If you’ve read reviews of the Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, you might have already decided to give the game a pass. In fact, if you look on Metacritic, it scores just a 73 (out of 100) for critics and an 8.0 for the user score. It sounds like a fairly mediocre game and one that just could be skipped. However, that is far from the truth. The game is excellent. Apparently, there are just a very vocal bunch of people on the Internet who hate fun. Here is what the game is really like:
The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO (massively multiplayer online) action role-playing game. Though it has been out for Windows and Mac since April 2014, it has just come out for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June of this year. Initially, the game had a subscription fee, but that was dropped March of this year, and the game was re-branded to The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited for the PS4 and Xbox One release. The game was developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
The events in Tamriel Unlimited happen a thousand years before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Though ESO happens in the Elder Scrolls universe, don’t expect it to be like Skyrim or Oblivion. ESO is its own deal that just happens to be in the Elder Scrolls universe. Yes, you get the fun and in-depth lore of the Elder Scrolls and the cool races and settings, but it’s completely different in feel. The plot still is similar to Skyrim with an all-powerful being trying to take over the world with a bunch of groups fighting for power in the meantime. If you were looking for a super-deep story, then this game probably isn’t for you. If you were looking for a “social Skyrim,” then this a game isn’t for you. If you were looking for a World of Warcraft clone, then this game is definitely not for you.
However, if you like fun, this game is for you. If you want a great social game, this game is for you. If you want a lot of content, then this game is for you. In reality, if you don’t try to make this game something its not, then you will have an absolutely blast. ESO shines on its game play, expansive setting, and extensive content.
Though there is a main quest line, the quests—like other Elder Scrolls games—go in whatever order you want at whatever time you want. This allows the player massive amounts of freedom to do whatever he or she wants to, and this is crucial for an MMO. For those who want to play solo, there are tons and tons of quests. In fact, there are so many solo quests that I haven’t even scratched the surface yet, and I have been playing for weeks. For those who really want to get the most of out an MMO, there are group dungeons, public events, flourishing guilds, and a lot of PVP action. Not only that, but the place is thriving. An MMO is as only as good as the people in it, and at least for now, ESO has a mass following with die-hard followers.
Besides a thriving community, a lot of quests, a cool PVP area, and a lot of cooperative play, the Elder Scrolls Online also contains:
- An amazing crafting system for weapons, armor, enchantments, potions, and food.
- Three factions that players can choose to be in which compete against each other in different aspects.
- Easily trade items between your other characters or with other people or guilds.
- Customize gear with racial motifs or dye stations.
- Utilize different mounts, vanity pets, lore books, and racial motifs to customize your experience.
- Demonstrate tons of emotes to make your character dance, wave, or do the most absolute silly things (take THAT Destiny).
- Run dungeons with either a group of friends or random people.
- Contribute to public battles.
- Participate in guilds for social aspects and trading.
- A huge map area with tons of places to explore.
- Switch between first and third person perspective.
- Four play-style classes to choose from.
It really is a complete blast to play. Though the graphics are not the most beautiful of this generation, they look good enough, especially for an MMO that is so expansive. I think most players would take better game play over the latest, greatest slick graphics.
So, overall, if you are looking for a social game that is just plain fun, the Elder Scrolls Online is for you. Yes, there are some in-game purchases that you can make, but you get more than a full game with just the base game. Although, you will probably get addicted to it like me and upgrade a few things.
Seriously. I am thoroughly hooked on ESO, and I don’t say that about a lot of games.