Elden Ring, developed by FromSoftware, is known for its challenging gameplay. However, with the release of the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion, the difficulty level seems to have reached a point where some players are finding it frustrating. The newly released expansion has received a ‘Mixed’ rating on Steam, with 38% of PC players expressing negative reactions in over 12,000 user reviews. This is in stark contrast to the base game’s overwhelmingly positive reception, with a 93% positive rating based on a massive 627,000 reviews.

Despite the divisive reviews, Shadow of the Erdtree has been described by publisher Bandai Namco as an expansion that rivals the scope of a standalone game. According to estimates by Gamesradar+, the DLC takes 20-30 hours to complete, excluding extra boss battles. This extensive gameplay may explain why some players have not yet left reviews, potentially skewing the overall Steam rating.

Many user reviews have pointed out issues with performance and difficulty within the expansion. Players have mentioned that boss battles are particularly challenging, with some bosses capable of delivering one-shot kills even against characters with powerful builds. The attack patterns of these bosses have been described as intentionally hard to anticipate, making it difficult for players to strategize effectively.

Some players have expressed frustration over the perceived unfairness of the expansion’s difficulty. One Steam user, Chanddy, commented on the need for a significant balance patch to address the overwhelming challenges presented in Shadow of the Erdtree. Another reviewer, Ravaaga, compared the difficulty of the expansion to the base game, noting that the base game never felt as frustrating to play.

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the president of FromSoftware and director of Dark Souls, had warned players about the intense difficulty of Elden Ring. Miyazaki stated that the studio had pushed the boundaries of what players could withstand, hinting at the challenging nature of the expansion. Even experienced Elden Ring players found themselves struggling within minutes of starting the expansion, highlighting the relentless difficulty curve present in Shadow of the Erdtree.

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