“The Elder Scrolls Online” is a recently released massively multiplayer online game from ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda Softworks.
The game sets itself more than 1,000 years before “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” It is based on creating a character that kills monsters and completes quests in a world filled with other players, all doing similar things. It creates a sort of living world fueled by the multiplayer environment.
“The Elder Scrolls Online” is a game that has an immense amount of potential to become something really special later on, but its current state leaves some things to be desired.
If players preordered the game or picked it up on launch weekend, they got access to the “Explorer’s Pack,” which had some usual preorder bonuses.
When making a character, players can choose between nine of the 10 playable races. Each race belongs to a specific faction, falling into either the Daggerfall Covenant, the Aldmeri Dominion or the Ebonhart Pact. If players pre-ordered their copies of the game, they are able to play any of the races in any of the alliances – effectively rendering the whole idea of factions moot to a large chunk of the player base.
The quest design is one my favorite aspects of the game. One of the first quests I was given upon landing on the island Stros M’kai, the starter zone for the Daggerfall Covenant, involved me putting together a crack team of thieves to pull a heist on the island’s Headman.
Every quest is unique and interesting, whether it be helping a young blacksmith slay a monster or skunking through a city to save the local queen from her corrupt guard captain. They’re all an adventure, whether it’s big or small.
Unfortunately, combat is one of the major points of the game and it lacks any real weight. Every swing of the sword feels as if players are just swinging in the breeze.
The only real depth to fight scenes are during an obviously telegraphed heavy attack or dodging a large area spell.
Despite there only being four classes, each can be customized in a number of ways. This adds a bit of creativity to combat if you build the character a certain way.
Some of the most fun I had while playing was as a sorcerer, billed as a long-range damage dealer, but equipped with a sword and shield. It’s this kind of customization not seen in most games. A lot of time could be sunk into different ways to build different classes, and is something that some other games should take note of.
The game is also graphically beautiful. Even on the lowest setting, it’s still impressive how good the game looks. On maximum setting, it is one of the best games visually that is currently available.
The characters look amazing as well. The amount of detail staggering throughout is impressive, and the animations are top-notch. I have to admit I spent more time than I should have just watching the character sheathe and unsheathe his sword.
Despite the seemingly tight quality of the game, there are quite a few bugs in the program. Sometimes the game doesn’t load models correctly, leaving behind ugly red boxes marked on all sides with the word “error” scattered across the landscape.
There’s also the odd bug of having an important non-player character unable to talk to other players, rendering any number of quests unable to be completed. I still have a character unable to complete one of the main quests.
One of the biggest bugs actually ended up completely breaking the game. The bug allowed players to duplicate any item, flooding the game with large amounts of materials and allowing people to sell them to make a profit.
On the whole, the game is fun, but it needs a lot of work. I would wait until the game goes down in price, as the $60 price on top of the $15 monthly subscription just isn’t worth it for me.
Casey Falk is a junior in pre-journalism and mass communications. Please send all comments to email@example.com.