Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr launches today for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It was developed by Zenimax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the third chapter in the online MMORPG, Elder Scrolls Online.
AIR Entertainment obtained a digital copy of the game for review purposes.
Feel free to watch the video review of ESO: Elsweyr below:
The Elder Scrolls Online has come a long way in the five years since its original release in 2014. Ever since Elder Scrolls left the offline world of Skyrim and create the One Tamriel online, ESO fans everywhere have been enjoying the new content that have been added over the years.
Instead of falling into the trend of calling them DLCs, or Downloadable Content, they were referred to as “Chapters”. In 2017, we saw the first chapter released in the ESO saga, called Morrowind. We explored the island of Vvardenfell, an area previously not available which introduced the first new class, the Warden.
The second chapter, Summerset, took us to the homes of the elves and saw the return of the mystic Psijic Order. Together with six major DLCs, five dungeon packs and a bounteous array of Crown Store items, it was clear that ESO is an online force to be reckoned with.
Which brings us to the new third chapter… Elsweyr, and the Season of the Dragons.
This isn’t the first time that players have been in the province of Elsweyr. It was first introduced in the original The Elder Scrolls: Arena, where we were introduced to the The Halls of Colossus and the cities of Rimmen, Riverhold, and Orcrest. It is the home of the Khajiit, the feline race of ESO.
Elsweyr has evolved since we last saw it. The massive new zone gives players an ancient world to explore, and they’ll be able to walk the region’s warm grasslands, deep canyons, and balmy jungles. Everywhere you go in this realm, you are reminded of the Khajiit, with feline images, bosses, and statues almost everywhere that you venture.
The most powerful aspect of this chapter is the appearance of the dragons. The new Season of the Dragon reveals the release of the dragons that have been trapped behind a magical door. Much of the main story in Elsweyr deals with discovering who released them, and having to contend with dragons destroying the lands.
Even when you complete the main story and destroy one of the most formidable dragons yet, you will still find random dragons roaming the lands that you and fellow champions can take down for extra experience and valuable loot.
Elsweyr brings along a new class: The Necromancer. There are three new skill lines, namely Grave lord, Bone Tyrant and Living Death. The ultimate skills are amazing, from the massive Colossus, to transforming into a massive skeletal creature, to resurrecting your fallen comrades. You can also summon skeletons and corpses to fight alongside you for a short amount of time.
The new bosses on the map are as epic as always, requiring as many players to combat it at once as possible. These foes will quickly kill you off if you are alone, but they drop valuable loot that you may need for your character builds for special Dungeons.
Which brings us to the new Trial Dungeon: Sunspire. You need to be in a group of at least 12 players for this trial, for the intense battles that will take place. There are new monsters, and new bosses, in this trial, and is definitely not a walk in the park.
The one important aspect of this new chapter that I loved is that you can start with a fresh new character at Level 1, or continue with your Champion. When you create your new Necromancer class, you can elect to start all over, or use your race transfer tokens to transform your Champion into a Necromancer and realign your skill points to the new skill tree.
I elected to start over, and was able to complete the main story while reaching level 21 at the time I did this review. Once Elsweyr is complete, you can go back to the main ESO story, Summerset and Morrowind chapters and do them all over with your new character again.
This is fantastic, as it means that new players to ESO will enjoy the Elsweyr chapter just as much as the veterans.
The gameplay continues in the fashion that we’ve become used to. As you complete quests and events, you level up based in the experience you have acquired. You can assign points to Magicka, Health or Stamina, and then apply skill points to the various skill tree items you have unlocked.
Of course, the veterans will know what they need to focus on. Healers for dungeons will focus on health restoration and magical attacks, specifically with the restoration staff in the main weapon bar.
The necromancer build I aimed for has magicka attacks and restoration as its primary focus, with a destruction staff as the main weapon and a restoration staff as the backup weapon. I have found a special balance between dealing damage and healing with this combination.
The new Northern Eslweyr map brings back more of the events you can do as before. Search for skyshards, eliminate bosses, complete side-stories, clear delves and find special viewpoints. However, the special Dolmen events, where creatures appear from large anchors in the sky, are replaced with dragons that you can defeat for special achievements.
And if you are a fan of the daily writs of your crafts, such as woodworking, alchemy and blacksmithing, the new town centres have all of those available, so you do not have to travel to other parts of Tamriel to do so. This brings with it new outfit, weapon and armour styles.
Finally, new Homesteads have become available, some of which can be unlocked by completing certain side stories. There is also the museum of history that you can obtain special relics for, which just adds to the ESO experience.
SOUND AND GRAPHICS
The graphics are nothing short of spectacular. The new cities are absolutely wonderful, as well as the luscious green valleys that you run through as you cross the lands. This is not surprising, as Elders Scrolls Online has never ceased to amaze me with its beauty.
Even with my slow internet speed, the high performance graphics I run the game on never fails. The new bosses and dragons have amazing detail on them. But the best feature yet is the Necromancer and how stunning the new abilities look. Especially the Bone Transformation ability.
We have dragons again! This is the first time we’re seeing dragons again since Skyrim. And with that comes the epic sounds that have been developed for these magnificent beasts. There is a new version of the Elder Scrolls Online theme available for the Elsweyr Chapter, as well as some new musical scores that are really amazing. I believe those who pre-ordered the Elsweyr Chapter will have access to the full Elsweyr Soundtrack.
Elder Scrolls Online continues to deliver content after content that is truly amazing, and the Elsweyr Chapter is no exception. From the new Necromancer class and skill line, to the vast beauties of the land, to the new dragons that have been unleashed…the game itself is pristine and a joy to play. If there is one gaming world that I truly wish I could live within, it is Tamriel.
Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr receives 10/10 for an overall score.
**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were kindly supplied with a review copy. This has in no way influenced my views on the game as per our Review Policy**
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