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Game review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor expansion (PC)

17 Jun 2020

The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online Studios’ fantasy massively multiplayer online game (MMO), continues to evolve with the Greymoor expansion.

Now in its sixth year, ESO continues to provide new content via regularly released new game packs and yearly chapter expansions. Greymoor is this year’s new chapter and is part of the year-long Dark Heart of Skyrim adventure. 

For me, the real appeal of The Elder Scrolls Online is the rather unique business model. When originally released ESO used the monthly subscription model that was once common with MMOs. No matter how long you played, you would need to forfeit your monthly payment. In 2015 the game relaunched as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, offering players two ways to experience the game. 

Players wanting to subscribe to ESO Plus would get the regularly released DLC and some other monthly benefits for free (they still have to buy the main game and any chapter releases. Players can also just buy the main game and play for free, paying for the DLC and additional chapters as they wish. The above makes The Elder Scrolls Online a great way to enter the world of MMOs without the monthly investment, especially if you are only a casual player.

ESO is already a massive game with hundreds and hundreds of hours of content across a huge continent. Greymoor expands the game to include West Skyrim, an area that will be very familiar to players of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

ESO is set a thousand years before Skyrim, so players have the opportunity to revisit locations from the acclaimed single-player game to see what they looked like a in the past. The expansion also includes the vast underground complex of Blackreach. These subterranean areas include villages, mines and dwarven ruins.

I can’t say that Greymoor was really my return to Skyrim, as I’ve not actually stopped playing The Elder Scrolls V in the eight years that it has been out. Yep, this Skyrim tragic has played the game on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Switch, PSVR, Vive VR and even on Amazon Echo.

The icy land of Skyrim is a wonder to explore and packed with quests for players to enjoy solo or with friends. From the incredible city of Solitude to the Fortress town of Whiterun, it’s a region packed with adventure.

As with all the other regions, West Skyrim has its own regional quest line. This is the narrative adventure that forms the core of the Greymoor expansion. The adventure started with the Harrowstorm DLC game pack. The emergence of a vampire lord threatens Tamriel sending players on a supernatural adventure across the northern region.

Existing players will find the quest giver just outside Solitude. A dying man with a message that needs to be delivered to the king. New players, or players starting a new character, will get to experience a new tutorial mission as the game starts. In keeping with Elder Scrolls tradition, the player’s character is imprisoned and must escape with the help of the friendly vampire, Fennorian. The tutorial not only explains the game mechanics, but also sets-up the vampire theme of the Greymoor expansion.

As well as the additional region and quests, the expansion adds a new antiquities system. This allows players to become ESO’s answer to Indiana Jones. Players can now excavate ancient sites and learn more about the history of Tamriel. The expansion also includes a new vampire skill line for players to master.

Being an MMO, the combat is not as refined as the single-player games, being a bit more of a button mashing exercise that carefully timed strikes. There are, however a massive combination of weapons, both melee and bows, as well as magic to make a unique character with a unique style.

The shear volume of content available in ESO can be a little overwhelming. New players, stepping into the game now, are confronted with quest givers on every corner. It’s so easy to get side-tracked and end up on another mission to the far corners of the massive continent of Tamrial.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor is another high-quality expansion adding a much-loved area to the epic online game. This new chapter not only provides existing plays with yet more content to consume, but also provides the perfect jumping in point for new players.

Verdict: 9/10.