As it goes with Elden Ring, information is sparse between infoblasts by FromSoftware. We're at an in-between phase right now as that January 2022 launch date is still a few months away yet. In the meantime, one of Elden Ring's producers Yasuhiro Kitao did a quick interview during the Tokyo Games Show over the weekend to reiterate that yes, the game is difficult and also that it's nearly finished. You'd imagine so, at three months out. Kitao also talks just a bit about Elden Ring's map, too, and how the game doesn't use quests to drag you around its open world.
There's not yet an official translatio for Famitsu's interview with Kitao, mind, so you'll either need to let Google translate for you if you use Chrome or check out another automated translation posted to Reddit. There's nothing FromSoft fans enjoy more than scouring sources for clues though, including me. The key bits are relatively clear, even with a machine translation. Here are your crumbs, tarnished ones.
On Elden Ring's status, Kitao says that FromSoft are nearing the end of development. Yup, that's what one would expect, I'd say. It is still expected to launch in January, after all. Another expected bit is one we've heard before that yes, Elden Ring is meant to be difficult like other Souls games. There are ways to work through challenges though, like summoning spirits of former enemies, an expansion on former Souls series summoning that I'm looking forward to personally.
We'd also already heard that Elden Ring has an open world and will have a map you can actually look at, unlike Dark Souls games. You'll find map fragments out in the world to begin piecing things together, this new interview mentions.
Both translations refer to not guiding players around the world with quests, allowing them to go where they'd like. The DeepL version of the translation also mentions not having "errand quests". Difficulty of enemies, it sounds, is a better guide to when you should be exploring each area. It's also suggested that the map itself may help indicate when you're in over your head.
Despite the additon of a visual map and those summons, it all sounds like pretty standard Souls series stuff. That's no complaint from me, to be clear. I'm well up for more textbook FromSoft.
If you somehow missed all the hype over finally seeing the new Elden Ring trailer over the summer, Elden Ring will launch on January 21st, 2022 on Steam.