At long last console owners can now roam the lands of Tamriel at their leisure and contend with the turmoil’s that ravish it. Previously exclusive to PC owners, Zenimax and Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls Online hits PS4 and Xbox One after 2 long years of waiting. My palms were sweating even though I had put in some hours on the PC version. But the console version held a special aura about it, as does any console game. Its announcement had me over a barrel well and truly but then Bethesda made one of the best decisions in the world; sayonara subscription fee!
After your traditional RPG character creation which allows you to be any race in any faction familiar with Elder Scrolls fans, you find yourself in a prison in the realm of Coldharbour. This acts as the tutorial quest which makes you familiar with the controls and abilities or motion and combat. Once you’re done, you’re whisked away to Tamriel itself where you are free to do as you wish. Of course this is a MMORPG so the typical questing format is here in all its glory masked by the familiar heads up display seen in the mighty Skyrim. Fans of that game will be instantly familiar with TESO. It handles the same however in combat, unlocked abilities are assigned to certain buttons on the controller. I was a Dark Elf Dragonknight with cool fire magic abilities, a certain force to be reckoned with.
The controls translate magnificently from the PC making TESO play like any other first person game and again identical to Skyrim. What TESO doesn’t take from Skyrim however is the exploration. Although the entire world of Tamriel is here, Skyrim included, you won’t find a unique weapon laid perfectly on an ancient alter waiting for you to use. Instead, special items and apparel is earned through questing but don’t worry, quests are everywhere and they are colour coded to indicate level of difficulty in relation to your characters level, handy!
PVE quests such as the storyline quests can be handled solo but with mates is where the fun can really be had. Instances (or dungeons) are fantastic to tackle with friends allowing you all to work as a team and raids (or big dungeons allowing for a bigger team) are organised chaos. Each member has their role whether it is damage dealer, tank or healer and each one is as important as the other. One improvement worth noting is other players can no longer steal your quest objective which was a real pain on PC.
Tamriel looks lush on both consoles. Skyrim’s icy mountain ranges, the Alik’r Desert and of course, Cyrodiil (TESO’s resident PVP area) look fantastic albeit a few texture pop’s here and there. It’s distracting but not game breaking. There are tonnes to see in TESO, especially if you’re a fan like me. Visit Winterhold college, Daggerfall City or Valenwood, the choice is yours and it all looks great. There was noticeable frame rate drops here and there as the game loads which is a fault worth noting too.
The whole of Tamriel at your fingertips!
Millions of quests with some cool stories to go with them.
Gorgeous landscapes and lavishly dingy dungeons.
Anchors are intimidating but breath-taking.
Oh my! The scale!
Frame rate drops here and there.
Texture popping here and there.
Fetch quests make me yawn a lot.
The Elder Scrolls Online explodes onto our consoles in all its glory complete with all the updates, fixes and content. The unfathomable scale of this game fits in all Elder Scrolls lore and locales featured in previous titles in the series and exploring with mates is superb fun. There goes my free time!