Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree claws its way back to a 'Mostly Positive' rating on Steam: 'Don't listen to the negativity. Big sword still go brrr'

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree preview
(Image credit: FromSoftware, Bandai Namco)

While Shadow of the Erdtree might've sold five million copies in less than a week, that didn't translate into 5 million happy Tarnished for Elden Ring's DLC. A day after its release, Shadow of the Erdtree sat at a "Mixed" rating on Steam thanks to an early influx of negative reviews, many of which complained that its new bosses felt excessively, arbitrarily difficult. But a week later, Shadow of the Erdtree's managed to scrape back some of Steam's public sentiment, and has climbed to a "Mostly Positive" rating.

Shadow of the Erdtree's gotten around 44,000 more reviews since we took stock of its Steam rating last weekend, when only 61% of its user reviews were positive. Now that over 70% of its 57,000 reviews are favorable, how do we explain the recovery? Did those players with early frustrations notice Bandai Namco's Scadutree Fragment public awareness campaign and start having an easier time? Or were most of the players who'd eventually leave positive reviews busy playing? Maybe it was a FromSoft fan defense brigade, trying to counteract what they thought was a review bombing campaign?

Having done a quick survey of Steam reviews from the last couple days, it seems like it's a mix of the three. Most recent positive reviews share a pretty simple theme: Yes, it's hard, but those early reviewers were rusty whiners. Steam user Dr. Voidburn finds a succinct phrasing for the sentiment, saying, "Don't listen to the negativity. Big sword still go brrr."

Shadow of the Erdtree positive Steam review from Dr. Voidburn: "Don't listen to the negativity. Big sword still go brrr."

(Image credit: Dr. Voidburn on Steam)

A positive Steam review for Shadow of the Erdtree, calling negative reviewers "maidenless cretins."

(Image credit: Steam user TheMadHarper)

A positive Steam review for Shadow of the Erdtree, declaring that players who leave negative reviews have a "weakness" which "disgusts me."

(Image credit: Steam user Neon)

As you'd probably expect from positive reviews for a FromSoft game, there's a lot of breathless praise for Miyazaki in the mix. What's interesting, though, is while a few recent negative reviews still call the boss difficulty overtuned, most of the complaints from the last couple days are performance related. Players are describing regular FPS drops and hitches, especially during the DLC's final boss fight. It's a frustration mentioned in plenty of positive reviews, too. 

Negative Steam reviews for Shadow of the Erdtree explaining performance complaints.

(Image credit: Steam users Oxter and Gorm)

A positive Shadow of the Erdtree review, listing performance issues as its main complaint in an otherwise positive experience.

(Image credit: Steam user Lord Durandal)

We'll have to wait and see where the remaining millions of Tarnished will land on Shadow of the Erdtree after another weekend of being embarrassed by bosses. Until then, if you're braving the Land of Shadow yourself: Don't give up, skeleton! 

Two positive Steam reviews for Shadow of the Erdtree mimicking in-game player messages. "I did it! therefore, I did it!" and "don't give up, skeleton!"

(Image credit: Steam users Saber and Laund)
Lincoln Carpenter

Lincoln spent his formative years in World of Warcraft, and hopes to someday recover from the experience. Having earned a Creative Writing degree by convincing professors to accept his papers about Dwarf Fortress, he leverages that expertise in his most important work: judging a video game’s lore purely on the quality of its proper nouns. With writing at Waypoint and Fanbyte, Lincoln started freelancing for PC Gamer in Fall of 2021, and will take any excuse to insist that games are storytelling toolkits—whether we’re shaping those stories for ourselves, or sharing them with others. Or to gush about Monster Hunter.