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Elden Ring release date: George RR Martin game launches free demo

Game of Thrones meets Dark Souls in this cross-media collaboration for the ages.

When is the Elden Ring release date?

When is Elden Ring coming out? There actually isn’t that long to wait for the Elden Ring release date, especially if you’re lucky enough to get involved with the Elden Ring demo that is going on at the moment.

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Known as the Elden Ring Network Test, this demo is allowing a select number of fans to try out the new game early. Elden Ring comes to us from George RR Martin and the renowned developers at FromSoftware, so there are certainly plenty of people trying to get involved in that demo.

Keep on reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Elden Ring, starting with that all-important release date!

Elden Ring release date

When will Elden Ring come out? Well, that’s been the question on every fantasy and Souls fan’s lips ever since the game was announced all the way back in 2019 – but we finally have a date, and it’s not far away at all.

Elden Ring was initially scheduled for release on 21st January 2022. However, much like Martin’s long-gestating Winds of Winter novel, Elden Ring has been delayed – but not by much. The Elden Ring release date has now been confirmed for 25th February 2022.

Elden Ring demo

The developers at FromSoftware are currently recruiting players for an Elden Ring Network Test that could allow you to try the game early by way of an exclusive Elden Ring demo.

The aims of this demo are 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 have to apply on the Elden Ring website. Click that link to learn more.

Elden Ring pre-order

Now we have a (hopefully final!) release date, Elden Ring is available to pre-order. You can pre-order now on Amazon for a price £49.99, with the retailer’s Pre-Order Price Guarantee meaning if the cost goes down before release you’ll only be charged the lowest price.

What is Elden Ring?

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Let’s backtrack a bit – what actually is Elden Ring?

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 Souls game?

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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
George RR Martin
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2022 will be a big year 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 added: “I’ll be as excited as everyone else to see it.” Expectations are naturally pretty high.

Elden Ring gameplay footage

The gameplay trailer was released at Summer Game Fest in June 2021 and is suitably stunning – this may well be one of those trailers you can’t help but rewatch:

Which consoles and platforms can play Elden Ring?

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.

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:

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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