Elden Ring DLC ​​gets “mixed” Steam rating as PC players complain about difficulty and performance

Elden Ring's Shadows of the Aardtree DLC has received “mixed” user ratings on Steam, as players have voiced their disappointment with the difficulty and performance issues of the PC version.

Nearly 15,000 players have seen this critically acclaimed DLC fail on PC, and while most players comment positively on the game's great presentation and worldbuilding, others object to limited FPS, stuttering, and “bosses with jerky roll-catch movements and an overabundance of physically nonsensical moves.”

Shadows of the Aardtree review – 40 hours in the Lands of Shadow of the Elden Ring. Watch on YouTube

“I hate running around for 20 minutes in an open field with nothing on me, picking up items I'll never use against bosses that are extremely tedious to fight. It's a very miserable experience,” said an unhappy Tarnished.

“The game is literally unplayable,” said another. “I've been trying to open the game since launch and no matter what I do, I can't. I've seen a lot of other people having the same problem and there's no solid solution yet, just different solutions for each person. Yeah, I've tried everything.”

“It's like they just threw all of the base game's assets into a blender and hit pulse a few times,” said another disappointed player. “The challenges are still fun to overcome, but I was expecting more innovation from this DLC and it's definitely not worth $40.”

After reinforcing their summary with the claim that they have “played all the other FromSoft Souls (and Armored Core VI too) and have played each of them multiple times (except Demon’s Souls) and have also gotten platinum on Sekiro, DS3, DS1, Bloodborne, Elden Ring and Lies of Pi (the best Souls not made by From)”, another player on Steam said, “Given the current state of the DLC I can’t really recommend it.

“While the world design and colors are really beautiful and a lot of the enemy designs are too, there is a huge problem with balance. Right now, even with 60 power, you get bitshot by nearly every enemy that isn't pure fodder (like the classical wandering nobles in the base game) and the scadutry pieces that should increase your damage and defense (especially while in DLC) don't help much and are mostly locked behind bosses.

“You just have to 'git gud'. This normally doesn't bother me much, but in this case, there's a bigger problem. It's the enemy (but more specifically, the boss) design. It seems to follow that philosophy – especially applied to an even greater (and worse) extent in the later parts of the game – every enemy does a lot of damage, has a lot of health, and has endless combos that leave almost no chance to respawn, then have to start over again with their combo.”

If you're also having trouble accessing the DLC, don't worry: professional Elden Ring players are helping players defeat two major bosses so fellow Tarnished players can access Shadows of the Aardtree.

Since Shadows of the Aardtree isn't available until you've taken down both Starscourge Radahn and Mohog, Lord of Blood – which a surprisingly large number of Elden Ring players haven't done yet – Elden Ring experts are offering their time and expertise in taking down legendary enemies to help players jump into the new content.

FromSoftware's Soulsborne game is notoriously hard to beat, but creator Hidetaka Miyazaki recently said that refusing the challenge would “break the game itself.”

“If we really wanted the whole world to play this game, we could have lowered the difficulty even more. But that wasn't the right approach,” he said. “If we had taken that approach, I don't think the game would have done what it did, because the sense of accomplishment that players get from overcoming these obstacles is a fundamental part of the experience. Lowering the difficulty would take away that enjoyment from playing – which, in my view, would kill the game itself.”

“I'm still very fond of Elden Ring and my time with it, but I'm not sure I'll share the same warmth with Shadows of the Aardtree,” contributor Alexis wrote in Eurogamer's Elden Ring DLC ​​Shadows of the Aardtree review.

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