Game Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr (PC)
Bethesda’s acclaimed online game invites players to embark on a new adventure as The Elder Scrolls Online continues its year-long Season of the Dragon with the new Elsweyr chapter.
Set a thousand years before the likes of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls Online has provided fans of games the opportunity to experience the history of the fictional continent of Tamriel. Over the last five years the developers have been adding new areas, some familiar, some not, and retelling the legendary lore previously only recorded in books found the solo games.
ESO is essentially a free-to-play game massively multiplayer online game. Players need only purchase the base game and from then on, they are free to enjoy the rich game world. Additional regions and questlines can be purchased individually or are free as per of an ESO Plus subscription.
Casual players will find the free content more than enough, with those that find themselves spending more time in the game may be better of with the monthly subscription.
Elsweyr continues this year’s in-game story event that started with the Wrathstone DLC released in March. It will be followed by two more DLC addons later this year.
Dragons have returned to Tamriel, threatening to destroy the cat-like Khajiit’s homeland of Elsweyr. Players can now explore the sands of this new game region and enjoy new story missions. There are two new public dungeons, six new delves (smaller dungeons suitable for solo play) and new world bosses for groups to defeat.
New players, and existing players wanting to create a new a new character to explore the new region, can now select the new necromancer class, drawing on dark magic and the control of the dead to aid in their adventures. For this expansion, the game has a new prologue introducing players to the new characters and locations.
It is an online game, so an internet connection is a must, whilst solo play is possible, the game is designed with group play in mind. For a five-year-old MMO, the game still has a very healthy player base. It also operates using megaservers, one in North America (recommended for Australasia) and another in Europe, rather than have players split over many different servers, like in other MMOs. This makes it easy to meet up and play with your friends.
Now an annual occurrence, following Summerset and Morrowind, before, Elsweyr is this year’s major helping of new content, significantly more that than found in the steady stream of DLC that the players enjoy throughout the year. Elsweyr is available as a digital purchase for existing ESO players or as a digital and retail package containing the base game, all the previous expansions (but not the DLC) and Elsweyr. This is immensely good value for a game that you could spend the rest of the year playing and still not have explored all the content.
Each of the regions of the game are meticulously detailed and feature their own architectural design, reflecting the land’s unique culture. Elsweyr is no different. Imposing buildings with roofs that resemble the wings of dragons dominate the skyline. There are new settlements to discover from the capital city of Rimmen to the mountaintop outpost of The Stitches.
Not only will you likely catch the odd dragon flying in the sky, the map is marked with the location of dragons for you to fight. Not something that my character could take on themselves, but as a group I was able to contribute to the destruction of one of these monstrous beasts.
For existing players, Elsweyr offers new content, enough to keep all but the most obsessive players busy until the next drop. For new players, Elsweyr is only a small part of a massive game that contains hours and hours of gameplay.
With a huge player-base, and polished structure and unparalleled MMO gameplay, The Elder Scrolls Online continues to offer fans one of the best value-for-money gaming experiences available today.