What should be next for the Soulsborne series after Elden Ring’s DLC?

FromSoftware’s next release is Armoured Core VI: Fires of Rubicon. While this mech game will reportedly draw some lessons from the Soulsborne franchise, we are not getting any of the RPGs that have made FromSoftware a gaming household name for some time. This then leaves us wondering what the famed developer should do next.

The first answer to that question seems pretty clear. FromSoftware should almost certainly capitalize on Elden Ring’s immense success with DLC. Since all Soulsborne games besides Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice have had additional content, it’s more a question of when we get Elden Ring DLC than if.

Elden Ring

With Armoured Core VI and Elden Ring DLC likely filling out FromSoftware’s immediate calendar, we can look to the future to speculate a bit about what the developer should do next with its most popular series in the Soulsborne franchise. It seems like there are a few main paths FromSoftware could take, but fans have been asking for some options for a while now.

One possible option for how FromSoftware’s roster of RPGs might expand is a new IP. While, as will be discussed, there are plenty of fans who would be disappointed not to see a sequel to their favorite game, FromSoftware does have a bit of an aversion to sequels, as evidenced by Miyazaki’s disappearance during the development of Dark Souls II. This could mean that instead of diving deeper into an already explored universe, we will instead see another RPG with very similar themes, but a very different setting. Given the success of Elden Ring, another IP could very well be a solid move for FromSoftware.

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Elden Ring

Of the games that could get sequels, however, there are two obvious candidates. Dark Souls is packaged as a trilogy, so it seems highly unlikely that we would get another game in that franchise. Elden Ring is also too recent, and while it is the most successful title FromSoftware has released, it is so huge that working on a sequel will take years before we see anything on it. So that leaves us with two options: Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Before the dumpster fire begins, I am aware that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not technically recognized as a Soulsborne game, but from one look at the game, it is clear to see that it exists in a very similar vein to the RPGs FromSoftware has made before, only with more action-oriented gameplay and a rhythm game as its core mechanics. Having just seen the sprawling, open RPG that is Elden Ring, it might be best to focus on a game with a tighter focus such as a sequel to Sekiro.

Elden Ring

A sequel to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice could act as a breath of fresh air. The parry mechanics and stealth gameplay are tighter than anything we’ve seen from FromSoftware, making you feel every time you took on a boss you were in the cinematic duel at the end of a samurai movie. There is also room in more than one of Sekiro’s endings for the story to continue, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to expand if FromSoftware wants to keep the wolf character, or there is also the chance to drop that character entirely and go in a different direction. Although some FromSoftware worlds are larger than Sekiro’s, the 2019 title’s combat is something that should not be left to just one game, as it is the hardest but also the fairest system in the Soulsborne series, because due to the rhythmic style of combat, if you don’t keep up, that is always on the player’s failure to anticipate and react to their enemy.

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Elden Ring

While Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has a lot of potential for a sequel, it’s not the game that has fans rabidly going on Twitter every time Sony even hints at showing a dingy Victorian street. Bloodborne is still considered the best game FromSoftware has put in its Soulsborne series, and for good reason. The gritty and intriguing worldbuilding, the fast-paced and punishing combat and the excellent enemies you encounter all combine to create a gaming experience that fans won’t even forget nearly eight years after release.

With each passing year, fans cling to the hope of a Bloodborne remaster or sequel, and so if FromSoftware is looking for another Soulsborne game to make, it will surely find easy hype when announcing another Bloodborne game. While fans are making Game Boy-style demakes of Bloodborne, and even kart race spin-off games around the RPG, it’s clear that many want to see more Lovecraftian, Victorian horror. Whether we will see more official Bloodborne content from FromSoftware remains to be seen, but the question will always be there.

Which sequel do you prefer? Or would you like to see FromSoftware go in a completely different direction?

Elden Ring

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