After some mega hype, the Elden Ring release date is now here and we are able to start playing what looks to be one of the biggest games in recent memory — and possibly the best game ever, according to some of the reviews claiming it to be a masterpiece.

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It's exciting to see so much excitement swirling around a brand new IP that does not have any storytelling connections to pre-existing franchises. It feels like this could be the start of an iconic series.

Elden Ring has a massive open-world that puts player agency at the heart of its gameplay experience, meaning that you and your mates could play it for the same amount of time but end up with very different stories to tell.

The Dark Souls developers at From Software have been working away on Elden Ring for years now - which gives you an idea of the difficulty that could be faced- with help from iconic fantasy scribe George RR Martin, and now we finally get to see what all the fuss is about for ourselves.

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So get Elden Ring preloaded ahead of the release and be ready for an incredible new world to be introduced to you — it's a massive one at that will take a whopping amount of time to complete even if you only focus on the main narrative.

While you celebrate the game's arrival, check out the Elden Ring launch trailer below and keep on reading to see our handy roundup of the first Elden Ring reviews.

Elden Ring review roundup

The Elden Ring review embargo has lifted and the scores are in! We've pulled together a little Elden Ring review round-up to keep you up to date.

Simon Parkin at The Guardian gave Elden Ring a perfect score of five stars, calling it "an unrivalled masterpiece of design and inventiveness" and even dubbing it "the finest video game yet made".

Andy Brown at the NME also have the game 5/5, with Brown's Elden Ring review stating that "Miyazaki’s masterpiece exceeds every expectation". They added, "My expectations were higher than ever, and I still had no idea that Elden Ring was about to shatter every single one."

For The Verge, Andrew Webster was also impressed, describing Elden Ring in his review as "a sprawling fantasy epic so good I don't want it to end".

Aoife Wilson of Eurogamer gave Elden Ring the coveted "essential" badge, calling it "a glorious game, one that established fans are going to savour for some time to come, and one that may just welcome new fans into the FromSoft fold".

Tyler Colp at PC Gamer gave Elden Ring a 90/100, describing the game as "brilliant, but a little too familiar." Colp said in closing, "As another Souls game, I love Elden Ring, but as the latest game from FromSoftware, I wanted it to dream a little bigger."

Read more on Elden Ring:

Elden Ring release date

The Elden Ring release date is 25th February 2022, although players in some regions got a bit of head-start on select platforms (more on that in a second). The game is out now to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, bringing an end to the game's delays.

Elden Ring release time UK

Here in the UK, the console version of Elden Ring launched at midnight BST going into the morning of 25th February. Or if you're playing on PC, the Elden Ring UK launch time for you would've been 11pm on 24th February. Who doesn't love a cheeky hour of early access?

If you're reading this from the USA, Australia or anywhere else in the world, check out the Elden Ring release time for your region with the handy image below.

Elden Ring preload

You should be able to preload Elden Ring now on your platform of choice, whether you're planning to play on PC, Xbox or PlayStation.

In the release schedule image above, the developers promise that the preloads would be available no later than 48 hours before the launch in your region. By our calculations, that deadline should have been and gone now, so preloading shouldn't be a problem.

Elden Ring file size: How big is the download?

We know quite a bit about the Elden Ring file size at this stage. PC players have been told that they'll need 60GB of available space in order to install and run the game.

On console, it sounds like the required storage space might be slightly lower, with the Xbox version of Elden Ring requiring a 49GB file download. However, that does not take into account any potential day-one patches or future updates.

Elden Ring pre-order

Elden Ring is available to order now. You can order Elden Ring now on Amazon, where the Elden Ring price is currently £44.95 for the Elden Ring Launch Edition.

In terms of Elden Ring deals, the best Elden Ring price we've seen recently was at Fanatical, where you could pick up an Elden Ring Steam key for as little as £41.99.

Speaking of Elden Ring deals, our snazzy deal widget below should pull together all the latest offers from a wide range of retailers, so take a look here if you want to save a few quid with your order:

Elden Ring gameplay

Elden Ring gameplay has been described as "genre-defining" on the game's official website, with the developers promising that you'll be able to "define your playstyle by experimenting with a wide variety of weapons, magical abilities, and skills found throughout the world".

On a practical level, we know that Elden Ring gameplay takes place from a third-person perspective and blends together open-world exploration and brutally challenging combat. There are swords, axes, throwable weapons and plenty of other ways to fell your foes.

The official description adds: "Charge into battle, pick off enemies one-by-one using stealth, or even call upon allies for aid. Many options are at your disposal as you decide how to approach exploration and combat."

Elden Ring platforms

Elden Ring will be available on both current generation and last generation consoles, including PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

But is Elden Ring on PC? Given that several of FromSoftware's Souls Games are console exclusives, it is a very pertinent question - but Elden Ring will indeed be available on PC, both on disc and on Steam.

However, there's no news of a Nintendo Switch version, which is hardly surprising as Dark Souls: Remastered is the only previous FromSoftware game to make it to the platform.

Is Elden Ring on Xbox Game Pass?

As far as we know, Elden Ring will not launch on Xbox Game Pass. The developers have not announced any intention to launch their new game onto Microsoft's much-loved membership club, but we'll be sure to let you know if that changes at any point in the future.

What is Elden Ring?

When is the Elden Ring release date?
Elden Ring FromSoftware

Let's backtrack a bit - what actually is Elden Ring? Is Elden Ring something to do with Lord of the Rings? The answer to that second question is no - Elden Ring has nothing to do with The Lord of the Rings, but it does sound very interesting to us as a brand-new IP.

Elden Ring is an upcoming action RPG developed by FromSoftware that takes place in The Lands Between, a realm where the titular Elden Ring has been destroyed and its shards scattered.

With the realm now ruled over by the corrupted demigod offspring of Queen Marika the Eternal, players take on the role of a Tarnished and traverse the realm to retrieve all the scattered shards, restore the Elden Ring and become the Elden Lord.

However, it's the collaboration between two of the biggest names in entertainment that has really got people talking - namely game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and fantasy novelist George RR Martin.

Is Elden Ring a Dark Souls game?

The involvement of Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has led many gamers to wonder ''Is Elden Ring a Souls Game?' - and although Elden Ring looks to feature very similar gameplay with a focus on combat and exploration, it does not seem to be an official entry in the long-running Souls series.

"Elden Ring is a third-person action RPG with a fantasy setting,” he told IGN. “The gameplay is not so far from Dark Souls. That doesn’t mean that the gameplay will be identical, but you could say that Elden Ring belongs to the same genre.”

Instead, Miyazaki has described Elden Ring as a "natural evolution" of the Souls series, adding new features such as a large open world and new gameplay mechanics including richer customisation, horseback riding and a stealth system similar to Miyazaki's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Importantly, Elden Ring will not carry over any lore from the Souls series, instead taking place in a brand new fantasy universe with world building by George RR Martin.

Miyazaki himself laid the foundation of the narrative, describing to Martin "what sorts of themes, ideas, as well as many game-related aspects" he envisioned and then allowing Martin creative freedom to write the overarching backstory.

"This allowed us to have many free and creative conversations regarding the game," Miyazaki told PC Gamer. "Which Mr. Martin later used as a base to write the overarching mythos for the game world itself."

What has George RR Martin said about Elden Ring?

George RR Martin Getty

This year will be a big one for George RR Martin. As well as the premiere of long-awaited Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon, the author will also be involved in a fantasy video game: Elden Ring.

The success of Game of Thrones has long led many to believe that Martin would be perfect for the world-building required for a fantasy RPG - and he has done just that with Elden Ring, which is a collaboration with Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki.

It turns out, however, that Martin completed his work years ago, which might be one reason for Winds of Winter's many delays...

"Basically they wanted a world created to set the game in, they wanted world-building as a big factor in fantasy and science fiction," Martin told PC Gamer. "You're not really talking about the characters and the plot, but the setting is almost as important as everything else.

"I worked up a fairly detailed background for them, and then they took it from there, so really it's been several years since I've last seen them. But they would come in periodically and show me some monsters they'd designed, or the latest special effects, or the cool things."

Martin said: "I'll be as excited as everyone else to see it." Expectations are naturally pretty high.

Martin added in a recent blog post: "What they wanted from me was just a bit of worldbuilding [...] So I did my bit and handed off to my new friends in Japan, and they took it from there. And years passed. Videogames are as big as movies these days (bigger, actually)… and take just as long to create."

How long will it take to complete Elden Ring?

Well, as always, this is a tough question to nail down an answer to as people play in different ways but, on average, the length to finish the story is said to be around the 30-hour mark. Elden Ring producer Yasuhiro Kitao revealed the news at the 2022 Taipei Game Show, saying:

"This will differ significantly by player, but in terms of the targets set during development, the idea is that the main route should be able to be completed within around 30 hours. The game as a whole is quite massive, and contains many dozens more hours' worth of gameplay, but if we are talking about the main route only, it shouldn't take much longer than that."

At the same show he also said that the game was designed to not be as stressful as Dark Souls was - we'll see how true that is when we get our hands on it.

Elden Ring demo

The developers at FromSoftware recently recruited players for an Elden Ring Open Network Test that allowed you to try the game early by way of an exclusive Elden Ring demo.

The aims of this demo were to test out the Elden Ring multiplayer, analyse the game's balance and generally give the servers a dry run. If you'd like to take part, you would've had to apply on the Elden Ring website. However, that particular Elden Ring demo is now over. We'll be sure to let you know if another one occurs at a later date.

Elden Ring trailer

The game was first announced in this dramatic trailer from E3 2019, which rather stylishly explains the history of the Elden Ring:

A new trailer delving further into the Elden Ring lore was released at The Game Awards 2021. The footage sees a character known as the Storyteller give a brief history lesson about the Elden Ring, the Lands Between and the conflict that players will be thrown into when the game is released. While you celebrate the Elden Ring release date on 25th February, you can watch that trailer below:

Follow Radio Times Gaming on Twitter for all the latest insights. Or if you’re looking for something to watch, see our TV Guide.

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