Elder Scrolls Online Review 2016: Is It Worth Playing?

Elder Scrolls Online Review
The Elder Scrolls Online is it any good?

Is it Worth it or Not?

The Elder Scrolls Online is a MMORPG developed by Bethesda Softworks and Zenimax Online. I t is the sixth installment in the elder scrolls universe. Fans of Previous games will recognize some things from this story but not everything. The Elder Scrolls Online takes place about one thousand years before the series last installment Skyrim. It begins in 2E582, or the second era year 582. The throne in Cyrodiil is empty, war stretches across the world of Tamriel. The three alliances, the Aldmeri dominion, the Daggerfall covenant, and the Ebonheart pact all fight for control of the capital in Cyrodiil. As if this isn’t a big enough problem for Tamriel at the very same time the Daedric prince of domination, Molag Bal seeks to conquer not just Cyrodiil but the whole world. You play as casualty of this conflict, sacrificed in a ritual for Molag Bal that sends you to his realm Coldharbour and leaves you soulless. While in this twisted world created by the evil Daedric prince you meet a woman named Lyris who convinces you to help free a strange man called “The Prophet”. After you have found him you escape Coldharbour and are thrust back into the war-torn world you are now free to explore. You happen to forget your soul back in Coldharbour though and play through the story as a soulless hero called “The Vestige”.

Now we will explore this game and review different parts of it to decide whether or not it is worth playing.

The game takes place in the middle of the Alliance War, a relentless battle for control of the ruby throne

Story

Now personally I enjoyed the story in the Elder Scrolls Online. I found it to be very exciting and interesting. Now that being said I wasn’t entirely fond from the beginning. It starts off rather slow and takes a while to come together. I spent quite some time very confused about certain things. Whether or not you have any actual significance to the war or to Molag Bal would have to be the main one. There is one thing about the story that tied into the gameplay that I found rather clever. The fact that you leave Coldharbour without your soul explains why every time you die you can be resurrected. This went together quite nice especially for past elder scrolls players who were used to when you died you were actually dead and had to return to whenever you saved last. All in all I would have to say that story is good, for anyone who isn’t through it yet and feels like it’s terrible or is just down right slow in progression don’t give up yet. You might come to understand and like everything at the end.

The Three Fates Trailer series depicts the fight in cyrodiil

Cinematics

There have been several cinematic trailers for The Elder Scrolls Online since its original release in April of 2014 and its move to console release in June of 2015. I will pretty much be referring to all of them right now. We will start with the graphics involved in them. They are essentially the best of the best. They resemble a full production CGI Hollywood movie more than just a video game trailer. Also the story presented in them to me makes watching them about as much fun as actually playing the game. You are shown the “Alliance War” at its best in the “Three Fates Cinematic Trailer” series.

The world of Tamriel is vast, you will find many interesting things to explore outside of quests

Adventure

In past elder scrolls games adventuring through the world, wandering into random taverns, talking to people not important to any quest can be just as entertaining as playing through the story. This only partially holds true in this game. While I found quite a few entertaining people to talk to inside taverns and wondering about town I found an equal amount that were just downright boring and annoying. While the taverns and other places you could visit were in my opinion pretty well done, the annoying people killed it for me. More than half of them that you encounter are very repetitive and feel like you’re talking to a yes man robot. Now I understand that with a game this size there are certain things that won’t get as much detail otherwise it would affect the game’s performance. However they could have worked a little harder to keep the game interesting outside of the quests and the story. That being said I’m not saying that the adventure is all bad. Like I said before the places you can explore are done well. I am refereeing to items you can find and books you can read game features like that, not graphics as that will be an entirely different section.

Elder Scrolls Online Review

Quests make up the entirety of how you level up and complete the game, elder scrolls games are known for their wide variety

Quests

Although The Elder Scrolls Online is the sixth game in the series it is the only one that is a MMO game. The rest are single player offline RPGs. In all the elder scrolls games quests from random people throughout the game makes up a majority of your gameplay. They tried to hold onto the elder scrolls heritage a little too much for the move to a multiplayer game. It features the same types of quests of exploring, killing, and recovering objects. These quests in other games however were geared toward a single player. The ones in the elder scrolls have this single player feel to them as well. This is both a good and bad thing. It’s good for past fans that haven’t really played MMOs before, however I didn’t find them real good to accommodate more than one hero. Most of the time if you have even just four same level players going on the quest it presents no challenge. They aren’t all bad though. They stand alone in being more fully voiced than any other MMO I have ever played. That really adds to the enjoyment of the gameplay for me. All together even with the shortcomings of the quests in this game I feel they are still good enough. They do provide enough excitement as long as you are either alone or going through a quest that is several levels higher than everyone in the group.

while not the largest playable world in an MMO TESO is still young and will continue to grow

World

Anyone who has played The Elder Scrolls Online can tell you that the world of Tamriel is quite large. Now it’s not quite fair to try and compare it to other MMO games right now due to the fact that other games that have been out for years have had expansions added on to them giving them a larger world to explore and play in. The Elder Scrolls Online will have expansions to make it larger but it is already plenty large on its own. I haven’t been able to get a run test on any part of it. There is just too much to stop you from running straight from one side to another. Random enemies, mountains, impassable rivers anything of the sort makes it impossible. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though. It makes the world feel immensely larger if you are stopping to run through dungeons or fight along the way. In comparison to the games predecessor Skyrim it is huge. It makes Skyrim feel like the block you live on and The Elder Scrolls Online the whole city. Now that is to be expected as Skyrim is just a region in Tamriel and this game gives you access to most of Tamriel, not to mention your little taste of oblivion through Coldharbour. Whether or not you think the world is big or not, it is definitely more than enough to play in and have a good time doing it.

Elder Scrolls Online Review

The combat system will be very familiar to any who have ever played an elder scrolls game

Combat

For anyone who played Skyrim or any other elder scrolls game for that matter the combat system will be relatively easy to pick up. Aside from the ability bar it is essentially identical to its ancestors. The right button on the mouse doing light and heavy attacks and the left button blocking and bashing. As someone who played the past games it is actually improved with the ability bar giving you an extra helping hand to your standard attacks. Now as for combat animations, they did a great job. It is definitely one thing they didn’t sacrifice for better game performance. They look realistic to your weapon and ability. Well as realistic as a person breathing fire or shooting lightning out of their bare hands can look. For an MMORPG it definitely shines in this aspect.

The sound quality is very good in this game, it comes across very realistic

Sound

Since we just looked at the combat I think we will start with the combat sounds. As for quality they are good with grunting with heavy attacks or yelling when getting knocked back. However no matter how good they sound quality wise they are absolutely terrible timing wise whenever I am fighting I will heavy attack at some point and it always happens. I do my attack the blow lands, their health goes down and then almost fifteen seconds after the fact you hear the grunt from my character. It isn’t just sporadic like the game just lagged in sound for a moment. I have never had it not happen. It is one of the most annoying facts of this game. Now for dialog sounds. Normal engaged conversation with a person has good quality and sounds realistic. Random comments from people you just walk up to can be very odd timed. Sometimes it works perfectly and as soon as I’m in front of them they say something about some good deed I’ve done. Other times I walk past them and I’m almost out of ear shot when they start talking. Now this isn’t a huge deal it doesn’t harm my gameplay or anything like that, but it is something I feel they could improve on. So in a whole the sound has good quality and is as realistic as you can expect. The timing needs to be fixed though. If they perfected the timing I would say it would be some of the best sounds I’ve heard in a game.

There are countless NPCs in the elder scrolls series that do a good job of making the game exciting

NPCs

Every RPG includes many NPCs or Non Player Characters. It essentially means any character in the game that is not a player. This would include main characters and ones that don’t really matter. As far as the main characters go they did pretty good. The dialog and actions they gave both the good guys and the bad guys definitely keep the story interesting. I particularly like that throughout your quests there are different decisions you can make that will affect your “relationship” with certain people. You make a decision and it will make one character your best friend and another despise your very existence. This has been done very well. Now the “generic” NPCs on the other hand are mostly boring. As I stated in an above section they are very repetitive. Now I know you can’t expect a huge variety that would just take too much time to develop. However you could add a little more “life” to them and not have ninety percent of the people in one town say the exact same phrase. Overall the NPCs are good though. With the main ones out weighing the abundant non important ones. The main NPCs definitely do a great job at making the gameplay more exciting.

The graphics in The Elder Scrolls Online are as good as they can get, asking for anymore just isn't realistic

Graphics

Graphics are definitely a top thing people look at when deciding whether a game is good or not. No pun intended. First things first though, a game could have the greatest graphics in the world but the way it comes out on your screen is going to depend on your computer. So this is a rating of the potential of the graphics not how they actually look to you in particular. Secondly this is an MMO game, graphics can only be so good and still support a fast enough gameplay to be enjoyable. To me I think they are great for the genre. If you played Skyrim you can definitely notice that everything in that game has much more detail. You can’t expect that kind of perfection here though. If that’s what you’re going for then don’t play an MMORPG. The graphics aren’t great traveling through the world looking at buildings, trees, mountains, even the grass they don’t measure up to other games of the time. They really are great for what they are though. Other MMO games don’t even come close to having the graphics The Elder Scrolls Online do. Combat graphics are exceptionally good though you can really tell when you actually land a blow. Like I said for what they are the graphics are good, I know they aren’t great. For people who want more you are just going to have to wait for technology to advance.

Money makes the world go 'round, is the elder scrolls not worth the price?

Price

Now the price can vary for several reasons. There are different editions of the game ranging from forty to eighty dollars. So if we stick to the cheapest route first you spend forty dollars and you can play to your hearts content. That’s not your only option though. The game doesn’t require a subscription but it is available. For fifteen dollars a month you can be an ESO Plus member. You gain boosted experience your crafting skills also level up faster you even receive more gold. You also get access to all the DLC without having to purchase it separately. For a final bonus you get crowns every month to spend in the crown store to buy even more goodies to use in game. That all sounds great but is it worth it? I mean fifteen dollars isn’t a lot of money but it does add up. If you play the game for twelve months and bought the regular edition for forty dollars you’ve now spent two hundred and twenty dollars. That’s quite a bit of money now if you bought the imperial edition, which gives you access to the imperial race and comes with a horse. You’ve then spent two hundred and sixty dollars. Even more money. I don’t think it’s worth spending that much just for one game. If you bought the forty dollar edition or even sprung for the imperial edition and didn’t pay for the subscription I think it’s perfectly worth it.

 

Final Verdict

It’s time for the ruling. We have looked at nearly everything you can consider. The good and the bad, now we must make a decision. All things considered I would say this game is worth playing. On a scale of one to ten, I would give it a strong seven. I personally love this game and have had a great time playing it. Even with its shortcomings it is a great game. You have to keep in mind that this is the first MMORPG in the series. Now that they have had time to learn from their mistakes if they ever make another one I feel it will be one of the greatest games ever made.

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Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 4
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront
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