FromSoftware reacts to CD Projekt RED reacting to Elden Ring beating The Witcher 3 for highest-rated DLC of all time

 The Witcher 3 x Elden Ring fan art.
Geralt of Rivia fells Mohg, granting him access to the Shadow of the Erd Tree DLC. . | Credit: CD Projekt RED

What you need to know

  • Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is a colossal DLC for FromSoftware's award-winning 2022 action RPG Elden Ring, and is slated to drop later this week on June 21, 2024.

  • On Tuesday morning, the expansion's review embargo came and went, ushering in reviews from over 100 outlets. Many, including yours truly, gave the DLC a perfect score.

  • Shadow of the Erdtree has scored so highly that according to Metacritic data, it's now the best-reviewed game expansion ever made.

  • With an overall Metascore of 95, it's topped The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, which previously held this position with a score of 92.

  • UPDATE (June 22, 2024): Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has responded with congratulations, and FromSoftware has responded back with similar kind words.

The review embargo for Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC lifted early on Tuesday morning, prompting reviewers from over 100 outlets (including us — don't miss my review) to publish their thoughts on everything they'd experienced while playing through the highly anticipated expansion for the Game of the Year-winning 2022 action RPG. After a magical 36-hour run, my take is that it's Elden Ring refined to near-perfection, and the best DLC I've ever played — and evidently, based on the waves of perfect 10/10 scores it's gotten from everyone else, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

In fact, according to data from Metacritic — a site that aggregates review scores for movies, TV, and games — Shadow of the Erdtree's overall 95 Metascore makes it the highest-rated DLC of all time (it's also the highest-rated game release of 2024). Previously, this position was held by the beloved Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its 92 score, but Elden Ring has now surpassed it.

UPDATE (June 22, 2024): After this article was published, The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED responded to this changing of the guard with a classy congratulations, alongside this incredible Geralt x Elden Ring cross-over fan art. Elden Ring developer FromSoftware then replied in kind, saying: "It is truly an honour to be placed alongside Blood and Wine, one of the all time greats. We are humbled by your kind words. Thank you."

Original article continues: Blood and Wine was a terrific DLC that added over 20 hours of rich gameplay content and an amazingly written story set in a large, entirely new map, which makes Shadow of the Erdtree's achievement here all the more impressive. After playing through it over the course of this past week, though, I think it's wholly deserving of all the universal acclaim.

The scale of the Elden Ring DLC is almost unfathomable. Its new map, the Land of Shadow, is roughly comparable to Limgrave and Liurnia of the Lakes from the base game put together size-wise, but is considerably denser and more interconnected, with a truly wild number of vertical layers to traverse. It also has fewer formulaic side dungeons like simple mines or catacombs, and instead features more bespoke and original secrets to discover as you organically explore on horseback.

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Scattered all throughout this diverse, expertly crafted world are hundreds of new weapons, armors, spells, talismans, and other treasures, along with a wide variety of new enemies (along with some spiced up returning ones) and bosses to challenge. Specifically, there are 10 major "Remembrance" bosses (I was able to find and defeat eight for my review, including the final boss) and upwards of 30 minor ones; every main boss bout was an unforgettable spectacle with some of FromSoftware's toughest and most exhilarating fight designs yet, and all the minibosses were greatly enjoyable, too.

Shadow of the Erdtree is also something of a step up narratively, as while I've always enjoyed FromSoftware's subtle, environmental storytelling-heavy approach, it was a real treat to get a more character-driven narrative with over seven different NPC questlines feeding back into both each other and the overarching plot to find Queen Marika's Empyrean son, Miquella. No spoilers here, but some truly excellent dialogue, twists, and revelations await those heading into the Land of Shadow in a few days.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree promotional screenshot
Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree promotional screenshot

My full review of the DLC goes into far more detail, but the above overview should give you an idea of why I think Shadow of the Erdtree deserves all the commendations and praise it's getting. In some ways, it's even better than Elden Ring itself, and a must-play for any Soulsborne fan. It drops later this week on June 21 (June 20, if you're in the US and play on PC), so avoid spoilers at all costs until then.

Elden Ring is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time, and I strongly recommend picking it up and beginning a playthrough now if you haven't done one already. That way, you'll have some time to experience what 2022's Game of the Year has to offer before the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC launches on June 21. Notably, the expansion is available to preorder on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Windows PC now, and there's even a Collector's Edition with several awesome collectibles included.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Shadow of the Erdtree is Elden Ring at its most refined, with the base game's overly formulaic elements cut away and some of FromSoftware's best boss fights. The result is a 40-hour-long masterpiece of a DLC that's an absolute must-play for any Soulsborne fan.

Also see: Shadow of the Erdtree (PC, $37.09) | Deluxe Edition (PC, $90.89)

Collector's Edition: Bandai Namco Store (€249.99)View Deal