Gamers everywhere have been jonesing for a return to the continent of Tamriel ever since the launch of Skyrim. This week, many a prayer was answered by Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios as the new Elder Scrolls-based MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online, launched to much fanfare. How does the new multiplayer adventure stack up to its single player predecessors?
It’s still far too early to post any kind of comprehensive review of a game with the scope of Elder Scrolls Online within a week of launch, as the true test of any MMO is its longevity and how it stands up over time in terms of replay value and balance. However, initial impressions are fair game, so here’s what we know. Daedric Prince Molag Bal is in a mood, and is attempting to absorb all of Tamriel into his Daedric realm of Coldharbour. You can currently choose between four different classes: Dragon Knight, Templar, Sorcerer, and Nightblade.
The good news is that, much like Skyrim, there’s plenty to keep you busy in ESO, and the adventuring feels as open and fun as ever. The game is chock full of random adventures and NPC events, such that it’s nearly impossible to focus on a single quest without encountering ten others along the way. ESO also makes it extremely easy to join the quests of other adventurers. See a couple of players running past you? Tag along and help out. Simple as that. The game itself is also visually stunning, featuring plenty of varying landscapes and settings across the continent of Tamriel. Combat is smooth and flexible, and the scope of possibilities with weapon creation, equipment, and leveling feels endless. Writing is standard fare by Elder Scrolls standards, and for the OCD gamers among us, there are far too many loot containers filled with essentially worthless junk. The way death is handled is currently a bit of a pain, as well, as the resurrection penalty feels a bit stiff, but these are issues that can be tweaked over time.
If MMOs are your speed, The Elder Scrolls Online is certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of the series. However, exercising some caution and jumping in at a later date once any launch issues have been smoothed out and the game’s ultimate replayability has been determined is never a bad move, especially with games requiring monthly fees. ESO is currently available on PC, and will launch on PS4 and Xbox One in June.
In other gaming news this week, The Last of Us hits PS4, the Assassin’s Creed movie gains a couple of screenwriters, and trailers galore. Read on!
- If you’re looking to breathe a little more life into your copy of Arkham Origins, keep an eye on the forthcoming Cold, Cold Heart DLC, featuring none other than Mr. Freeze.
- PS4 owners who for some inexplicable reason haven’t played The Last of Us yet, good news! The Last of Us Remastered will be hitting shelves this summer, featuring enhanced graphics and a few bonus features.
- Blizzard’s next project appears to something called Overwatch. We don’t know much more about it aside from the name, but it’s nice to know Blizzard is trying something new rather than revisiting one of their existing franchises.
- Despite the earlier doubts surrounding the quality of Titanfall on the Xbox 360, new reports indicate that all is well on the performance front. The game will run at a healthy 46 fps at 600p on the 360.
- If you enjoyed the indie top-down ultraviolent GTA stylings of Hotline Miami, check out the trailer below for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, launching this fall.
- Nintendo is tapping into one of their greatest franchises once more, announcing the development of a next-gen Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U.
- Speaking of iconic Nintendo franchises receiving next-gen treatment, say hello to Mario Kart 8, coming May 30 to Wii U. The new Rainbow Road certainly looks promising...
- In an interview with Game Informer, the developers of the mediocre Thief reboot admitted they had concerns about the game sharing too many similarities with the far superior Dishonored, but decided to place their faith in the game as it was. Unfortunately, that didn’t go so well.
- New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures have reportedly brought screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (of Ridley Scott’s Exodus acclaim) aboard for the Michael Fassbender-produced and acted Assassin’s Creed movie.
- Frictional Games, the creators of modern horror classic Amnesia, are venturing into the deep sea in their next project. Soma is a game set thousands of feet in the ocean depths, and Frictional’s twisted minds are hard at work devising horrible ways for you to die or lose your sanity underwater.
- Finally, Bethesda and survival horror master Shinji Makami have given us a new trailer to cringe through for their latest venture, The Evil Within. Enter the asylum.