Beyond FromSoftware: the Soulslike mechanics that turned a series into a genre

June 15, 2024
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From Demon’s Souls to Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s games have had a singular impact on the last 15 years of design. Game by game, the studio has created beloved rituals, based around precise combat, intricate, looping maps, and storytelling that unfolds in weapon drops and item descriptions as much as cut-scenes and dialogue.

Imitators have followed, some of them brilliantly. And so as new ideas have slowly entered the mix from outside of FromSoftware itself, Soulslike games have steadily formed a fascinating genre in their own right.

On the eve of Elden Ring DLC, we thought it might be interesting to look at some of the ideas that outside studios have brought to FromSoftware’s template. It’s surprisingly rich stuff to pick through, from spooky lanterns to crab-based weaponry. For a Soulslike, then, almost anything is possible.

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