The presentation in Elder Scrolls Online is defined by Oblivion

After absolutely hammering The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited PlayStation 4 beta virtually all weekend, we’re actually a bit sad to see it go. Our jaunt back into Tamriel has been an enjoyable one, despite the fact that it never truly wowed us. Perhaps this is another case of keeping expectations relatively low, and coming out of the experience pleasantly surprised – we can’t really say, but what we do know is that console players looking for a meaty massively multiplayer online time sink will definitely want to keep an eye on this one.

The presentation of the game is completely Elder Scrolls Online gold store, as defined by Oblivion. The characters have that same glass-eyed look when you approach them for conversation, even if the NPCs do look like they’ve lost a bit of weight since Skyrim. When you’re in conversations, they’re all fully voiced. It’s an appreciated inclusion, but the voice acting is hit or miss, as one would expect from a project of this scope. Get used to hearing the same voices over and over again. Urns, crates, and bookshelves litter the world, full of random items for you to steal or books for you to read. Overall, it feels like falling into the warm embrace of a close friend; Zenimax Online knew what type of visual presentation modern players were looking for in the Elder Scrolls name and they’ve delivered on that end.

So, down to the gameplay. I’ve never played an MMO before so purism can be thrown out that window. The game is basically an Elder Scrolls game (but not as pretty because of the sacrifices needed to host the MMO style) but you have a bunch of people all doing the same quest you are – giving a completely different experience. This sort of hinders the feel of the game (compared to its predecessors) because I feel like I’m doing some sort of fantasy murder-mystery tour where you ask various characters for clues before completing the quest, while seeing about four other people doing the same thing. This can get quite confusing, as you will kill an enemy, only for the enemy to re-spawn the second someone else gets to the same bit as you. So far this has only happened with standard enemies.

Starting with character creation, the detail put into cheap ESO gold online is uncanny, which should be no surprise to fans of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Between the ten playable races and a seemingly endless supply of appearance customization options, you’ll be able to create virtually any look you want in game – from reptilian Argonian to sleek and furry Khajiit to your standard, stoic almost-human. Each race comes with its own unique traits, as well as racial skill trees to sink points into as you progress through the game. If you’re any kind of min/maxer you’ll do well to check out your race options before committing to a race/class combination, to ensure that your racial skills complement your class choice. Classes are fairly minimal in The Elder Scrolls Online, with only four options available; Dragonknight, Sorcerer, Nightblade, and Templar.

Though that may seem restrictive at a glance, the open system for skills in game will allow you to tailor your character to your own playstyle as you level up to some extent. Every one of its systems has been done better in the past, repeatedly. A few exceptions serve only as bright flashes to illuminate the desolate wasteland of dead ambition and imagination that is the rest of the game. From the first moment it’s a dull, dreary affair in every respect. The aesthetics are grey collections of fantasy tropes that draw solely from the most boring areas the franchise can offer. Quests don’t feel as such, more odd jobs to fetch animal livers or confirm information between two NPCs within earshot of one another.

That last bit is brand new for longtime Elder Scrolls gamers, since all the past console-based games were single-player. A few of the beginning quests are doable on your own, but most pursuits-including multiple-tiered assignments, dungeon raids, and mega-powered bosses-need more manpower. Some events even require a group of at least four strategizing adventurers just to make it through in one piece. The quests themselves range from puzzle-solving affairs (that need the right magical book or weapon to solve) to logic conundrums (that require listening skills and reasoning) to murderous hit jobs (that are self-explanatory) to out-and-out warring battles (that demand the right blend of healers, tanks and ranged shooters).

The newbie island experience is so anguish-inducing that, in a rare case of listening to beta tester feedback, the developers provided an option of skipping it entirely as the default choice, foregoing a half-dozen Skyshards for skill point upgrades, leveling, and equipment opportunities. If you aren’t clear on what skipping the newbie island means until later, you may find yourself backtracking to find this choice that the game glossed over without prompting.

TESO feels a lot like a multiplayer Skyrim mod

I’m going to start this review with a quick moan about the 15BG update file to get that out of the way – it sucks. If I buy a game, crazily enough I would actually like to play it at some point on the day of purchase. However, this is an MMO and there would need to be constant patches to work out the bugs so I guess I do understand, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. That’s depends on how you approach the idea of “Elder Scrolls”. Is Elder Scrolls a collection of characters, places, and lore that adds up to a rich universe for Bethesda to build stories in? Is Elder Scrolls an open-world you can explore to your heart’s content? Or is it a specific style of gameplay with arrows to the head, spells to cast, and companions to help you?

What probably impressed us most was just how accessible the whole thing is. By and large, many would-be MMO players are intimidated by steep learning curves, the need for online etiquette, and monthly subscription fees. It’s refreshing, then, that The Elder Scrolls Online gold won’t require the latter, and its action-based gameplay means that it’s easy to pick up and play. The majority of the content that’s on offer can be done alone, too, so there’s no need to worry about finding allies and grouping up to progress through the story. Sure, this may seem a little counter-intuitive for an MMO, but it’s a design choice that stands firmly in line with the title’s focus on accessibility.

That’s not to say that TESO is anything short of a great game and stellar experience. By the time you hit level 20, you’ll likely enjoy playing through well over 100 quests, each of which has fully voiced dialogue and even occasional moral choices to make (although I’m skeptical that your choices carry any weight in game). You’ll probably do dungeons in a small group, PvP in Cyrodiil alongside dozens of other players, and even explore entire continents all by your lonesome. What’s odd, though, is that throughout all this, despite the constant banter going on in Zone Chat, you’ll rarely feel connected to the other players. cheap eso gold for sale feels a lot like a multiplayer Skyrim mod. It seems to have been designed as a single player game, with the multiplayer content being tacked on, but still exceedingly well done.

Combat is a disconnected, masquerading as something more complex via simplistic counter mechanics that offer little to think about and less to do. Maybe it could show its strengths in the well-meaning PvP if it wasn’t a constant zergfest of human rivers, meaning singular combatants have no effect. First-person control is nothing more than a gimmick, being vastly inferior in all but novelty to third-person. ESO’s attempts to bring its namesake forward provides some of its most frustrating, impossible-to-understand decisions. The full cast of actors is impressive, but repeating voices are quick to appear. The soul gem system is back, serving only to depower players and punish them for using awesome gear.

On the plus side of this super-duper king-sized online expedition, the well-detailed scenery is graphically appealing, the musical underscore is beautiful, the relatively deep storyline zigs and zags satisfyingly, and the varied quests don’t seem quite as grinding and repetitive as your typical MMO. But like the rest of the series, there’s also a dark and nasty armored boot that always drops. Some of that is likely discernable from what I’ve told you already. Add to that twisted spiritual challenges involving interactions with the dead, the undead and all manner of zombie-demon-ghosty-creepy creatures that want to make you dead. (Or, more accurately, dead again.)

The newbie island and the area that follows varies mildly from alliance to alliance, but each is achingly dull. I found myself strained not to skip the voice over dialogue, mashing the first option repeatedly just to get to the next leg in the quest line. You realize after a short period of time that the first option in every single dialogue encounter is the speediest way to get to the next part of the bland step-and-fetch-it quests that never, ever end and seem to have no meaning beyond dragging your character along a linear theme park-style ride from point A to point B. You can certainly venture off the beaten path as a loading screen tip prompts you to do, but you’ll find vast stretches of nothing punctuated by moments of mediocrity. Even in those few mild points of interest, it’s just make-work, empty-quest fodder.

Given that console owners get the most up-to-date version of the game with all updates and patches since the PC launch, and a constantly evolving game shaped by player feedback and participation, and it’s easy to see how ESO can provide hours of entertainment for those willing to dedicate serious time to adventuring in the online Tamriel community.

The Elder Scrolls Online seems to be systematic

Upon entering the world of The Elder Scrolls:V for the first time, players are given the option of traveling almost anywhere, at any time, to hunt dragons, save villagers or simply wander the planes to discover hidden treasures, locales or dungeons. There are generally no arbitrary restrictions, as per previous Elder Scroll titles (at least since Morrowind) in terms of where you can go and what you can do. If you find a piece of armour that fits, you can wear it, and subsequently, wield any type of weapon or learn new types of magicka. There are quest lines, but you can ignore them, choosing to delay your avatar’s dragonborn destiny while you fill up your questionably sourced houses with old pots, chairs and books.

While there are plenty of elements that reviewers have disliked about Buy ESO Gold that seem to be systematic (and therefore unfixable without a significant overhaul), Firor adds that for Bethesda and ZeniMax a “true measure of ESO is what players in the game think” and that as a result they are “starting up several community programs that put you in the spotlight and ask you to submit your builds, guilds, screenshots, and more–the chronicles of your life in Tamriel–for us to share.” It’s the characters controlled by real people part of the game that’s taken the most getting used to for myself, the MMO newcomer. After spending so much time alone in previous games in the series, stepping into this world and seeing so many player-controlled characters running around doing their own thing was a bit of a shock to me

Just being able to player watch from time to time adds an interesting and often times unpredictable new layer to the series, and one of the most entertaining things to do is sit back and observe from time to time. Just now, while taking a quick break from writing this, I trotted by a large group of people on my horse-perhaps 20-30 players-many of whom were wearing as little clothing as possible and doing sit-ups, playing instruments, shooting off fireballs (’tis the season!), and so on. It’s that sort of wacky, somewhat surreal randomness that I can enjoy while trying to sell items, unload things from my inventory, shop for new goodies, and so on before heading back out for more action and adventure and exploring (with a death or two sprinkled in to keep me humble).

Of course, the overwhelming abundance of solo content is a plus here, so if you’re getting into ESO gold to explore the world and enjoy some Elder Scrolls lore, the class system won’t get in your way. Crucially, you can complete the main story and reach the level cap of 50 without grouping up, and you can even level all the way through post-50 Veteran ranks after that. The latter isn’t recommended, but what’s important is that you’re free to enjoy the game’s many storylines, including fan favorites like the Mage’s Guild and Thieves Guild, at your leisure without the distractions of Group Dungeons. Within these challenges, bosses bring abilities and fight mechanics that are immeasurably more interesting than your standard foes.

The main quest line does find its rhythm eventually, but it remains awkward and is never particularly interesting, while the decision to frame everything just like a typical Elder Scrolls story, but with hundreds of adventurers all following the same story simply doesn’t work. While you may find yourself fighting alongside other players by virtue of being in the same place at the same time, the amount of content for dedicated groups feels slim, with a couple of group dungeons on each map area. Right now, console players don’t really seem to know what to make of this system, with very little voice chat and even less coordination, so if you’re serious about going full co-op I’d recommend doing it with reliable real life friends rather than random in-game hook ups.

Being an Elder Scrolls game, combat is a central mechanic and it’s incredibly easy to execute everything you need to with the controller. Being able to switch between first-person and third-person on the fly is a great touch. Abilities can be mapped to select face buttons and the front triggers, so it’s easy to throw out aggressive abilities, or heal yourself and those around you. Weapon attacks are done using R2, and holding the button initiates a heavy attack. Blocking is mapped to L2. There is no option to change the controller layout or remap your buttons directly in game, which I never found to be an issue. If you really must remap your controls, don’t forget that the accessibility menu in the PS4 will allow you to remap your controller layout. While it won’t be a native layout to the game, it still achieves its purpose.

There are only fleeting signs of life in The Elder Scrolls Online

Fourteen months on from its launch on PC, The Elder Scrolls Online finally arrives on console with its subscription fees dropped and a new business model. This leaves us with two questions on our minds as we fire up the PS4: how well has TESO survived the transition, and how well is it holding up? On the first count, pretty well. And the second? We’re not so sure. A year is a long time in gaming, and while cheap eso gold for sale remains a solid MMO with a few odd quirks, it now looks and feels weirdly dated. Meanwhile, the tension between the solo RPG roots of the series and what we expect from an MMO isn’t getting any better. We still like ESO – don’t get us wrong – but we don’t like it quite as much as we did last year.

So what does the transition to consoles mean for the MMO? First and foremost, ditching subscriptions was easily the best decision Bethesda could have made, specifically for console players too. Expecting console players to pay $60 for the game, with many already paying for a premium service like Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus, and on top of that pay a monthly fee just to play the game would be absolutely absurd. So naturally, now players have a much smaller barrier of entry. Sure, the game still costs $60 new, but that’s all the money you’ll have to spend to actually get access to all of the content. Unlike EA and Bioware’s The Old Republic which retroactively blocks users from accessing a bunch of content unless they pay for it or subscribe, The Elder Scrolls: Tamriel Unlimited gives players unfettered access to the entirety of the world, and all of its quests. So kudos Bethesda on making that move.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was a game so titanically vast you could lose yourself in it for hundreds of hours and still stumble across new places. The fact that Skyrim is just one region of Tamriel tells you all you need to know about the mind-blowing potential of The Elder Scrolls Online, which splices this scale with a population of thousands of real players. While the landmass is just as intimidatingly endless as you’d imagine, the experience of playing Tamriel Unlimited lacks the atmosphere and solemnity of the earlier single-player games. Wherever you go you’ll find players running in all directions, swarming enemies and standing in loose gaggles around important points in quests, blasting immersion-breaking drum’n’bass over voice chat or talking loudly to other people in the room with them. Mechanically things fair slightly better, its relatively dull quests underpinned by solid combat and complex, hard-won upgrade paths. It’s not pretty, never coming close to last month’s Witcher 3, and can feel a little monotonous as you trudge between similarly structured busy work, although it is very early days for a game designed to be played for months on end.

At the beginning of the game your character escapes from prison in the daedric realm of Coldharbour. Your soul has been stolen by the daedric prince Molag Bal, and with the help of some new allies you return to Tamriel as the Vestige, a Chosen One among a great many other Chosen Ones. From there you are looking at around a hundred hours of questing to reach the level cap of 50, with competitive play available from level 10 and story-advancing special missions occurring every five levels or so. This is an MMO of the prescriptive, content-driven sort: where Morrowind might have spurred you on with the promise of the unknown, The Elder Scrolls Online furnishes you with an experience you’ve already had if you’ve played a fantasy MMO in the last couple of years. Its happiest players will be the ones who are looking for a new leveling curve to surmount, and that’s fine in principle – but execution matters too.

The solo experience doesn’t always fare much better. While Elder Scrolls Online’s combat certainly captures the feel of a game like Skyrim – especially if played in first-person mode – that feel is squishier and less precise than what I’ve come to expect from MMOs. Using ranged weapons or abilities and trying to switch between multiple targets only worked for me about half of the time. It wasn’t until a dozen hours into the game that I realized the reason for this: It uses a traditional MMO lock-on targeting system but just hides the lock-on.

It’s tempting to write off subscription MMOs completely, but there are some signs of life in the sector: Final Fantasy 14 is doing quite well, and the forthcoming WildStar is in the final stages of a persuasive charm offensive with the MMO community. But there are only fleeting signs of life in The Elder Scrolls Online gold itself – and few of them have anything to do with The Elder Scrolls. Maybe this grand project sounded like a good idea in 2007, but now it feels like a leftover obligation: a game no-one really asked for, and a flawed premise from the start.