The Elder Scrolls Online – Review
Follow Genre: MMORPG
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One

The Elder Scrolls Online – Review

Site Score
9.1
Good: Great gameplay
Bad: Not really a bad point
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

The Elder Scrolls series is a quite popular RPG franchise, with quite some popular games. The latest little brother is The Elder Scrolls Online. Let us dive in a world torn apart by Alliances and full of quests.

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Story

To understand the present, it is necessary to know the past. The story in The Elder Scrolls Online takes us to Tamriel. Four years ago, there was an arcane explosion with quite some aftershocks. These shocks swept across Nirn and abominations from the plane of Oblivion, the Daedra, appeared in great numbers. This was the start of the grand plan of Molag Bal, the Draedric Prince of domination and enslavement. His Dark Anchors weaken the barriers between worlds and if he isn’t stopped, both worlds will merge into one big, not-so-happy place.

During all this chaos, three Alliances fight for the control of the Imperial City. These Alliances are The Daggerfall Covenant, The Aldmeri Dominion and The Ebonheart Pact. Their armies will take up arms against their collective enemy and against each other.

This information isn’t very clear when you start the game. You’re held prison and with the help of The Prophet and Lyris Titanborn, you can escape this wretched hole and go back to your Alliance. You have to choose which faction gets your loyalty when you make a new character. Each faction has its own territory and thus its own specific quests. How the story unfolds is up to you, as you can choose which quests you want to do and what you’re desires are.

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Graphics

The graphics in The Elder Scrolls Online are definitely realistic. Depending on what quality you’re playing the game, the environment is nicely finished although there are still some rough edges here and there. The developers tried to create several different settings when they developed the world and it paid off. Every Alliance has its unique style. Next to that, the appearance from your character and the non-playable characters (NPC’s)  feel quite real and you have an enormous freedom when you’re making your character.

Sound

The game holds some punching music and nice effects. The sound takes you back to a medieval age, giving you quite a heroic feeling and adding quite some charm to the game. Every area has its own music style, meaning that you won’t get bored easily. You can choose between several voices when you’re making your character, so you can customize your beloved in-game minion even more. Each spell or attack, animals or mobs has its distinctive sound effect, boosting your game experience even more.

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Gameplay

The Elder Scrolls Online is an Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). When you first start the game, you’ll get prompted to create a new character. This character will be your representation in-game (until you make another character or delete this one of course). You have nine races to choose from. Each race has its own visual characteristics, own history and its statistical perks. The buyers of the Collector’s Edition will have access to another race, namely ‘the Imperial’. This race has some better stats, but looks like a normal human.

When you choose your race, you can alter body and face to your liking. The Elder Scrolls Online has huge possibilities. Almost every part of your body can be changed and every race has some specific visual elements of their own. This counts for the tattoos and the hair styles. Yay for diversity!

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Next to that, you’ll have four classes to choose from: ‘Dragonknight’, ‘Sorcerer’, ‘Nightblade’ and ‘Templar’. The Dragonknight uses martial arts and magic to change the world around them, while Sorcerers only use destruction magic to snare, stun and inflict damage on enemies. The Nightblade uses stealth and speed to evade conflicts and to kill their enemies swifttly. The Templars use the powers of the sun to inflict damage and to restore the Health, Magicka and Stamina (These terms will be explained later on). It might be a good idea to take a race that has good stats for the class you wish to play, although that is totally up to you.

Classes can be freely formed though. Every class can wear each type of armor or weapon, as you level up the respective skills. This gives you quite some freedom as you can customize your character to your liking.

The combat system in The Elder Scrolls Online has a particular style. Abilities don’t have any cooldowns, but use “resources”. This is where the Health, Stamina and Magicka come in. Each spell uses one of these three resources. Health are your life points, Stamina is used for interrupting and blocking and Magicka is similar to mana points. Each class uses mostly one or two resources. For example: melee classes like Dragonknight use Stamina for dodging, while classes like Sorcerer will  use Magicka.

Making a character is also deciding what Alliance you wish to be. You can choose only one and you can’t change it afterwards. Each Alliance has its own history and has its own set of quests. The choice lies between The Ebonheart Pact, The Daggerfall Covenant and The Aldmeri Dominion, as stated in the “Story”.

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As each Alliance has its own area, this also means that the place where you start isn’t implied by the race you choose, but what Alliance you’re with. There is also one very desirable zone, territory that everyone wants: Cyrodiil.

Cyrodiil is a huge province in the middle of Tamriel, where the Alliance War tales place. This province has the Ruby Throne and whoever controls this throne, controls whole Tamriel. This is the PvP area of the game, with quite some nice battlegrounds. Next to that, there are even towers and castles for sieges. Entering the area is enough for you to help with the Alliance War (from level 10 onward). All players from level 20 until level 50 get “battle-levelling”, giving you a temporary attribute boost, although character with “battle levels” are weaker than characters with real levels.

There are different objectives in PvP, but the main goal for each faction is to take under control and defend as many objectives as possible. Each stronghold boosts the score and gives bonuses to all the faction members.  A nice addition is that you can team up with a faction if the leading Alliance is getting a higher score. This balances the game a bit more, giving you a chance to tip the scales.

It’s not obligatory to do PvP. You can enjoy the PvE section without coming into contact with enemy players. Don’t visit Cyrodiil if you don’t have to. You can team up in the PvE area to quest and roam Tamriel together. If you really like someone, you can always add him/her to your friends, so you can team up afterwards. There are several quests you can complete (alone or in team), leading you through your province of Tamriel. Another major part of the game consists of dungeons, holding several quests as well.

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If you’re sick and tired of questing, you can also do some crafting. Every character knows all the crafting professions, but you’ll have to find materials to level your craftsmanship. You can find the necessary materials  EVERYWHERE. Keep your eyes peeled for them, as they will come in handy.

Level 50 is het maximum level you can gain in The Elder Scrolls Online. Although this might seem like a dead end, there will be enough for you to do afterwards. If you’re into PvP, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re max level now and you’re the strongest on the field. Other than that, you can craft top level items so you can improve yourself even more. You can test your new gear in the Adventure Zones, the ‘raids’. You just enter one of your factions zones and gain some nice items. If you’ve done them all, you can always go to the other factions’ zones. And the last nice perk is that you can revisit dungeons and continue the story there. The choices you made will have its effects on the next quests, how wonderful!

Conclusion

The Elder Scrolls Online is a huge MMORPG that will keep you busy for several hours. The graphics and sound are both nicely done and the gameplay contains some refreshing elements. The developers added some things to do when you reach max level, so that the game stays fun for everyone. Definitely a game to play if you like questing and PvP.

 

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Elder Scrolls Online - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Chun-Li
Chun-Li


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1 Comment

  1. […] The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is a re-published version of the MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online, developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The console release took far longer than expected and thus ESO: Tamriel Unlimted got released in June 2014 for PS4 and Xbox One, more than a year after the original game released for PC. The review for the latter version can be found here. […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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