Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree has been to a strong launch, with the DLC topping the charts and reigniting interest in the base game. However, many players have various complaints about the expansion after playing it for a while.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree’s rating drops to “Mixed”, with Chinese players accounting for the majority of negative reviews

As we reported last week, Elden Ring attracted hundreds of thousands of concurrent players on Steam upon the launch of Shadow of the Erdtree. Over the weekend, the game peaked at over 781k CCU (via SteamDB).

Shadow of the Erdtree received universal acclaim from critics, making it the highest-rated DLC/expansion on Metacritic. Player reception was also warm at launch, with 89% of the first 4,000 reviews on Steam being positive.

However, the rating started declining after more people played the expansion. Shadow of the Erdtree currently has a “Mixed” score on the platform, with 65% of the 34k user reviews being positive.

Interestingly, almost 62% of negative feedback comes from China, and local players also account for 32.6% of all reviews for the DLC (via Steam Scout). Among Chinese users, Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree has a rating of only 33%.

For comparison, 83% of English reviews, which account for 46.7% of the total, are positive. In addition to Chinese users, the expansion received generally negative feedback in South Korea (46.8%) and Japan (47%).

According to Niko Partners director of research & insights Daniel Ahmad, there could be two reasons for such an overwhelmingly negative reception from the Chinese audience. Local players use reviews as a comment section to express their indignation or outrage about something because Steam Community is blocked in the country. And the second is that “games being overly ‘unfair’ has always been a thing that leads to negative reviews. Especially when there aren’t a ton of guides in Chinese available.”

There are clearly a lot of Chinese reviews criticizing the game’s difficulty, especially when it comes to new bosses. From what we can understand by Google-translating some comments, local users don’t like full-screen AOE attacks and design of boss fights, as well as hitboxes of certain enemies and high HP values.

While some players from other countries also have similar complaints, the majority of non-Chinese reviews are focused on other issues.

English-speaking users criticize the DLC’s technical state, with one player saying, “the only problem is that ever since this patch I haven’t been able to run it without extremely low fps drops and audio glitches almost every second.” Some people have troubles with performance even in the base game after installing the DLC, with other complaints focused on empty spaces in the new area’s open world.

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