Sunday, July 14, 2024
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The best Elden Ring DLC tip I have: Apply Sekiro’s greatest lesson

FromSoftware’s new Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, is brutally difficult — not surprising from a studio known for the arduous nature of its games, right? Well, the expansion is incredibly challenging even by “Soulsborne” standards, to the point where many players have been caught completely off-guard by how hard it is. Even its first miniboss is giving the Tarnished a hard time, and in the wake of the DLC’s launch, it’s been met with “Mixed” reviews as many players bemoan its punishing damage balancing and its hyper-aggressive bosses.

I do feel that the former could use some adjustments, but after playing through the entirety of the DLC last week for my review, I’m confident in saying that its bosses aren’t at all unfair or impossible to fight effectively without Spirit Ashes or cheesy strategies — and the key to success against them is actually a lesson I first learned from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, FromSoftware’s first Game of the Year-winning ARPG.

That lesson is “hesitation is defeat,” which Sekiro players will remember as the line the game’s final boss, Isshin, says every time he juliennes you with his katana. It’s basically a cool way of saying “you need to be aggressive and stop playing passively,” and Sekiro sears that lesson into your brain over the course of your playthrough with its narrow windows for offense and its posture mechanic that forces you to constantly attack and deflect a boss until you break their stance and land the killing blow.

Fighting Rellana, Twin Moon Knight becomes much easier if you roll through her attacks instead of away from them. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Elden Ring may not have Sekiro’s posture system or its deflects, but the fundamental principle of “hesitation is defeat” absolutely applies in Shadow of the Erdtree. In Dark Souls and much of Elden Ring’s base game, you could get away with playing the spacing game and rolling or running away from attacks, then going in and landing a few hits of your own before the boss began its next combo. In the Elden Ring DLC, though, this won’t work, as its bosses won’t give you time to get closer to them and go on offense before launching a new move.


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