Dark Souls, the religious successor to each Demon’s Souls and King’s Field, was one of the influential video games of the previous decade. Innovative, uncompromising, and legendarily troublesome, it initially appeared destined for comparatively area of interest success, however its legacy grew to such an extent that, in 2021, it gained the Golden Joystick Award for Ultimate Game of All Time.

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While each trendy From Software release enjoys an unimaginable quantity of pre-release hype, Elden Ring, their forthcoming effort, appears to be on one other degree. With just a few months to go till the sport hits retailer cabinets, listed here are 10 video games followers might need to sink their enamel into within the meantime.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Link on horseback in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.

The 2017 Switch launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a daring step ahead for a franchise that had grown a bit stale by the mid-2010s. Ditching the inflexible construction of earlier video games and embracing open-world design philosophies in methods not often seen to that time, it was a trendsetter that also stands as a high-water mark for each the collection and the style.

While From Software’s assortment of hardcore motion RPGs is usually thought of to be past examine, those that acquired an opportunity to playtest Elden Ring in contrast its broad, open world to what was seen in Nintendo’s most up-to-date mainline Zelda release.

Mortal Shell

The player fighting a boss in the 2020 video game Mortal Shell.

The time period “Souls-like” is commonly met with derision. While emulating From Software’s grueling gothic ambiance and complex fight mechanics is not any small activity, avid gamers typically really feel that titles chasing this development come off as unoriginal and unimaginative.

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While it copies closely from the Dark Souls playbook, Cold Symmytery’s 2020 release Mortal Shell does so with sufficient magnificence to warrant a suggestion. Despite being a lot smaller in scope when in comparison with the Dark Souls video games, Mortal Shell introduces new and fascinating gameplay mechanics which is able to excite new souls-like gamers and hold veteran ones on their toes.

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima red fields

Suckerpunch’s 2020 PS4-exclusive Ghost of Tsushima seems like a online game adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress. Set on the island of Tsushima through the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Japan within the thirteenth century, it tells the story of a Samurai who should quest and conquer to protect his lifestyle.

Warranting comparisons to the Batman Arkham video games and to From Software’s personal Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Ghost of Tsushima emphasizes exploration and incites the identical sense of journey felt when taking part in a Souls sport for the primary time.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witcher 3 fight forest

CD Projekt Red’s third installment within the Witcher collection could also be pretty far faraway from From Software’s infamously troublesome motion RPG collection, however these with none expertise within the style seeking to leap into Elden Ring might need to reduce their enamel on one thing a bit extra forgiving.

The Witcher 3 may place a greater emphasis on direct narrative and explicit storytelling via specific quests, however it’s a well-realized, uncompromising motion RPG in its personal proper, and people who can full Geralt’s quest throughout the Continent will discover themselves all of the extra prepared for From Software’s subsequent outing.

The Surge 2

Art for the video game The Surge 2.

Double-A developer Deck 13 was on the forefront of the Souls-like style. Releasing Lords of the Fallen in 2014, they drew each acclaim and criticism for therefore exactly copying From Software’s iconic ambiance, degree design, and fight stylings. They would then go on to make The Surge, a sport that maintained the standard Souls-like trappings however transported gamers to a far-future world.

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The Surge 2 iterated on the work achieved by the unique, opening the map up and refining the tempo of proceedings. Elden Ring appears to be like to be a fantastically extra huge sport, however those that benefit from the Souls collection might effectively get a kick out of The Surge 2.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Comparing open-world video games to Bethesda’s 2011 RPG traditional Skyrim is way past performed out at this level, however, ten years after its preliminary release, the fifth mainline Elder Scrolls installment stays a standard-bearer in each the RPG and open-world genres.

The fight is not fairly as intense, and the roleplaying facets are far more strong, however, typically thought of probably the greatest video games of all time regardless of its persistent points, Skyrim is an all-time RPG great. It’s probably that comparisons to Skyrim shall be comparatively frequent as soon as Elden Ring is lastly out there for all to play.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

2014’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was heralded as a spotlight of the primary few years of the eighth console technology, however the eventual follow-up, Shadow of War, was initially introduced down by the much-reviled integration of loot field mechanics. Four years after release, nevertheless, Shadow of War is a must-play title for followers of open-world video games.

Set within the Lord of the Rings universe, Shadow of War is finest recognized for its memorable boss encounters and iconic nemesis system which noticed rivals who bested the participant turning into extra concerned within the overarching story. Much like Elden Ring, it is a excessive fantasy open-world journey with boundaries solely dictated by the participant.

Hollow Knight

Artwork of the Knight wandering around.

Though it is typically thought of to be a Souls-like and it borrows some key mechanics from From Software’s legendary video games, Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight suits extra exactly into the Metroidvania style. A 2D title that options an totally sprawling and sophisticated world, those that performed video games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or the current Metroid Dread shall be exploring acquainted gaming territory.

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Hollow Knight could be the product of a a lot smaller workforce, however it’s each bit as formidable as Elden Ring. Massive, extremely detailed, and loaded with content material, Souls followers on the lookout for their subsequent fifty-plus hour repair want look no additional.

Shadow of the Colossus

A screenshot of the empty landscape in the video game Shadow of the Colossus.

From Software might have blazed a path for Dark Souls‘ success with video games like Demon’s Souls and the a lot earlier King’s Field collection, however, in some sense, Team Ico’s PS2 traditional Shadow of the Colossus was additionally an vital forerunner. Sprawling but desolate, atmospheric but suffocating, it featured tones and themes that might be replicated nearly precisely by Dark Souls years later.

Beyond that, the sport’s different and distinctive boss encounters really feel distinctly Souls-esque regardless of the utterly completely different gameplay method, and it is probably that exploring Elden Ring‘s huge overworld will really feel a minimum of considerably corresponding to this timeless PlayStation title.

Dark Souls

Cover art with the Chosen Undead of Dark Souls kindling a Bonfire

Obviously, these seeking to get into Elden Ring when it launches in February of 2022 owe it to themselves to expertise a minimum of one From Software sport previous to its release. It might not be probably the most refined expertise, and the 2018 remaster might not have added a lot of something, however Dark Souls stays a must-play for nearly each gamer.

With a novel and surprisingly interconnected world and a number of assorted areas to discover, Dark Souls does not play like Elden Ring is anticipated to when it comes to exploration, however Elden Ring‘s design is undoubtedly rooted in From Software’s first shock mega-success, and it is kind of a pre-requisite to their upcoming title.

NEXT: 10 Best Moments From The New Elden Ring Trailer

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