Why I Abandoned Radahn for a New Game Plus in Elden Ring

I was warned that Shadow of the Erdtree’s final boss would be challenging, but I didn’t expect this fight to make Melania seem like a leisurely stroll in the park. The promised Consort Radahn doesn’t give you a chance to prepare, charging in as soon as you enter his arena with attacks that can kill you in seconds. Trying to summon a ghost? Good luck. Want to grease your weapon? Not a chance. Summon a friend? Great, now he’s got twice as much health.

The fact that thousands are struggling to beat Radahn is no surprise, since beating them means mastering everything Elden Ring has to offer, and I’m just not good enough yet. After dozens of hours in the expansion, I

eventually reached Radahn and banged my head against him for hours, hoping that learning his moves and gradually adjusting my strategy would eventually result in victory. But no matter what I did, it was impossible, and shortly after I discovered his second phase, I met my end. It was frustrating, but I knew from friends and colleagues that it could be done.

I could beat the promised wife Radahn, so I decided to start all over again

Still, I also wanted to keep playing Elden Ring, experimenting with new builds and trying to improve my character in ways that went beyond simply leveling up my base stats. So I decided to finally conquer the base game and roll through the credits, knowing that New Game Plus was waiting for me. It’s something I’ve explored in the past in Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but never with Elden Ring, and after taking the plunge, I’m already in for some cool surprises.

Dropping back to New Game Plus because I couldn’t beat Radahn might seem drastic, but honestly, it’s something I’ve been thinking about since I started Shadow of the Erdtree. I’ve been slowly playing through an old save file for weeks leading up to release, catching up on parts of the base game that I’d missed on previous playthroughs.

Image of the Elden Ring showing Radahn using gravity sorcery.

The journey was exhilarating, but also one where I knew I had to hit the brakes before I reached the end. At one point I set fire to the Erdtree and retreated to the expansion, meaning that every time I returned to The Lands Between it was in a state of catastrophic limbo where only I could continue. But I couldn’t, and secretly it was driving me crazy. I wanted to try new weapons, upgrade existing ones, and do it on a playthrough where I didn’t keep hitting the same wall.

So I gave in, and now I’m happily steaming through the early hours with a character who’s definitely overpowered, though I know that feeling won’t last long. But I’m also doing it in ways I previously ignored. I’m a pretty basic guy, and went through Elden Ring with a trusty set of heavy armor and a curved greatsword that I knew did insane damage, so I never bothered using anything else. That’s all changed with New Game Plus, as I’ve now ditched the usual combo in favor of slimmer garb and melee combat that sees me punching, kicking, and diving my way through each arena like a UFC fighter.

New Game Plus changes everything about Elden Ring

New Game Plus changes the pace of Elden Ring drastically and has shown me how much variety and possibilities the game has to offer if I don’t stubbornly cling to old habits. Now I want to try using new perfume bottles or even upgrade Intelligence and Faith so I can finally use new weapons that were completely locked down before.

The fact that Smithing Stones and other upgrade materials are back in stock is a bonus, so I can apply a variety of upgrades this time around. Elden Ring doesn’t want you to upgrade every piece of gear you own in one playthrough, it wants you to experiment and pick your fights. So I used this as a way to wipe the slate clean while keeping my existing arsenal intact.

One thing I didn’t expect from New Game Plus is how the entire map is already revealed when you start, aside from the locations of major landmarks. You still have to visit existing Sites of Grace to fast travel, but it makes a huge difference.

Shadow of the Erdtree will certainly be more challenging on this second journey, but I’ll also be better prepared, with a higher level and more gear and strategies to use to my advantage. I won’t feel the pressure of the base game holding me back, as if I’m missing something incredible or haven’t spread my mechanical wings far enough. I didn’t want to miss the honeymoon period of the expansion, but now that I’ve reached Radahn and haven’t defeated him, it almost feels sobering to hit the reset button.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Tag Page Cover Art

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Shadow of the Erdtree is the first and only DLC expansion for FromSoftware’s groundbreaking Elden Ring. It introduces players to an entirely new region, the Land of Shadow, where a new story awaits the Tarnished.

Leave a Comment