Thus, to cater to everyone’s needs, FromSoftware can take a leaf out of its past games’ book to add a high-difficulty option in its next Souls game. In Dark Souls 2, you have the Company of Champions. Joining the covenant makes your enemies tougher, providing a more brutal playthrough to those up to the challenge.

A similar mode can be found in Sekiro. At the start of the game, you can return Kuro’s Charm, which makes simple blocks more risky. In addition, you encounter a Demon Bell further on, which can raise the enemies’ stats to further punish you. I honestly enjoy the game a lot more with these features enabled, and I believe it could be an excellent addition in the next Souls game to give eager players a more crushing challenge.

Sekiro's beginning has a concealed hard mode
Sekiro’s beginning has a concealed hard mode

Verdict

This list is by no means exhaustive but contains some of the many possibilities that can make the next Souls game a genuinely delightful experience. Elden Ring was in a league of its own, and I wish nothing more but for the next game to be of the same or even higher scale. Since it’s FromSoftware, there isn’t much to worry about. What we can do is enjoy Armored Core 6 while eagerly waiting for the next brilliant Souls adventure.

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Amama Farrukh is a News Reporter on eXputer who’s been passionate about playing and writing about games since an early age. As a die-hard God of War fan, she’s really into gory hack-and-slash titles that get her adrenaline pumping. She’s got a bachelor's in Business Administration and several years of experience reporting on the gaming industry. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration || Previously worked as a Freelancer || Published 100+ News Stories

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