I am pretty sure at some point in my life I vowed never to play an online MMO again, but The Elder Scrolls Online came recommended during a family visit and I was shown a little sneak peak so thought I would give it a go; what’s the worst that could happen? I waste the very cheap asking price and use up my PSN free trial. Bog Whoop!
Initial thoughts about character creation were really positive; lots of options to make a character that looks pretty good. Nice to see the usual collection of Elder Scrolls races in there as well. I’ve made a few over the weeks I’ve had the game ranging from High elves to Orcs. Also the introduction/tutorial was pretty interesting and set the plot line for the game as well. All very good things which set the game up for a blinding review.
TESO also has a lot of other things going for it. The quest lines seem to be a lot more in depth (so far) than your average MMO, which goes well in it’s favour. Even the side quests seems to have a lot more thought into them than your standard run of the mill collecting zebra hooves from fallen enemies. The fact that there is spoken voice talking about the quests helps the game feel less of a drudge as well – although I am not even level 10 yet on any of my characters so this thought is subject to change!
The crafting system in TESO is actually one of the finer points of the game and takes a bit of brain power to figure out. There are the usual offerings for crafting; Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Alchemy, Enchanting and Woodworking. You go out into the wilderness and find the relevant materials and create items to aid your character in their adventures. A nice addition is the fact there are different styles to learn and traits you research and add to your items, so a there is a lot of scope for further customisation of how your character can look. It’s all rather pretty in this aspect.
However, it’s not all fun and games.
While the questlines are rather interesting to a point, there is something all rather ‘meh’ about the game. Unlike other offerings from Bethesda in the Elder Scrolls series, the game is all rather closed off. There is little point to wandering off and exploring random caves as the loot system is very much in the MMO style – no looting of random corpses for that Iron Helmet you’ve been searching for, because the loot is rather limited. Unlike in say, Skyrim, where you can loot a body for all it’s worth!
And that’s if you can even get into a cave in the first place – I understand that some caves are closed due to quests, but it seems there is a distinct lack of places to randomly explore in open world fashion.
To me so far, it just feels that TESO is lacking in what I can only describe as ‘Fuck Yeah.’ (A term I was introduced to some time ago and have adopted for my own purposes) It’s that lack of something amazing to keep you hooked and get the adrenaline going. Which for a new player feels a bit lacklustre.
It’s a shame because I really, really wanted to like this game and be able to get my teeth into something.