Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC – Review Roundup

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is already breaking critical records.
elden ring shadow of the erdtree dlc

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is on the cusp of release, and for those desperately awaiting a return to the Lands Between, critical reviews have now provided plenty of new reasons for that hype. Already, Shadow of the Erdtree has become one of the best-reviewed DLCs of all time, breaking records in the same manner of the base game.

While there are many in-progress reviews, due to the size of Shadow of the Erdtree, those who’ve had ample time with the DLC have delivered scores of five stars and 10/10, with many reliable outlets effusive in their praise.

Based on these impressions, it appears Shadow of the Erdtree will be everything fans want from an Elden Ring expansion, and plenty more – with ample challenging boss fights, rewarding exploration, and stunning landscapes contributing to a dazzling, essential DLC that expands the triumph of Elden Ring.

Read: Elden Ring – Latest news, announcements, guides

Here’s what the critics are saying about Shadow of the Erdtree, and what to expect when the Elden Ring DLC launches on 21 June 2024.

IGN – 10/10

Let’s kick off with the ever-reliable IGN, which has given Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree a rare perfect score, indicating a “masterpiece.” Critic Mitchell Saltzman called Shadow of the Erdtree a “fantastic new challenge” with combat mechanics, boss battles, and other secrets serving as worthy and expansive additions to Elden Ring.

“Everything I loved about the original has been condensed into an incredibly tight package – one that’s the size of many standalone games all on its own, and can only be considered ‘small’ in comparison to the absolutely massive world of Elden Ring itself,” Saltzman said.

Erdtree’s absolutely jam-packed with secrets, valuable treasures, challenging boss battles, and horrific monstrosities to face off against, as well as cool new weapons, spells, Ashes of War, Spirit Ashes, talismans, and more to play around with and use to find even more novel ways to tackle its memorably brutal battles.”

GamesRadar+ – 5 Stars

Over on GamesRadar+, reviewer Joel Franey lamented that it was getting boring to praise FromSoftware, because the company exceeds expectations every time – and should nobly leave some accolades for the rest of the gaming world. In his review, Franey praised the environments of Shadow of the Erdtree, and the design of new enemies and boss fights. While he noted the challenge level of the DLC felt a bit unreasonable at times, this didn’t dampen the overall experience.

Shadow of the Erdtree has its occasional stumbles, but they’re isolated moments in an expansion that, on the whole, might be the best Elden Ring content out there,” Franey said. “It’s certainly one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had in a while, with landscapes you could enjoy just exploring even without challenge at all. Meanwhile, an exhausting final boss can’t detract from what is a sumptuously rich experience. If FromSoftware is going to keep making games of this caliber, there’ll always be hope for the creative future of the industry.”

Game Informer – 9.75/10

Writing for Game Informer, critic Marcus Stewart called Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree an “emphatic exclamation point” on the journey of Elden Ring. He acknowledged the difficulty in following up a game like Elden Ring, and how FromSoftware has essentially knocked it out of the park, with an expansion that follows on from the base game without “outclassing” it. Stewart particularly enjoyed the game’s approach to allowing experimentation with gameplay, and the creativity of its new bosses and enemies.

“The boring but ultimately correct shorthand to summarise Shadow of the Erdtree is that it’s more Elden Ring,” Stewart said. “The incredible sense of discovery, fantastic dungeon design, entertainingly deep combat, and intriguing lore and characters that defined FromSoftware’s 2022 masterpiece all apply to this expansion … Shadow of the Erdtree is one hell of a mic drop that further cements this adventure as one of the finest ever crafted.”

GameSpot – 10/10

In another review full of praise, GameSpot‘s Tamoor Hussain called Shadow of the Erdtree an “exceptionally executed” chapter that enhances Elden Ring with an entire game’s worth of new content. Hussain’s review focussed on the journey of the adventure – particularly the beauty of the game, taken with its many terrors, and how these together make your tough journey of triumph feel beautiful and well-earned.

“With all that Shadow of the Erdtree offers to accompany what exists in the Lands Between, the story of Elden Ring now feels complete and its world whole, and it’s a staggering achievement,” Hussain said. “It’s dark fantasy done masterfully; rich in detail and intricate in its construction; a place that feels dangerous and cruel, filled with memorable characters, fascinating rules, mind-bending concepts, and competing ideologies.”

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree launches for PC and consoles on 21 June 2024. Stay tuned for the GamesHub review.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.