Shadow Of The Erdtree Does Not Fix Elden Ring’s Biggest Problem

A glaring issue that degrades the most prominent reason people play Soulsborne games.

Story Highlights

  • Over the years, one of FromSoftware’s defining features in their games is the immaculate boss fights.
  • Elden Ring, despite having amazing boss encounters, highlights a new issue in its formula—boss reuses.
  • The issue has risen again in Elden Ring’s DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, degrading the overall boss quality.

Game of the Year winner of 2022, Elden Ring, recently received its first and last major expansion, Shadow of the Erdtree, on June 21, 2024. While this DLC has globally received monumental ratings and great reviews, and the general consensus has been it’s more of just what was praised two years ago, it still doesn’t rectify one of Elden Ring’s most controversial aspects, which was much more prevalent than other previous FromSoftware title.

The problem in question is the reuse of boss fights, whether field bosses or full-fledged mainline obstacles with entire cutscenes.

From Software’s History With Bosses And Repetition

Ever since the debut of Dark Souls back in 2011, and even before with Demon’s Souls, FromSoftware was praised for their genius boss fights, far ahead of most videogames that had been released during the era. By the time Bloodborne was released in 2015 and Dark Souls III in 2016, the game studio undoubtedly reshaped the idea of a “good boss fight.”

But what makes a boss so brilliant? We must remember four key components FromSoftware used to create a unique atmosphere with every other large health bar, those which no other videogame utilized or, at the very least, excelled at—arena, music, moveset, gravitas, and lore significance.

Anyone else agrees that FromSoft bosses are getting better and better?
byu/fantalas inEldenring

When you enter that white mist leading to an open space (unless, of course, we’re talking about the Capra Demon), it creates a mysterious atmosphere like no other. That boss fight will most likely be entirely unique, utilizing these four components to their fullest, be it a knight with a big sword who lost everything, a dragon that spits out poison, or a god out of its prime.

That said, when bosses were reused, it removed their lore significance and that spectacle to fight them once per playthrough; it just adds to the charm of any boss fight, which, unfortunately, reuses lack. They’re certainly frowned upon by the community, regardless of how minuscule.

Take the Asylum Demon from Dark Souls I as an example, which was reskinned twice in the game, and each of those fights is not only considered lackluster but also detracts from the original Asylum Demon fight.

Stray Demon is garbage
byu/ultimateweeb201 indarksouls

The Controversial Boss Reuses In Elden Ring

Elden Ring was not short of the previously listed components in boss encounters, but there was a split: Elden Ring is an open world rather than the common linear level design of Dark Souls. Hence, the game had to fill in spaces with tons of minibosses, which didn’t offer Remembrances or any signature boss weapons.

While this was fine, it felt as though Elden Ring had far too much bloated content by the time players reached the endgame content, with most side dungeons starting to become redundant. The issue peaked with the repetition of mainline/remembrance bosses, which has never been done before in the series.

Godfrey's reskinned fight
Godfrey’s reskinned fight in Leyndell | Source: eXputer

These bosses are supposed to be unique and incentivize replayability just so players can experience these fights once more in NG+. Still, if your initial playthrough already has 3 to 5 iterations of the boss in question, it makes your original fight feel significantly less special. Why fight the same boss in a new playthrough when you can just find them again in a random dungeon or tower?

The players’ dissatisfaction was clear, and bosses being reused was the most controversial drawback of the game. One side of the player base was completely against the idea, and the other was entirely fine with it. Generally, though, it was expected that Shadow of the Erdtree would completely fix this.

Boss Repetition in Shadow of the Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree has received 10/10s across the board, and in fact, the DLC still has a peak player count of 700k+, most certainly making the expansion a success. However, the biggest flaw still lingers. The first Remembrance boss you would likely fight, the Divine Beast Dancing Lion, was reused later randomly in a subsequent area, the Ancient Ruins of Rauh, with barely any meaningful changes or additions.

divine beast dancing lion
The Divine Beast Dancing Lion being reused in another area | Source: eXputer

Moreover, the infamous field dragons can be seen multiple times throughout the Realm of Shadow, which will put a bad taste in people’s mouths, just as it did two years ago with the launch of Elden Ring.

However, to make one thing clear, FromSoftware implemented almost 10 unique bosses who have not been recycled and are completely unique. Yet, while this is a much better statistic than the base game, it doesn’t alleviate the issue entirely.


Fans have never appreciated a boss being reused ever since the early days of the Souls series, and to see even the latest content of Elden Ring, which is meant to be the pinnacle of the game and a remedy for all the known issues in the base game, raises controversy yet again.

Although the DLC uses multiple procedures to improve and enhance the overall experience for the entirety of the game, I could not help but notice the residual flaws, even now. As mentioned, I hope these issues aren’t brushed aside in future games, and while that may seem like a utopian mindset, they can at least be more restrictive in their approach.

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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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