Elden Ring Pre-Release Shows The Game You Could've Had

Elden Ring Pre-Release Shows The Game You Could've Had

Written by 

Tom Chapman


12th Aug 2022 13:54

As with any big video game, there's a lot that gets left on the cutting room floor between conception and release. It's par for the course these days, but as titles get bigger, so does the amount of stuff that's confined to datafiles and lost to the ages. FromSoftware's Elden Ring is no exception.

The fantasy epic sliced its way into our lives in February 2022, and with production having started way back in 2017, you can only imagine how many different iterations it went through. Unlike too many modern games, Elden Ring released in a largely complete state, that's since been peppered with a few updates. Now though, one fan has dived deep into the Lands Between and found the Elden Ring pre-release that was a very different ball game.

What Is The Elden Ring Pre-Release? 

Posting on Twitter, modder Lance McDonald showed off a beta version of Elden Ring that's apparently "two months before the game released." With that being relatively close to launch, you'd expect it to run like the Elden Ring we got out of the box, however, that's not the case. According to McDonald, there are "different items, enemies, mechanics, character names, and full debug camera mode."

McDonald is a pretty big deal in the Elden Ring scene, and previously, broke into the November 2021 network test build that confirmed you were originally able to get NPCs drunk. Just imagine a tipsy Turtle Pope trotting around the Lands Between. Speaking to NME during his broadcast, McDonald explained how he used a jailbroken PS4 (not advised) and added: "This is my own work, I patched the game to enable this feature, I ported a bunch of code to make this work, it's just the build of the game."

The debug camera lets McDonald explore wherever he wants, which turned up some interesting reveals. One of the biggest is that Melina and Torrent enter the starting cave where the Tarnished wakes up after being killed. They also take the camera way out into the ocean to the west to find a bunch of shipwrecks. Whether this was just an artistic choice, part of a cut quest, or a hint at a nautical DLC, it's up for debate.


Is An Elden Ring DLC On The Way?

Elden Ring Erdtree
Click to enlarge

Now that McDonald has shown how easily this is, expect others to follow in his footsteps to chip their way through a whole goldmine of Elden Ring details. Namely, wannabe Tarnished are sure to be looking for the slightest hint at an upcoming Elden Ring DLC. Way back when, someone broke into the Elden Ring colosseums to find a potential PvP arena we're still yet to see and are holding out hope for. 

We recently heard about a mythical Elden Ring DLC when a ransomware attack leaked Barbarinas of the Badlands. Nothing has come from that yet, but with those at the top promising the Elden Ring world will expand in some form, players are on tenterhooks to find out what that means. While we guess Elden Ring 2 will come out eventually, we're twiddling our thumbs while waiting for an official DLC. In the meantime, other fans are creating their own Elden Ring DLCs which are (almost) as good as the real thing. 

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