It’s been quite some time since the legendary George R.R. Martin graced the literary world with his brilliance. Unless of course, you’re a sports fan in which case Martin has flooded your emailer with countless sports-related critiques. Thankfully in a return to form of sorts, Martin had finally been creating a new world of fantasy and mythology, but not in the realm of books as expected, but rather in the world of gaming. Three years ago, the Game of Thrones creator announced that he was off to Japan to focus on writing for the much-beloved FromSoftware’s new title Elden Ring. Nothing else was known at the time not even the extent of Martin’s involvement with the high-budget project but it got fans of both parties excited.
Now with the release date of the epic fantasy hack and slasher almost within arms reach we now know Martin’s role as well as how he feels seeing the finished product. In short, he’s enthralled by the brilliance of director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s vision. The scope, the enemy design, the dialogue trees, and of course as a FromSoftware staple environmental storytelling blew away Martin as he gazed upon the finished product.
Martin’s role to help this vision become playable was exactly what fans of the literary Santa Claus would want from him: worldbuilding. He was brought into the FromSoftware Studios and tasked with laying the groundwork for medieval actioner to take place. Every realm, character, enemy has a little of the Martin magic attached to the concept from the very start of the development cycle. Miyazaki and the FromSoftware team didn’t think Martin would be interested in helping build the narrative foundations of Elden Ring but a surprisingly intrigued Martin jumped on the opportunity to create another world of gods and monsters and the humans who desperately seek to control them. It’s in his blood to create a distant magical land with plenty of history to make things interesting for the audience or players in this instance and From gave him the perfect platform to do so.
George R.R. Martin drew inspiration from Conan the Barbarian and obviously from the namesake The Lord of the Rings to assist in the inception of the world players will inhabit. Knowing Martin’s writing MO the game will likely have similar elements plot and character-wise but hit with a dash of the twisted and often grueling spin on the respective genres at play. Coupled with From’s own macabre stories and lore is a devilishly warped match made in heaven for fans of From’s library and the Game of Thrones books.
Those who are intrigued by Elden Ring should be forwarned that FromSoftware games, even their best, rely on environmental storytelling above all else. In a manner of speaking their games tell you their stories by trying not to tell you much outside the typical framework. It sounds counterintuitive but for a video game, it adds an extra layer of intrigue and mystery to the sprawling architecture the players will navigate. Careful dissection of dialogue and item descriptions will be needed to fully understand Miyazaki’s and Martin’s enthralling tale to seek the titular ring. If newcomers can move past the design quirks of From’s formula a welcome addition to both their works and Martin’s will certainly please fans of all sorts when Elden Ring finally drops on February 25th, 2022.
Watch the trailer right here!