Elden Ring: review embargo date, early reviews, release time on PS5, Xbox, PC, and PS4 - and preload details

The game is nearly upon us, with the review embargo soon to release, and players on PC getting some neat early access

Elden Ring - 2022’s much anticipated fantasy-action RPG video game - is almost upon us, and the game is getting fans excited due to the involvement of two heavyweights of the fantasy genre.

First, famed Japanese video game director Hidetaka Miyazaki is at the helm once again for Elden Ring.

The president of legendary development studio FromSoftware, Miyazaki is best known for creating the Dark Souls series of cult classic games, as well as working on hits such as Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Secondly, George R. R. Martin - the author and creator of Game of Thrones - is working in collaboration with Miyazaki to write the game.

“Building the world of Elden Ring with Miyazaki and his team was a treat,” Martin has said. “The graphics, mythos, and action-RPG gameplay will deliver an unforgettable experience.”

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Elden Ring?

Producers of the game have promised an immersive open-world epic which allows players to “traverse the breathtaking world on foot or on horseback, alone or online with other players”.

Fans have already drawn comparisons between the upcoming release and the Dark Souls series.

“This is a FromSoftware title through and through,” said Miyazaki, “rich in fantasy and RPG action. We sincerely hope you look forward to it.”

(Image: BandaiNamco)
(Image: BandaiNamco)
(Image: BandaiNamco)

According to publishers BandaiNamco, players will embark on a journey across “a meticulously handcrafted world dripping in blood and deception”.

Throughout their adventures, players will “choose the fate of this cursed land by unravelling its secrets and myths,” and the game will feature a “vast and seamless landscape with natural weather and time-of-day progression”.

“Players will become fully immersed in the world of Elden Ring as they begin their journey and choose on their own path,” they add.

You’ll be able to traverse on foot or horseback, alone or online with friends across grassy plains, suffocating swamps and lush forests, and role-playing and customisation options will allow players to define their own unique play style.

What do the first reviews say?

The reviews embargo for Elden Ring has just lifted, meaning critics can now share their opinions on the new game.

And it seems as if it’s going to be something very special indeed.

The Guardian’s Simon Parkin gave it five stars, calling Elden Ring “an unrivalled masterpiece of design and inventiveness,” and even going so far as to say it is “the finest video game yet made.”

The Independent says: “Elden Ring is by far the most accessible game the developer has made, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Rather than lowering the difficulty ceiling, it has instead raised the floor.”

While NME labelled the game “a glowing spectacle of achievement” in another five star reviews, and said “this is a game that brings so much to the table, yet somehow leaves nothing out.”

Eurogamer’s review says that “Elden Ring remains 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”.

Writing for The Verge, Andrew Webster argues that “Elden Ring isn’t a game you pop on for an hour a night. It’s a game that consumes you.”

(Image: BandaiNamco)
(Image: BandaiNamco)
(Image: BandaiNamco)

Can I pre-load the game?

Like many other games, those purchasing Elden Ring digitally (as opposed to on a physical, plastic disc) can “pre-load” the game, meaning they can install in onto their consoles ahead of release.

This negates the need to wait for a lengthy download to play the game once it is made available.

Preloading is currently live for Xbox players and will be available to PlayStation players and PC players 48 hours before launch.

The file size for Xbox consoles is 49.04 GB, though this may increase if a separate day one patch is required - which it likely will be.

The file size on PS4 is reported to be 44.929 GB on PlayStation, according to Twitter account PlayStation Game Size, though this likely doesn't include a day one patch.

There's no confirmed file size for the PC version of the game yet, though Recently released PC requirements for Elden Ring require players to have at least 60GB of free space.

When can I play Elden Ring?

Elden Ring will release on Friday 25 February 2022 - the console release timing is set for midnight (12am) in most time zones.

That’s true for players in the UK, though those who are planning to play the game on PC will get access to the game a full four hours early, at 8pm GMT on 24 February.

It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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