Shadow Of The Erdtree feature image

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC Review – Get Rekt Casuals

Not for you if:

  • You have no patience or resilience to fight on
  • You hate defeat
  • Want a hand holding open world exploration style game
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After tremendous success Elden Ring has its first DLC out, Shadow Of The Erdtree is an enormous expansion to the already huge Elden Ring. Adding a new area to explore called the Shadowlands and a ton of other content. But is it for you? Are you prepared for this?

TL;DR

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is a huge bang for your buck deal at full price. There are many new items, weapon types, weapons, armour, sets, dungeons and bosses to find and discover. But Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree is not for the faint of heart. The bosses are hard, even the more elite normal enemies are tough nuts to crack and require skill to defeat. The PC performance is pretty unstable at certain places and the boss fights, dying at the final stretch before taking down a boss is the most hateful feeling for a Souls game.

The hand you high five to get to the Shadowlands in the Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC.

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree Review – For the Fans and Die-Hards

When Elden Ring was first released we had the luck of doing our own Elden Ring review, and Elden Ring instantly popped on our Game Of The Year list. It was thanks to its perfectly curated world tailored to exploration with that distinct From Software fantasy horror setting drenched in deep lore and emotion. Personally I liked it so much that after our Xbox review, I bought Elden Ring for PC and replayed it on Steam Deck and PC. When the details for the Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC started dropping we were hyped and excited to dive back into Elden Ring.

Huge white casle looms in the distance. Views in Shadow Of The Erdtree.

DLC for the True Fanbase

With the drip feed of DLC details came the requirements to enter the DLC and its new zone. Players needed to have defeated Radhan, a cinematic intense boss fight that is burned into our minds as a grand and epic fight. But players also need to defeat Mogh, Lord of Blood.

An optional boss that isn’t required to beat the main game and a heavy-hitting bleed-inducing abomination. Mogh can be found in his palace at the endgame of Elden Ring hidden beneath the mainland. It was immediately clear that Shadow of the Erdtree was made for those who stuck with Elden Ring to the end, those who wanted more and were ready for a fight.

You Are Not Prepared!

There are shorter ways to get to Mogh, Lord of Blood. After completing Varre’s questline you get an item that allows you to teleport to Mogh’s Palace entrance. After fighting one of his Blood Priests you will teleport back to Lurnia beaten and drained, saying “I’ll be back” in a trembling voice. In the form of levels Shadow Of The Erdtree is for characters starting at level 150, or if you are really good as low as 120.

The reason From Software put Shadow Of The Erdtree so late into Elden Ring is simple. They wanted players to have an understanding of the game and how to build their character, which in hindsight is one hundred per cent true. But we also think they may have added it there as an incentive for players who dropped out earlier. A motivation to pick up Elden Ring again, play Shadow Of The Erdtree, and finish the game.

Nobody Hears you Cry in the Shadow Of The Erdtree

To make Shadow Of  The Erdtree more interesting From Software added several new features. A new levelling system is implemented to have a new form of scaling specific to the Shadowlands. You will be collecting Scadutree pieces to empower yourself and increase your stats by a percentage while adventuring in the Shadowlands, you will be dealing more damage and taking less. The same goes for your summons where collected Revered Spirit Ash Blessings increase their strength.

Collecting these is a must if you want to keep your sanity throughout this expansion. The difficulty has been bumped to old-school Dark Souls with enemies being more resistant to stun and stance breaks. While enemies and bosses will deal insane damage with a single hit and have complex long-lasting combos.  Bye-bye to the Jump R2 attack heavy attack and quick stance breaks for critical hits.

Our first encounters humbled us, putting us in our place and showing we got used to out-levelling areas and using slow-hitting attacks in the generous windows bosses in the Lands Between have. For this Shadow Of The Erdtree review, we initially started a new character; a light-footed mage that relied on dodging and waving its staff around like a pencil vendor at the park.

We quickly switched to our main beast, beat Mogh and got cracking with a level 300+, Bloodhound Fang and Dragon Bite build. Even then we were once again pushed to the limit as everything in the Shadowlands left no quarter and defeat was never given easily. Even then certain bosses were almost a full day’s worth of trial and error to defeat them.

Fighting a dragon on horseback to test out the new dragon killing longsword

Builds for the Buildgod, Loot for the Lootgod!

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree taketh your sanity and calm. But it also giveth awesome armour and swords. Shadow Of The Erdtree has so much new content that it puts everyone else in the gaming industry to shame. For a mere €39 you will bet the following things:

  • 8 New weapon types
  • 95 new weapons
  • 10 new shields
  • 39 new talismans
  • 14 new sorceries
  • 28 new incantations
  • 20 new spirit ashes
  • 25 new ashes of war
  • 30 new armour sets

And we are only talking about things to collect here! You are getting a zone that is huge! A new story that brings so much lore and new interesting characters that have new quests and progressing stories as you play along. With multiple diverse biomes spread across the Shadowlands, dungeons are no longer just filled with gargoyles and the same repeating boss. More diversity in dungeon design and encounters but still some repetition along the way, you will be fighting the same type of boss again sometimes, but it’s not as bad as the main game.

Some quality-of-life features came with the update for Shadow Of The Erdtree as well, newly collected items will have an exclamation mark now, all active summoning pools are now easy to see, a recent items tab, and summoning torrent for the Elden Beast fight. And these are for all players, even if you opt out of playing Shadow Of The Erdtree.

Mesmer Fire Burning Those Frames.

The biggest downside to Shadow Of The Erdtree is its performance. While Elden Ring is pretty stable after its patches for PC, Shadow Of The Erdtree runs a tad worse. Lower fps values when running in the open world and huge stutters or fps drops at random moments. Imagine almost beating that boss who has had you cursing the last hours and having a huge stutter that ends your good fight. Rest In Pieces, favourite controller.

Shadow of the Erdtree Mesmer iconic boss in frame. Serpent helmet made from steel and chanmail on his neck, a mesmer flame in his hand and saying 'In the embrace of Mesmers flame'.

How to Turn your Steam Deck into a Stove

When it comes to performance on the Steam Deck, well we briefly tried to try it but at the time of writing, there is an issue that makes Elden Ring unplayable on the Steam Deck. Elden Ring already pushes the hardware to the max so we suggest avoiding playing Shadow Of The Erdtree on the Steam Deck. The difficulty spike alone is enough to avoid playing on the Steam Deck as you want the most smooth experience possible.

With the pre-DLC update, something started going on when switching between Elden Ring on the Steam Deck and PC. When switching from the Steam Deck back to PC there was an issue with the resolution saved in the cloud and trying to switch the settings or something. We still don’t have a technical solution but it ended with a BSOD. This was before the expansion was released and after release, Elden Ring was no longer playable.

A fire basket golem lurks in the distance, fairly small from this range but very big and deadly up close

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree Conclusion

It’s damn good and damn cheap for what you get. But it might not be for you with the spike in difficulty and progress needed to actually get to the DLC. If in any case you want to play Shadow Of The Erdtree but have a long way to go before being comfortable in the level range and beating Mogh? That’s fine, by the time you get to that point the patches have dropped and performance will be better, some bosses might be nerfed and a guide will be there to help you through. 

Thank you Bandai Namco Europe for providing us with the review key. And thank you From Software for making this amazing DLC that could almost be a game on its own.

Stijn Ginneberge

Posts published: 133

Gaming for me is about experiencing their stories, overcoming challenges, living in fantasy worlds and exploring alien planets. You can also find me in the local game store or on an airsoft field.