– Gamescom 2013 – We have played The Elders Scrolls Online!

During the Gamescom we were able to check out the new MMORPG from Bethesda Studios: The Elder Scrolls Online, needless to say the fans have been waiting in anticipation for this game and we had the pleasure of sitting down and playing for around an hour or so, which was enough time to get through the starting location and first storyline.


Character creation is simple enough, with a few nice customization options, all manner of scales and sliders to accentuate your physical appearance, which is what we’ve come to expect of the Elder Scrolls titles. We started by selecting one of the four classes available, Sorcerer, which matters very little as you can equip all items you loot in game anyway, however, when you gain skill points through combat you get to choose which skills/powers you wish to improve.


We were taken straight into the game, no cut scenes available at this time, and given our first quest; to go and find some missing guards. There were three different guards to look for, but we could choose which we’d choose; choice seems to be something Bethesda are keen to give people and using the same sandbox type side-questing whilst tying in the main story arc as we have seen in the single player games.


Combat wasn’t too taxing this early on; the ability to cast at range and then move in with my sword and shield, parrying and stunning monsters then charging powerful attacks meant there was little in the way of a challenge. The quest I’d headed into was to cull some undead and fight some lich in an underground tomb. The developers have done away with the minimap (prompted by testing feedback) and gone with the compass we have seen in the likes of Skyrim, where your quest markers will show you which direction to head in (a larger map is still available though). Another interesting aspect was when you are near a quest location you get a popup prompt telling you whether the marker is above or below you, depending on the terrain, handy if your objective is up on a hill above you or in a cave below.


The quest was easy to complete, I grouped with some of the other testers, though we all seemed to go our own way; when a party member wasn’t in the vicinity their name greyed out to indicate this. The second part of the quest was abandoning the town and being told to go and find as many survivors as possible. In the quest list there was a “0 / 15” villagers that could be found, and a second part of the quest to go and speak with the main NPC to turn the quest in. The interesting thing about this quest is that firstly there were no markers to these villagers, so you had to explore the entire map to find them, secondly is that you didn’t actually have to find them all to complete the quest; just to find as many as you could before leaving. So players are encouraged and rewarded to take the time to find as many people as possible, each of them generally giving you a new sub-quest before they’ll return, but for those who want to get on with it you can leave them behind to suffer their fate! Once completed the small town was raided, a quick rescue attempt and you lead the survivors from the town, through a tomb to an old smugglers cove where a ship is waiting to take you to the main continent.


Graphically and game play wise The Elder Scrolls Online plays just like Skyrim, which if you enjoyed the title should be exciting for anyone. For those who played the other Elder Scrolls games if at any time you thought “I wish I could fight through this dungeon with friends” then you are not going to be disappointed; it plays like a single player with all the added bonuses of an MMORPG!

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