The Elder Scrolls Online Review (PC)

After reaching the level cap, getting to hero rank 85, defeating Molag Bal, and over 100 hours of gameplay I’m finally ready to review The Elder Scrolls Online! 

The Great:

Sounds:

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Before I even created my first character and traveled around Tamriel doing awesome things I was immediately impressed with the soundtrack in this game. This shouldn’t be surprising since Elder Scrolls games tend to have fantastic soundtracks, but ESO actually has one of the best soundtracks in the series. It has the best opening theme in the series in my opinion. The other sounds in the game are really good too. You don’t find quality voice acting in many MMOs out there. I can only think of two other MMOs that has good voice acting. Star Wars The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2.

Smacking an enemy with my greatsword or roasting them alive with fire magic sounds great too. The ambient sounds that play with the music in the background added to my experience and helped immerse in the world of ESO.

Gameplay:

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ESO plays more like an MMO than a real Elder Scrolls game. Don’t go into this game expecting it to play like Skyrim. You will be highly disappointed and probably rage quit like I did a few years ago. ESO is it’s own thing and it shows in the gameplay. There’s a hotbar at the bottom of the screen that can hold up to 5 skills and a ultimate attack. Once you reach a certain level you’ll unlock the ability to use two weapons and you can have different skills on a 2nd hotbar.

ESO’s gameplay is really good. I had some problems adjusting to how different it was, but I decided early on that I wouldn’t think of other Elder Scrolls games while I played this one. When I did that I started having a lot of fun with it and I even realized that even though this game is different it’s very much a real Elder Scrolls game now. There are no leveled zones anymore, it has many Elder Scrolls type side quest, and even lets me assassinate people. I’m free to do whatever I want in this game and I love that. There are your average fetch quest, kill quest, and gathering missions like in every other MMO on the planet.

Customization:

I love the customization in this game. You have your usual Elder Scrolls armor sets, but it’s not just a universal look for each race now. Every race has their own armor styles now. Nords like to adorn their armor with horns, fur, and plate while high elves armor look more regal. Iron armor on a Orc won’t look anything like iron armor on a khajiit. I hope future Elder Scrolls games use this feature.

Graphics:

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ESO is the best looking Elder Scrolls game ever made without mods help improve it’s visuals. Every time I entered a new area I was really impressed by how beautiful everything around me was. My character is part of the Ebonheart Pact. I haven’t ventured out too far from my home zones, but I did stop and admire how glorious Daggerfall looks in this game. The character models look great, and the world design is excellent.

It’s Finally A Real Elder Scrolls Game:

The One Tamriel update saved this game for me. I hated the old system that prevented me from playing this game like I would every other Elder Scrolls game. The old ESO prevented us from having fun together by locking races to a certain province in the game as well. My favorite races are argonian, dark elf, and nord. My wife’s favorite races are the khajiit, argonian, and dark elf. She originally wanted to choose the khajiit as her main character, but she didn’t because I had already created my nord. That meant that we couldn’t play together. Add leveled zones to that and you’ve got yourself a pretty shitty Elder Scrolls experience.

One Tamriel lets me play this game the way I want and it doesn’t matter who my friends create because we can all play together now regardless of our race and that’s by far the best thing Zenimax has done for this game so far.

The Good:

Story/Side Quest

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The main story starts off pretty slow which is why I placed it in the good section. It picked up around the mid point when I finally went up against Mannimarco. I thought the story was good and well acted for the most part. There’s also a really awesome thing that happens to our main character at the end of the game, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t played through the entire game yet.

The side quest is where this game shines. I’ve solved assassination plots, helped Skyrim win a war against necromancers by fighting with the dead spirits of the companions, solved a murder mystery, joined the dark brotherhood, and did a really awesome quest with Sheogorath. I had so many moments in this game I can’t list them all and that’s the way it should be in a Elder Scrolls game.

The Bad:

PVP: 

Pvp is one big clusterfuck right now. Thankfully the Morrowind expansion is bringing small scale pvp battles to the game because I’m not fan of the huge pvp mess that’s Cyrodil right now. 1v1 duels are pretty good. I beat the crap out of Lunaliah a few times, but queuing up for a large scale pvp battle isn’t my thing. Hopefully Morrowind’s pvp will change that for me.

The Housing Update:

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I like the housing feature in ESO. It’s been a feature that’s been requested for a long time now and it’s finally here. So why is it in the negative portion of this review? Because it only benefits hardcore ESO players. Houses range from 50k-1mil gold. They’re expensive and getting that amount of money isn’t easy for casual players. I’m not sure if I consider myself a hardcore ESO player yet. I need more time with the game because right now I only have a single character that’s reached the level cap.

The Verdict: 

ESO has changed a lot since it’s release. It’s not your average fantasy MMO anymore. It’s gotten a lot better and I consider it one of the better MMOs out there. It’s actually my favorite MMO to play at the moment. The upcoming expansion has the future looking very bright for this game and I plan on sticking around to see how things develop from here.

85

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