Why Elden Ring DLC "Shadow of the Erdtree" Got So Many Negative Reviews?


Why Elden Ring DLC "Shadow of the Erdtree" Got So Many Negative Reviews?

Elden Ring Jack    06-25 10:42

Last Updated: 

Why Elden Ring DLC "Shadow of the Erdtree" Got So Many Negative Reviews


Elden Ring, hailed as a masterpiece in the realm of action RPGs, set new standards for storytelling, world-building, and gameplay. The introduction of its DLC, "Shadow of the Erdtree", promised to expand this universe further, offering new challenges and adventures. However, while anticipation was high, the reception was mixed due to the DLC's difficulty.

Overview of "Shadow of the Erdtree" DLC

  • Release Context: Amidst high expectations, "Shadow of the Erdtree" was launched, intending to enrich the Elden Ring experience with new quests, bosses, and lore.
  • Key Features and Expectations: FromSoftware and Bandai Namco set a high bar, promising an expansion that would challenge players and deepen the game's complex world.

Why "Shadow of the Erdtree" Has Received Many Negative Reviews

Increased Difficulty Level

  • Frustrations Unveiled: Players report an unexpected spike in difficulty, with "Shadow of the Erdtree" presenting a steeper challenge than the already formidable base game.
  • Specific Challenges Noted: Notable difficulties include boss fights that leave little room for error, pushing players to their limits and often beyond.

Performance Issues

Some players have left negative reviews due to performance issues, as shown by these two reviews from Steam. The main concern expressed by these players is not the content of the DLC itself but significant performance problems introduced by the latest patch. Players encounter severe fps drops, audio glitches, and input delay, even on high-spec systems, rendering the game nearly unplayable in certain parts. There's a strong desire to enjoy the game, contingent on the developers addressing and resolving these technical issues.

Community Response

  • Review Bombing: The DLC has been met with a wave of negative reviews on Steam, reflecting a broader dissatisfaction within the community.
  • Expectations vs. Experience: The gap between what players anticipated and what the DLC delivered, in terms of difficulty, has been a source of contention.

FromSoftware and Bandai Namco’s Stance

  • Maintaining Challenge Level: Both developer and publisher have addressed the backlash, firmly stating their commitment to keeping the DLC's difficulty as is, underscoring it as a core part of the Elden Ring adventure.
  • Belief in Difficulty: Emphasizing the role of challenge in creating a sense of accomplishment, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco believe in the DLC's design philosophy, aiming for it to contribute significantly to player satisfaction and achievement.

The Divide in Player Perception

  • Community's Split Views: The Elden Ring player base is divided, with some championing the high difficulty as essential to the game's identity, while others argue it detracts from enjoyment and accessibility.
  • Impact on Accessibility and Progression: Discussions have emerged on how this heightened difficulty affects new players' ability to progress and enjoy the game, raising questions about balance and fairness.


"Shadow of the Erdtree" has sparked considerable debate on the importance of difficulty in gaming. This controversy shines a spotlight on the varying expectations of the gaming community and the challenges developers face in creating content that satisfies all. Reflecting on the feedback and response to the DLC, "Shadow of the Erdtree" serves as a case study in how difficulty can shape player experience and game identity, underscoring the nuanced relationship between challenge, achievement, and enjoyment in the video game landscape.

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