Elden Ring‘s similarities and differences to other FromSoftware titles have been a huge talking point since more of the game has been shown. FromSoftware is known and celebrated for its familiar design template that runs throughout many of its games, with comparable action-RPG mechanics and other such features.
However, apart from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice‘s larger departure, Elden Ring debuts many features that are completely new to FromSoftware’s classic repertoire. In a recent interview, FromSoftware’s Hidetaka Miyazaki explained Elden Ring‘s new approach to rings and talismans and how the former is more significantly impactful to the story. But more information has been shared that remarks upon a much more unique feature in Elden Ring‘s ethereal Spirit Steed mount, Torrent.
In the same interview with EDGE, Miyazaki also reportedly stated that combat while mounted on the spectral steed would not be a necessary solution to any encounter, and that it only offers “another viable strategy among many.” Indeed, Torrent provides players with a unique way to lunge in-and-out of combat with mounted strikes while quickly galloping around the area to avoid direct encounters on foot. Other enemies and mini-bosses have been seen to ride horseback in Elden Ring‘s Closed Network Test as well, which levels the playing field for such battles.
Knowing that mounted combat will not be necessary for any single encounter may be fortunate news for players who would prefer to tackle situations differently, even if it is likely to benefit players under particular circumstances. Rather, nothing was mentioned about how inseparable the spectral mount will be when it comes to Elden Ring‘s open-world exploration. While Torrent may provide a slight advantage to some scenarios in combat, the steed is seemingly invaluable when traversing the Lands Between.
Elden Ring‘s emphasis on exploration, as Miyazaki states, is designed so that there would be “mysterious situations that players would read about or hear about and want to go looking for and want to go exploring.” FromSoftware’s previous titles include a lot of exploration themselves, but Elden Ring‘s open-world may enable a much greater depth to exploration that was not emphasized beforehand.
Players can jump while mounted on Elden Ring‘s Spirit Steed and distances can be cleared much faster than they could on foot. The mount is also particularly helpful where ethereal, blue boost points will allow players to leap up great heights. The option of a mount is then optimal as a way to accommodate for Elden Ring‘s verticality and wide-swept open-world, even if it is not uniquely advantageous in every combat scenario.
Elden Ring launches February 25, 2022, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.