Alright let me start off by saying this review is for leveling through 1-50. The game is not even half way over for me as I explore Veteran Ranks and even with that said I have over 5 days of time played. I can easily say that there is no other MMO like TESO that has brought me this much binge playing thus far. I have played few games in between and have craved the game when I am not on it. My sleep schedule has taken a toll as hours fly by and I am never aware of the time. The Elder Scrolls Online is almost exactly how I want it to be. It has the exploration I seek, the thrilling PvP I crave, and a crafting system that actually takes time. I was not very excited for this game and bought it last minute during a spur of the moment type of deal. I am very happy with what I have gotten to play and what I have experienced. While there are some issues I only encounter them only so often and understand they are working them out. I am an avid MMOer and have played many games on launch so bugs, glitches, bot, and just general annoyances of launches are nothing new to me and barely phase me, but if they do to you then you should wait for a month or two, but even then this game is just plain out fun.
Exploration is a huge thing in the Elder Scrolls series and it holds up well in the MMO adaption of the game. I sheltered myself from the game before it came out and was on the fence the week before it launched. While playing you notice a couple of things. The exploration is not hindered like many MMOs. It is on a smaller scale than the normal Elder Scrolls games, but it is great compared to most recent MMOs. The sites are beautiful, the zones are interesting, and the shards add some mystery to the game. You can quest and explore while doing so, finding public dungeons, open dungeons, mundus stones, world bosses, raw materials, treasure chests, and just random sites. The zones are large and offer something different than the previous zone. While playing I got a very nostalgic feeling of exploration and curiosity. You can find a good amount of stuff form exploring and it really brings an element that has not been seen in MMOs for some time.
Now, lets go forward to PvP. Which is pretty amazing if you can find a group, guild, or get in to the right campaign. There are several campaigns for the PvP and depending on which you pick you could be winning, tied, or getting crushed. The PvP zone Cryodiil itself is giant with plenty of things to do. You can hunt down the Skyshards, attempt to take keeps, take resources, or hunt down players. No matter what you do though the time speeds by. During actually sieges the fine details are what really matter. The walls show damage, battering rams actually reveal cracks in the doors so that you can see other players, and it is overall an actual challenge for players. You have to follow the numbers and you have to be organized. PvP is not something you can just do and while that may dissatisfy some loners it is not meant for you. You can’t take a keep by yourself and you can’t defend one alone either. There isn’t much you can do alone except get ran over. The PvP also has some PvE flair as you can do quests and to take keeps as well as resources you have to kill the guarding NPCs. I have not fought an Emperor, but seeing videos they look like the main attraction in a raid, requiring large amounts of people to focus him.
The combat can be very exciting, but at times can be very buggy as well. In some instances the combat can bug out and basically kill you, but when this doesn’t happen the combat is fluid, fun, and very much alike to previous Elder Scroll games. It is a different pace from most MMOs and makes auto targeting a thing of the past. While some other MMOs have done this it hasn’t really picked up in the mainstream. You can have 5 abilities, an ult, and at level 15 you unlock a second set that you can switch to even in combat. While the combat isn’t anything revolutionizing to me it is still fun and a great addition to the game itself. The spot where the combat shines is synergy, synergy is an effect that occurs with several spells and requires your group to activate them. Spells like Choking Talons which hold enemies in to place have a synergy ability that deal damage when it notifies members of your group to press ‘x’. The synergy feature adds in a whole new level of combat especially for dungeons. The combat can have its ups and downs, but this is really one of the first MMOs where I have grinded (By choice) and haven’t been insanely bored. As with groups of 3 or more the game gets really hard and forces you to focus. You can’t really expect to run in to large groups and easily come out alive.
The crafting system in the game so far is fantastic. You have to put time and effort in to the actual system. The system makes you find Motifs in order to actually craft certain styles. The motifs can be found in many places and aren’t overall very hard to find, but you need them to craft different styles. The styles include all the races as well as Primal, Barbaric, Ancient Elves, and Daedric. Moving forward you have to research traits on your items. The traits give your item a great bonus such as stronger enchantments, stronger armor, spell resistance, etc etc. After you research a trait the time for the next trait doubles and overall it takes 60 days for a player to research every trait for just one item. If you level up your crafting eventually you can research 3 traits at a time. The traits are also only found on existing items that you have to use to research them and are destroyed in the process. In order to get the best gear possible you would have to research all 8 traits on every piece of armor you wanted which can take up to 60 days for a single piece. While searching for some items can feel tedious it is all worth it in the long run.
Overall The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO worth playing. It has beautiful scenery, beautiful graphics, and a huge map that people will surely enjoy. Exploration is rewarded in a great way and leveling overall is fun. The combat is fluid, the PvE content is difficult, the PvP can be epic, and the game is beautiful. Overall this game is an Elder Scrolls game, but online. While there are some major complaints such as bugs, bots, exploits, and glitches those are not a definite part of the game and I will not be reviewing them. I am reviewing the game itself and what is meant to happen. There is no point in reviewing a game based on temporary set backs in which the developers are tirelessly working out. This game is worth playing and any Elder Scrolls fan should definitely check it out. It is a huge game with a huge future that can only be halted by its developers. I am addicted to this game and have not been able to pull myself away from it too often. The game truly feels like an Elder Scrolls game and is something I’ve been wanting for some time. If you can ignore the bugs of an MMO at launch then it is very easy for me to recommend this game to you. Really for me the only thing holding down Elder Scrolls Online is Zenimax. They have to hear customers and respond in a timely manner. The future for me looks very bright as they already have their first content patch on the way and have been very interactive with the community.
Overall Score: 9/10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Available On: PC
Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20140428 and was last modified on 20140428 .