The 6 Coolest New Things We Saw in Red Bull’s Shadow of the Erdtree Stream

Elden Ring’s massive Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is almost upon us. And, with that, comes reveals. Specifically, those that might give you wings, because Red Bull hosted a nearly 5-hour Stream on Twitch to promote Shadow of the Erdtree, about two of which were spent showing off never-before-seen content in the DLC. The event, part of Red Bull’s “Levels” series, follows suit with a similar livestream they did before the launch of the base game, in that this even, too, gave us tons of new material to sift over as well try not to pass out from excitement as we wait to play Shadow of the Erdtree on June 20th (in the US).

But, it’s quite a time sink to invest hours into watching a livestream that mostly consisted of content creators most people ahven’t heard of dying to the same boss repeatedly (in true Elden Ring fashion). So, we took the liberty of doing that instead, and are excited to report on the most interesting things we saw during the gameplay sections of Shadow of the Erdtree during the stream. And, because we’re cool like that, we also ranked the six things that really got us curious.

Okay, so, this technically isn’t a reveal. We’ve known that there would be an alternative levelling system that would heavily modify player stats, to help balance the DLC for characters of any (reasonable) level that approach it. That said, this is the first time we’ve seen these “Scadutree Fragments” in action. And, we’ve gotta say, we love their simplicity.

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That is to say, these Scadutree Fragments are like several upgrades in the game, in that you need to pick them up in the DLC’s game world (called the Realm of Shadow) and then consume them at a bonfire. When you do, so long as you stay within the Realm of Shadow, enemies will do less damage, and you will deal more. It’s like a handicap.

And, based on what was said and shown during the stream, this difference seems pretty substantial; as in, the one Fragment we saw used seemed to be the equivalent of at least a few levels, more than enough to offset the average power difference between players going into the DLC. And, of course, you can simply choose to not use the Fragments, instead opting to make the game harder on yourself, in true FromSoft fashion.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the evil-looking dark Erdtree at the center of the DLC is called the Scadutree. So, you’ll clearly be getting some blessings from it, as well.

Near the end of the stream, a decently-sized group of content creators took the stage, where they got to go through one of the new dungeons that will be added with Shadow of the Erdtree (more on that next). At the end of this dungeon, these creators got the chance to fight one of the bosses: the Curseblade Labirith. And, we’ve got to say, we love its design, we love its moveset, and we love its gimmick.

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Yes, I said gimmick. Because, in addition to looking like an omen-horned thing of nightmares, the Curseblade Labirith was also able to spew a well of smoke that, when entered without a torch out, turned the Curseblade invisible and made it impossible to lock onto (much to the confusion and fear of the content creators at the event). The entire fight looks insane, and it seems to just be a fairly standard “end of the cave” kind of boss, giving us high hopes for what comes next.

We’ve actually seen this boss before, teased as a piece of promotional art (and it gave us the chills then). But nothing quite compares to seeing it in action, moving around the arena, sometimes invisibly, as it twirls towards its prey. Well, nothing except fighting it, but we’ve still got a few days to go before that.

Every good FromSoft boss has a good FromSoft dungeon, though, and the Curseblade Labirith is no exception, itself housed in a dungeon called “The Bonny Gaol.” This blue-hued area of horrors is home to steep drops, giant pots, and terrifying fleshy monstrosities that look straight out of Bloodborne’s handbook. In short: it seems like it might just be a perfect From Software dungeon, especially since it doesn’t even seem to be a “Legacy Dungeon,” demonstrating that, perhaps, From Software learned from the occassional complaints about having too many samey dungeons in Elden Ring.

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And let’s not pretend there isn’t more than hostile architecture and more-hostile foes in this cave/jail/ruin/hellplace. There is also something far more important: lore! As told during a brief segment narrated by VaatiVidya, the Bonny Gaol (also apparently called the “Frozen Gaol”) is an area near a city called “Belurat, Tower Settlement,” which was actually the area we say being razed by Mesmer in the recent Story Trailer. It seems to connect deeply to the origin point of the living jars we meet throughout the base game (including the best NPC, Alexander), and, generally, looks like a fantastic area that checks all the boxes.

If there is one thing that tends to feel a bit lacking in FromSoft games, and Elden Ring in particular, it’s unarmed combat. Despite having hundreds of weapons, your fists simply are never one of them. Until now, with the introduction of a new “weapon”, the Dry Leaf Arts. And these Arts, which are equipped by putting some bandages on your hands in place of a weapon, look absolutely amazing, and finally give Elden Ring players a way to bring their fists and feet straight into their enemies’ faces.

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The new moveset that accompanies the Dry Leaf Arts also makes us even more excited. That’s because it looks like it came almost directly out of the Sekiro playbook, featuring stun-focused martial arts and kung-fu style moves that would fit perfectly into Sekiro’s elegant combat system. Granted, it reminds us a bit more of the monk’s fighting style than the main character Wolf’s, but anything that lets us evoke Sekiro’s combat is a win in my books.

What’s cooler than punching and kicking your enemies to death as you stunlock them? Slashing them to death with a sword the length of a greatsword, that you wield with the finesse of a rapier. And it looks like we will get just that with the new weapon, Milady. And this weapon is just the pinnacle of cool.

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For starters, equipping it gives you access to one of the most intimidating power-stances I’ve seen since the t-pose. So, already, points for how great it’ll look in PvP. But even beyond that, the moveset for it looks fun, flowing, and fascinating. Featuring similar kinds of twirls and slashes that we’ve seen with several of the katana-style weapons, Milady delivers graceful, devastating blows using its super-slick Wing Stance ash of war, which seems to at least partially reflect Malenia’s fighting style, only adding to the cool factor.

The weapon is part of one of the eight new weapon categories, and if they are all as cool as this sword, we cannot wait to try out every single weapon we come across.

And now, for the thing we find the coolest: the Divine Beast Dancing Lion boss fight.

And, really, what can we say? First of all, just watch this video from the stream, which features what might be the coolest boss introduction we’ve seen since Godrick the Grafted commanded us to “KNEEL!”

Done with that? Good. Because you can see why we are at a loss for words. An incredibly, mysterious introduction, telling us that this boss is both a statue, and a defender of “the Tower” (which makes for the second time we’ve seen a reference to towers). Then, after setting its jaw in place with an oversized hand and delivering the most terrifying stare I’ve ever seen, the fight begins. What follows looks to be a series of twirls, leaps, yells, command grabs, and dying (oh, so much dying) in a fight that looks to be the very definition of cinematic.

I can’t wait to die to that thing a thousand times until I beat it after 3-hours of being eaten.

And, with that, we’ve summed up all of our favorite new bits that we saw in Red Bull Level’s Shadow of the Erdtree stream. Now there is nothing to do but wait. Because the second I can, I’m going to punch that Lion Dancer in the face using the new kung-fu I picked up.

Damn, I love FromSoft.

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Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he'll try. When he isn't working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.

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