A lot of people have been wanting to get into beta for ESO. I wasn’t one of them but i’ve been lucky enough to be selected twice to play the game for an entire weekend and give it some much needed feedback. I’ve been told that I can write about my experience in the game but I can’t go into extreme details so a lot of it will be vague but I think at the end of the article you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the game is about and how I feel about it.
I hate it when i’m right about a game. I knew walking into ESO like I wouldn’t like it but I went in with an open mind and ending up putting about 30 hours in my the first beta and only 5 in the second one. The Elder Scrolls Online has a very nice character creator. There are plenty of options for you to choose from and the character models for the men at least are nice. The women on the other hand are actually quite ugly [at least in my opinion they are] and need some more work done to them. I think the character models from Skyrim are better but that honestly doesn’t surprise me. There is a lot to do in an MMO and character models can’t be the sole focus of the game. I also think the armor sets that I’ve seen in the game so far are a bit lackluster when compared to other Elder Scrolls games. I glanced at the higher level armor and thought it looked really dumb. At least on my Argonian it did.
My main problem with ESO is the simple fact that it’s really, really, boring. I had no desire to do much of anything except run around with my Argonian. Usually in Elder Scrolls games I have a lot of fun just running around but in this game I didn’t feel that. The world feels small even though it’s supposed to be all of Tamriel being explored. You can’t really just walk away and explore to your heart’s content like you can with Skyrim, and Oblivion. If you find a skeleton that’s holding a dusty old book you can’t read it because it’s quest related when in any other Elder Scrolls game you could have just taken the book, read it, and when the quest did come up later on you’ll already have what that npc wanted and you’ll be able to either complete or advance in that certain storyline. That’s not here in this game. The entire time I played I was constantly thinking of other games that I wanted to play and when I realized that I got upset.
I’m not supposed to be thinking of any other game while i’m playing my beloved Elder Scrolls but it happened and I couldn’t help but be bored with this game after reaching level 8 with my Argonian Warrior in this beta. I didn’t care about the world I was in because it was so small and just different. Everything from the graphical style of the game to the gameplay itself is lacking when compared to other Elder Scrolls games. All I can really say about the gameplay is that it’s disappointing. The first person mode in particular is very disappointing. There is no impact when I hit an enemy. My sword goes right through whatever I hit and it just feels off. There’s also a delay in just about every action I try to perform while in combat and it’s very noticeable. The gameplay in first person mode is more playable this time around. I can tell that Zenimax worked on it a little bit but it’s still not to the level of where Skyrim’s first person gameplay is.
I think Oblivion has better gameplay then ESO and considering how old Oblivion is that’s actually pretty embarrassing. I chose an Argonian because of the water breathing ability that they have and it’s completely useless in this game. There is a lot missing from this game that’s in every other Elder Scrolls game and that’s what’s so disappointing about it. Basic things that should be in the game are missing. How can you possibly have an Elder Scrolls game without basic gameplay mechanics like looting, or exploration? Why explore a world that feels lifeless?
Not all of my time spent in this game was bad. There are some good things about it. I loved the soundtrack and like I mentioned earlier the character customization is good which is what you would expect from this type of game and that’s about it. I felt very crowded in certain areas because there were too many players in a small cave and it really killed the immersion I was trying to have. What’s the point of trying to be an assassin if some random dude with a warhammer takes out your target for you? There is no immersion in this game. You can’t take your time like you can in Skyrim because you’re not alone this time around. I don’t see how this game will appeal to hardcore Elder Scrolls fans. It obviously wasn’t made for us so who in the hell was it made for then?
I guess the best way to describe the difference between ESO and your average Elder Scrolls game is by giving you guys an example. Imagine that your character in any Elder Scrolls game of your choice just finished one of the hardest quest you’ve been on up to that point and you return for your reward only to be given 15 gold coins. How would you feel? How about after you beat a tough bandit chief in a duel and you loot the chest only to find out that someone else looted it before you and it’s empty and even when it’s not empty there’s only a single gold coin in it. Does that sound cool to you?
I wish I could go into more details about ESO but I can’t right now. I can’t even tell you guys what quest I thought were good and the ones that I thought were repetitive and boring. I only lasted a little more then 5 hours in my second beta test of ESO. I deleted it on Saturday and I honestly haven’t thought about it since. ESO is sadly feels like your average MMO and I honestly don’t think that’s going to change. The game comes out in April and that’s not too far from here. I think the core mechanics of the game are done already and they’re just working out the bugs and finishing up some quest for now.
Before I end this post I would like to say that it really sucks that you can’t pick a Imperial anymore. I’ve always really loved playing as Imperial, and Argonian and now I only play as my favorite scaly creatures. Zenimax has better not have them as dlc later down the road. I had low hopes going into game and now I have no hopes for the game. I really wish I could tell you guys everything because I want to be completely honest with you but I can’t and i’m sorry. You can bet your asses that when April comes around I will be keeping close tabs on this game and I might even review it. Until then i’ll see you guys tomorrow for my Banner Saga first impressions!
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