Shadow of The Erdtree Review

Title – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Platforms – PS5/PS4/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/PC

Release Date –  June 21st, 2024

Developer – From Software

Publisher – Bandai Namco

MSRP – $49.99

ESRB – M for Mature

Purchase – Amazon

Disclaimer – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree was reviewed on the PS5. Thanks to  Bandai Namco for providing a digital review code. Gaming Instincts is an Amazon Affiliate and does gain financial benefits if you choose to purchase this product on this page.


Shadow of the Erdtree is the newly released and much anticipated expansion for one of the best games of all time – Elden Ring. This expansion takes place in the Lands of Shadow and has its own complete separate from the Lands Between of the original game. Shadow of the Erdtree is roughly the size of Limgrave. It has challenging new bosses, some new mechanics and of course it wouldn’t be an Elden Ring DLC without a ton of fresh weapons, magic, miracles, to find and optional hidden secrets and areas to explore. It’s worth noting that Shadow of the Tree is the first and the only DLC that Elden Ring will ever get in its lifetime. So was it worth the wait and the hype? Let’s find out! Welcome to our review of Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.

Welcome to the Lands of Shadow

If you loved and enjoyed Elden Ring then Shadow of the Erdtree will make you very happy. It’s exactly what you would want and that’s more Elden Ring goodness. I’d consider it more of an expansion rather than just some small DLC. What’s fascinating and most fun about the Souls games is the exploration and the fear of not knowing what’s ahead. It’s exciting too see what’s hiding behind the next corner, or what is the next trap you might come across or if a particular path may lead to a secret item, or better yet an optional boss with a completely brand new massive area to explore that you have never seen before. Shadow of the Erdtree continues that trend. Yes, there is an obvious path that you must go through in order to progress through the main questline and encounter the main bosses, but it is the side content in these types of games that is the true king.

I really do not want to speak much about Shadow of the Erdtree, these types of games are just best to be played, explored and experienced on their own. Talking about the new areas or discussing some of the new horrors and bosses that you’ll come across would be a disservice and spoiling the experience. What I can say is that there are new weapons, magics, miracles and of course outfits to discover and collect.  This expansion is roughly about the size of the original game’s Limgrave and if you ask me, Limgrave was quite vast zone with tons of stuff to explore. As far as the enemies go, you’ll come across some familiar faces that you’ve fought before but also some new things that are both terrifying, fun and annoying in that good old souls fashion.

I will warn our fellow gamers ahead of time though that if you are going to be jumping into Shadow of the Erdtree please make sure your character is at least level 120 to 150 or beyond. This is not an early game expansion. In order to access it, you need to slay Mohg Lord of Blood and Radahn otherwise you will not be able to interact with the object that teleports you to the Lands of Shadow. I was level 115 when I got into the Lands of Shadow and let me tell you, it was quite rough. I highly recommend that you honestly even level up to at least 130 before starting the DLC, otherwise you might have harder time than originally anticipated. Of course, if you are insane no-hit runner then that probably won’t effect you as much as it would your average souls player.

shadow of the erdtree screenshot 1

For the first time ever in souls games Shadow of the Erdtree introduces a brand new mechanic that acts as an in-game difficulty modifier. Yes, you heard that right a difficulty modifier in a souls game. Throughout your journey in the expansion you will come across a new item called Scadutree Fragment. These fragments can be activated at your local grace. Once activated they will give you a blessing that buffs your character. The blessing will increase your character’s damage negation and attack power. Which essentially means you will be taking less damage while also dealing more damage with your own attacks against your enemies. Mathematically speaking, the increase is being applied as a percentage of top of your base values and that is how the buff is calculated. If you are struggling to defeat a particular boss in Shadow of the Erdtree then the Scadutree Fragments will be there to assist you. It’s also worth noting that you can take off the blessing at any time by visiting a grace once again and deactivating it. You will never lose the fragment and players may turn them on and off at their will. Then there are Reversed Spirit Ashes which is basically a Scadutree Blessing but is designed to benefit your Spirit Ashes instead of your characters and it works in exact same manner.

Now I do not want to open up a whole can of worms of whether Elden Ring or the souls games in general need a difficulty slider or not I will say that the way From Software handled the whole difficulty subject is quite smart. What I like about these fragments is that its being introduced to the game’s universe in a way that makes sense lore wise instead of just going into the main menus and changing some slider to make the game easier or harder. And the best part is, it can be activated and deactivated at any time when the player visits a grace and no one is forcing you to use it. If you feel like you need to lessen the difficulty then go ahead and do so. If you are a bad ass speed-runner or no-hit runner that’s killing bosses with soul level 1 with no upgrades then this won’t even affect you in any shape or form.

You might be asking, do the blessings really make the game a lot easier? And the honest answer is no. I have three stacked blessings and I was fighting an optional boss and he was still two-shotting me even with the increased defenses and more attack power. Granted though, I believe that my character was just under-leveled in general. The blessings do help, but not as much as you may think.  It’s a good thing because it doesn’t turn the game trivial and still poses a certain level of challenge. Another thing worth mentioning is that Shadow of the Erdtree also has new Crystal Tears for use in the Flask of Wondrous Physick. One of them is called Glovewort Crystal Tear which improves the capabilities of Spirit Ash summons. Then there is the Crimson-burst Dried Tear which will replenish your HP once an enemy is slain. There are many more Crystal Tears throughout the start of the expansion and towards the end as well, but I rather keep those as a surprise.

Final Verdict

Shadow of The Erdtree

is an excellent send off to Elden Ring. Whatever it is that you’ve loved about the original game will be included here. Whether its exploring beautiful new areas with awesome interconnected level design or finding that one gorgeous vista where you can just stand around and gawk at the insane sense of scale. You will encounter plenty of challenging of new challenging bosses and optional bosses. You will discover new builds, new items, new weapons, summons and magics to use for your current and future playthroughs. There is plenty of replay-value here as I’ve previously mentioned Shadow of the Ertdtree is about as big as Limgrave with tons of things to discover.

shadow of the erdtree screenshot 2

There is really not much here to complain about, honestly this is as perfect or as close to perfection a DLC can get. Elden Ring is already one of the best games ever made and with the addition of Shadow of the Erdtree it is now an even bigger and better game than it was before. Miyazaki and the From Software team has once again outdone themselves. Shadow of the Erdtree will be getting a final verdict of 10 out of 10.






It’s more Elden Ring and Elden Ring is a lot of fun


No massive visual upgrades, still has some FPS slow downs here and there on the consoles version. But the art direction is amazing as ever in a good old From Software fashion


Excellent soundtrack as always


Tons of new weapons and spells to find, areas to discover and lore to absorb, get ready for new playthroughs and build experiments, this one will last you a good while