Elden Ring’s DLC Should Continue FromSoftware’s Tradition Of Soul-Crushing Bosses

Give us another Malenia.

Story Highlights

  • At this point, no one’s unaware of Elden Ring’s immense quality and popularity, as FromSoftware delivered a masterpiece that is soon to receive a DLC.
  • FromSoftware creates epic games, true, but the DLCs are always a step above both in quality and overall difficulty, especially the boss battles.
  • People who enjoy the Souls-like genre are always looking for a tougher challenge. And I believe Elden Ring’s DLC is the perfect opportunity to introduce splendidly brutal boss encounters.

If I talk about challenging games, I’m sure the first thing that comes to your mind is a Souls game. FromSoftware‘s genre-defining series has become practically synonymous with difficulty, such that it would always pop up in a discussion about a challenging game, regardless of the genre of the game in question. And if you’re a firm fan of the series like me, you know it’s something we enjoy the most about these games.

Elden Ring took the world by storm and was a magnificent display of FromSoftware’s prowess. With the announcement of a DLC for this enormous title, we couldn’t help but relish in joy and speculate as to what sort of brilliant adventures the expansion will bring. Plot details and setting aside, the one thing I’m looking forward to the most is the brutality of boss encounters, which is sure to be a delight if past DLCs are any indication.

Elden Ring Is Perfection Incarnate

An open-world Souls game; an idea that was as fascinating as it was skeptical. While the possibility of a Souls game allowing freedom of travel and exploration was indeed a remarkable idea, it also raised some doubts in our minds. We were accustomed to the non-linear and interconnected world design, and concerns arose about how the gameplay systems would carry over to a vast open world, and if there would be enough things to do.

However, it seems there wasn’t a speck of a reason to doubt FromSoftware, as Elden Ring surpassed all of the seemingly impossible expectations. It delivered a peerless adventure which I’m sure will be remembered for ages. A gigantic but meaningful open world filled to the brim with secrets, treasures, and nasty traps. Alongside comes the iconic souls-like combat and brutal difficulty to spice things up. Thus, Elden Ring’s DLC is a highly anticipated project.

The game’s biggest achievement is how it actively considers each past game’s best features and mixes them up in a complete package. Dark Souls’ brilliant area design and atmosphere, Dark Souls 2’s Power Stancing not present in any other game, Dark Souls 3’s base mechanics as the template to build upon, and the refined Weapon Arts in the form of Ashes of War, Bloodborne’s aggressive combat options and Rally potential, and Sekiro’s skills as the influence for some moves, Elden Ring has it all.

Elden Ring brings back Dark Souls 2's Power Stancing
Elden Ring brings back Dark Souls 2’s Power Stancing

That’s not all, the game brings ample new mechanics and QOL improvements. Jump is a solid example of this. It is much more than just a QOL feature, as it has actively given the game’s combat a lot more depth, being an extension of the dodge feature. In addition, Elden Ring’s core mechanics bring an innate poise for all foes, and you can stun them to do a critical when you land enough stagger damage.

An already impressive combat system refined to perfection. Couple that with a fascinating open world that includes iconic areas and complex connectivity that can even give the original Dark Souls a solid challenge, and you have a near-perfect adventure that is pretty difficult to complain about. Elden Ring’s DLC announcement was a pretty big deal; I can’t get enough of the game as it is, and can hardly wait to experience more of this brilliant journey.

1300 hours of Best Game Ever created.
byu/OnlyRum0 inEldenring

FromSoftware DLCs Have Always Been A Cut Above The Base Game 

FromSoftware has exceptional games, but the DLCs are still a step above, and considering the quality of the base game, that is a genuinely impressive achievement. Pick up any Souls game and try the DLC, you’ll be surprised how it manages to surpass the game. This is a major reason behind the anticipation of Elden Ring’s DLC, We know FromSoftware never misses with DLCs, and something greater than Elden Ring would be an unimaginable delight.

The DLCs of Souls games surpass the base game in quality, but they also do so in difficulty, and I love them for it. Consider Dark Souls for example. A landmark in gaming history and the beginning of this golden legend, the original Dark Souls was also a champion of world design with its iconic and brutal areas; Blighttown’s poison swamp, Sen’s Fortress’ traps, New Londo Ruins’ spectral enemies, Catacombs’ undead and Tomb of the Giants pitch darkness.

Who can’t agree DS1 DLC is perfect?
byu/AssignmentLivid713 indarksouls

My point here is the game’s difficulty came from its creatively designed areas, but for the most part it had considerably easy boss fights. Most fights had a unique gimmick that could be exploited with proper knowledge. But then came the DLC, and we were greeted by boss fights like Artorias, Kalameet, and Manus. It was a surprising change in boss brutality, but surely a welcome one. We’ll see how Elden Ring’s DLC compares with FromSoftware’s first-ever Souls expansion.

A similar case is observed in Dark Souls 2. Although considered the weakest entry by many, the three DLCs of the game are its best content and a ton of fun. Moving on to Dark Souls 3, a nostalgic throwback to the original adventure. For me, this game was an inverse of the original; fairly easier areas and enemies, but pretty cruel boss fights. And once again the DLCs arrived to surpass the base game.

Dark Souls 3's DLCs brought some of the franchise's best boss battles
Dark Souls 3’s DLCs brought some of the franchise’s best boss battles

The frozen wildlands of Ashes of Ariandel were a charming area to explore with a secret down below, and the three-stage boss fight of Sister Friede was a strong step up in difficulty. Next was the Ringed City, which was an absolute marvel of boss fights, design, and enemy variety. Not to mention it brought an impossible-to-tackle hidden boss and a downright splendid duel with Slave Knight Gael at the end of the road.

Probably the best example of DLC surpassing the base game is found in Bloodborne, though. FromSoftware’s most unique and peerless work which is even considered the best by many also brings the developers’ best DLC yet. The Old Hunters DLC is a highly meaningful addition to the game both in gameplay and lore. It explores the past of this decrepit world in a series of areas moving in reverse narrative and features three unique and charming locations.

Finally playing the Old Hunters, it’s the most beautiful DLC I’ve ever played
byu/Ivaylo_87 inbloodborne

What it excels at the most is undoubtedly the boss encounters. Bloodborne is filled with magnificent boss fights, but these DLC encounters take the cake. Ludwig’s two-stage duel filled with easter eggs, Living Failures‘ one vs. many, Lady Maria’s punishment for trespassing, Orphan of Kos’ agile beating, and Lawrence’s absurd health pool; Bloodborne’s DLC was the pinnacle of quality precisely due to its insane difficulty spike, and is something Elden Ring’s DLC can learn from.

Bloodborne's The Old Hunters DLC is FromSoftware at its peak
Bloodborne’s The Old Hunters DLC is FromSoftware at its peak

Elden Ring’s DLC Shouldn’t Shy Away From A Brutal Challenge

My intention for discussing the past DLCs is that FromSoftware’s tradition of enhanced difficulty in DLCs is a major reason behind this insane quality. This difficulty spike is something I wish to see in Elden Ring’s DLC too. Elden Ring is indeed tough as it is, but then again difficulty is the number one charm of this series for the fans and all we want now is a newer, tougher challenge.

I’m in complete disagreement with the demand for an easier mode for these games. Souls games are not unfairly hard. They have a learning curve, yes, but it is a highly rewarding and satisfying one. Getting the hang of a boss’ 100 moves and precisely avoiding them to land the killing blow is a feeling of serenity I can’t describe. And the people who like these games do so precisely because they give them a good challenge.

Elden Ring's DLC needs a frustrating but immensely satisfying-to-beat boss like Malenia
Elden Ring’s DLC needs a frustrating but immensely satisfying-to-beat boss like Malenia

In the case of Elden Ring, I’d even go out of the way and say it’s not as difficult as its predecessors. Why? Because here we have equal options of strengthening up as the difficulty of the enemies. You have an insane amount of buffs here that can turn the tide of battle, better and less tedious farming opportunities thanks to being open world, broken Ashes of War, and Spirit Summons that don’t even buff the boss’ health if used. 

If the game is challenging, it also gives a ton more options to plan your playstyle. Thus, I believe a more challenging DLC is sure to please fans who want nothing but to test their mettle. I’m aware the anti-difficulty argument exists, but a huge majority of the fanbase is on the difficulty side, myself included. If people didn’t want a tougher game, they wouldn’t be attempting bizarre challenges which make an already difficult game a lot more brutal.

In an era when the quality of games has fallen quite a bit due to predatory tactics, FromSoftware continues to deliver exceptional masterpieces. What’s more, the expansions end up with even more love and care than the base game, and as per tradition, brutal and merciless boss encounters. With Elden Ring’s DLC right around the corner, I sincerely hope it ends up surpassing the game in both quality and the insane difficulty of boss encounters.

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Najam Ul Hassan is a News Reporter on eXputer who enjoys investing hours in his favorite video game titles. When he’s not playing games, he’s practicing Journalism. He began his career on eXputer after combining his limitless love of video games and all things geek with his considerable writing experience. He has been cited numerous times by several noteworthy publications and sites such as Game Rant, Yahoo, PlayStation LifeStyle, VGC, VG247, TheGamer, among others. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: Masters in Mass Media Communication || Written 300+ News Stories.

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