“Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree” is nothing less than a monumental success in the world of gaming DLCs. Already lauded as one of the greatest games ever made, this expansion adds more to the game’s basic order and lifts it to new heights.

WHAT A DLC: FromSoftware has released a masterpiece that not only is compatible with the main game but also stands tall as an exceptional addition by itself. Here’s why “Shadow of the Erdtree” deserves an 11/10 rating and the title of the best DLC ever.

“Shadow of the Erdtree” features an entirely new area, the Realm of Shadow, full of diversity and saturated with scenic views from the disturbing Cerulean Coast—the sea of sparkling blue flowers—to the dramatic Jagged Peak Mountains, and right down to the deep, fog-filled valleys ensnared between cliffs. It’s the perfect sense of exploration and discovery that makes it come alive, with so many layers and altitudes that a player has to carefully work their way through in order to discover all its secrets

The challenge level that comes with “Shadow of the Erdtree” is perfect and really does challenge even the most hardcore Elden Ring veterans. New and improved enemies and bosses are tough and require skill and strategy to defeat.

“The enemies you face early in the DLC can humble even the most overconfident players, Rellana Twin Moon Knight, is quite the test of mettle for setting the tone throughout the rest of the DLC. FromSoftware has managed to balance this difficulty with more novelties in terms of new weapons, armor, spells, and so on, which could offer fresh ways of approach in crafting your character—all within the boundaries of combat.

Scadutree Fragments and Revered Spirit Ash have been uniquely introduced to this DLC. They will majorly boost the damage and resistance of a player within the Realm of Shadow. These items make a unique, stand-alone experience that scales difficulty; players can control their level of challenge. Veterans can elect to forego these blessings for a more hardcore experience, thus making “Shadow of the Erdtree” one of the most customisable Souls experiences yet​​

The lore in “Shadow of the Erdtree” is deeper and more accessible than ever before. In classic form, FromSoftware masterfully intertwined an intricate narrative that allows for greater expositions into the base game’s story, and novelties of which insight can be gathered concerning the world of Elden Ring.

Players are let into such things as extensive backstories of the major characters and gods: the messianic Miquella and the true nature of the jars. In no way does this expansion only add to what is already known; rather, it elaborates and gives depth to the whole universe of Elden Ring, making this an incredibly immersive and absorbing domain​​ .

“Shadow of the Erdtree” is a feast for the eyes. There is really an intelligent and beautiful design in those environments that define how it feels to play Elden Ring. Blood-red skies, explosive fiery orange lightning strikes, the colossality of dragon corpses—all add up to define a sense of otherworldliness that no game before has been able to pull off. And such meticulous world design, combined with its atmospheric soundscape, gives traveling through the Realm of Shadow a feeling to remember

“Shadow of the Erdtree” testifies to FromSoftware’s developed mastery of game development. It takes everything that made Elden Ring an earth-shattering success and amplifies it, delivering a DLC that feels more like a full-blown sequel. Packed with both massive, complex open worlds, highly challenging yet extremely satisfying gameplay, creative ideas, deep lore, and mind-blowing aesthetics, “Shadow of the Erdtree” can be truly said to set a new standard for what can be accomplished with DLC. This is not only the best DLC ever made, but it is a crowning jewel in one of the greatest games ever created.

An 11/10 rating just feels fully justified for this monumental achievement in gaming.