The Summer Game Fest was an exciting event for journalists and gamers alike. We were finally given answers to our most important questions:
“Is Elden Ring even real?” Yes, it is!
“When is Elden Ring expected to release?” Next year! (2022)
But one important question remained unanswered, “Will Elden Ring be a journalist approved game?” Though we will not have a definitive answer until our journalists get their hands on the review copy, we can still make an educated guess by looking at earlier titles made by developer FromSoftware.
FromSoftware’s largest and most successful project thus far has been “Dark Souls”. Initially released all the way back in 2011, this critically acclaimed game quickly became popular by providing gamers with a grueling challenge, along with providing gamers with an innovative online multiplayer system. Just about any topic regarding Dark Souls has been talked about already, with one important exception. There is an enormous elephant in the room that Dark Souls fans have refused to address up until this very day. Namely, that the game is rooted in hatred and misogyny. And we do not care if the community is not ready to talk about it yet. We are still going to have that conversation.
And so, Globe Media Holdings journalists Neville (Xe/Xir) and Robert (they/them) took it upon themselves to journey through the forbidding land of “Lordran” and uncover its many secrets. They infiltrated ruined castles, traversed poisonous swamps, visited ancient cities of old Gods, and then proceeded to link the fire. Most importantly however, they uncovered the mysteries of the lore and discovered many hidden yet problematic elements that slipped under the radar of even the wisest of lore-enthusiasts. What is upsetting is that to find most of those elements, you do not have to look further than the opening cinematic itself.
At the very start of your adventure in “Dark Souls”, you are shown an informative video explaining the history of the world. Long ago, the world was ruled by Dragons of Color. Then, a pygmy lord discovered the White Soul within a flame. He used the power from this Soul to launch a crusade against the Dragons. A genocide ensued, and a kingdom named “Lordran” was built. One day, the kingdom was prosperous, and its people civilized, but now it is decayed, with the people being nothing more than mindless hollows. The reason for the decline of civilization is implied to be that a dark energy known as “humanity”, which was carried by a small number of POCs, began to spread among the populace. This became a threat to the white Gods and their “Age of Light”, resulting in them fleeing the kingdom, leaving the POCs to starve and rot in the wasteland.
I must give Fromsoftware credit. It is truly astounding how much racist imagery they managed to squeeze into the opening cinematic. It is also unacceptable. But what is most shocking, is how all of this has remained unnoticed by the community for what has been almost an entire decade.
However, we are not done yet. You see, Dark Souls is part of a trilogy. There are two other games left that need to be analyzed. Thankfully, we will not have to go as in-depth about the other games, as all games in the trilogy take place in the same world and explore similar themes.
All three games are ultimately about linking the fire and rooting out the Black humanity so that the white Gods can continue enjoying their privilege. However, there are many smaller subplots and tales told in the games that have undoubtedly left marks that are just as terrible as those left by the main story.
Let’s begin with Dark Souls II. One of the more significant stories told in this game, besides the main story, is the tale of Velstadt and Raime. The story of these twin knights is used to send a racist message about the supposed threat that Black culture poses.
The game uses light to represent the Christian God, while using darkness to represent Black culture. The white man Velstadt discovers light in the depths of the Undead Crypt, which inspires him to remain loyal to his hollowed King until his own death. But the Black and stereotypical Raime does not believe in loyalty. Instead, he is scorched Black by flame, and spends the rest of his days selfishly robbing unfortunate travelers of their Souls.
Dark Souls III is not quite as problematic when it comes to the sub-plots. It appears that FromSoftware knew better than to pull the same trick thrice. However, the main story remains unmistakably similar to the prior games in the trilogy. The world becomes consumed by darkness, and it is your duty to prevent the natural course of nature by artificially maintaining the “Age of Light” which, if you recall, was built on a foundation of colonialism and genocide.
All things considered; it is not looking pretty for fans of FromSoftware. Elden Ring will most likely end up being a hate game just like its predecessors. But hope is not quite lost yet! There is a chance that FromSoftware may have finally learned from their mistakes. Still though, our usual advice applies even more here than it does for other unreleased games. Do not pre-order games that are not approved yet, but instead wait for our journalists to give the games a shot. We will tell you what games you can play!