“The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited,” released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on June 9, 2015, is Bethesda software’s attempt to bring their popular series to the massively multiplayer online market (MMO).
Originally released as a subscription based title, the game has now been converted to the more viable “buy to play” model, where players must purchase the retail version of the game, but are not required to pay a subscription fee to continue playing.
This year will be the year for downloadable content, such as “Thieves Guild,” “Dark Brotherhood” and more. Both DLC packs will feature new areas, new quests and game mechanics. With these new releases coming soon, let’s take a look at the “The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited” (ESO).
ESO is a hybrid design, which tries to bring the single player RPG play style of the “Elder Scrolls” series (“Oblivion,” “Skyrim” et. al) into the multiplayer, online arena. This game is mostly successful at straddling the line, although it falls short of completely capturing the appeal of either genre. “The Elder Scrolls” games are known for their depth and flexibility, which has been streamlined in favor of the repetitive game play more common to MMOs. However, fans of online RPGs will find many of the features common to contemporary titles are either missing or less functional in ESO.
Graphically, the game looks reasonably good and plays at respectable frame rates on a computer that meets its average specs. The game has had its share of bugs and glitches, which can still be encountered at times, but the developers have consistently patched and expanded, making the game more now stable and generally free of the more egregious glitches.
In spite of its “Elder Scrolls” label, the game is first and foremost an MMO. Gamers who don’t enjoy this genre are unlikely to be swayed by the label. However, the game is just different enough to provide a change for MMO fans looking for a new diversion.
For “Elder Scrolls” fans looking for a post-“Skyrim” fix, skip this one and wait for the next single player offering. For MMO fans, ESO may appeal to you but I have trouble recommending it at the full retail price. It is occasionally offer on sale, and, in those cases, it is worth a closer look. It isn’t a bad game, as far as MMOs go, but it doesn’t particularly distinguish itself amongst its abundant competition.