The Elder Scrolls: Blades is for phones, but it’ll come to PC one day


Before announcing The Elder Scrolls VI last night, Bethesda’s Todd Howard started the The Elder Scrolls: Blades section of their E3 stream by talking about how many people Fallout Shelter had touched. He mentioned some figure in the millions about how many downloads it got, eliciting inevitable whoops from the crowd. It’s probably passé to mock the things people whoop about at E3 at this point, but I haven’t had the chance yet so here we are. Whoop.

Anyway! Howard started off on that tack because Blades is a free-to-play mobile-focused Elder Scrolls game about dungeoneering and town-building. It’s coming to PC (and everything else) as well though, so let’s have a looksy.

You can also find a summary over here, but here’s the snippet where Howard describes the most important bits:

“Blades has several modes of play. First, the abyss: a roguelike experience where you can see how far you can go in an endless dungeon, and the Arena, where you will do battle 1 on 1 against other players. And the main mode: The town. This is the hub for your story and quests. You are a member of the Blades, the Empire’s top agents. Forced into exile, you return home, to find your town destroyed, and need to rebuild it.”

“Yes, Blades also features a town building mode. You’ll decide what your town looks like, and be able to upgrade and decorate all of the individual elements in it. As your town levels up, you unlock new NPCs, quests and more. You can even visit your friend’s towns.”

It’ll have cross-platform play, which leads Howard to talk about cheekily playing Blades in a meeting against someone at home who’s wearing a Vive.

I don’t think this one’s for me. Bethasda’s post about it on their website says that “Blades contains the many hallmarks Elder Scrolls fans enjoy from the franchise”, then fails to list anything that’s a particular selling point of the Elder Scrolls – just genero RPG stuff like “powerful magic” and “upgradable skills”. I haven’t played it, of course, but the combat doesn’t look all that alluring either. It strikes me as a simplified version of Infinity Blade‘s, a mobile fighting game that’s worth checking out if this looks like your thing.

That crowd whooping over the game being played in portrait mode is partly to blame for sapping my enthusiasm, but yeah, consider it sapped.

When’s it out? “This fall, for free”, though the initial release will only be for smaller screens than ours. You can sign up for early access shenanigans over here.


  1. Stevostin says:

    “It strikes me as a simplified version of Infinity Blade”. Quick check, Infinity Blade isn’t first person view. In my world, it barely exists.

    Looks a bit thin for PC gaming though. The fights look tragically bland.

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah the combat looked awful, and I didn’t see any evidence of it having a proper open world. Also they announce it’s free like that’s a good thing, when that inevitably means it’ll be super grindy with micro-transactions.

      On the plus side, it is impressive the visuals that (expensive) phones are capable of.

  2. DoomBroom says:

    VR is for PC.

    I’ll take whatever at this point. Just give us something great when next gen VR releases, like TES IV and Starfield.

    Oh and we did get something something Prey and Wolfenstein for VR as well. I want to know more though.
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  3. jroger says:

    I always find it sad that people that call themselves “press” whoop and cheer at a press conference. So much for “objectivity”.

    • titanomaquis says:

      they let the fans in to these conferences, so it’s not just press.

      • Cerulean Shaman says:

        Pretty sure E3 is press only now. And yes, that means Twitch streamers and YouTubers.

        • sosolidshoe says:

          …who are often either big fans, or basically paid shills who occasionally mention to their viewers that they’re being paid to be shills.

          • sosolidshoe says:

            Also, the usually stick a couple of row’s worth of employees down in the front there to whoop and cheer and laugh too hard at the awful, awful jokes and cringeworthy “look, kids, we can do the memes as well, do you like the memes as much as we do? Yeah, memes, woo!” antics.

  4. napoleonic says:

    This actually looks much better than I thought it would when I first heard about it. I was totally unimpressed until I watched the presentation, but this could be good.

  5. GallonOfAlan says:

    People who whoop at E3 are the equivalent of people who applaud when a plane lands, i.e. bell ends.

  6. Maxheadroom says:

    I’ve never been a fan of mobile games that try to emulate a console or pc experience, the controls are just too fiddly.

    Fallout Shelter was perfectly suited to mobile which is probably why it did so well. Personally i think id have preferred a sequel to that

  7. DEspresso says:

    A return to the First Elder Scrolls: Arena.

    We’ve come full circle.

  8. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Beth is really underwhelming this year. A phone game, a MMO, some DLC, a one minute obscure video of their excting new IP and Elder Scrolls 6 probably in 3×4 (2 more games, cycle of 4 years) years ~2028-2030 then.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Exactly what would a single AAA software development company have to do to impress you?

      Also, I really doubt they plan to stagger each major game release to every 4 years. 2 years, maybe, if they’re taking their time. At least one a year would be the competitive choice.

      • sosolidshoe says:

        How about not waste big chunks of dev resources putting out mobile games and MP-only spinoffs to single player franchises and instead put them into the sequels in said franchises that people had actually wanted them to make?

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Showing off their new IP maybe but come on that announcement video is a joke, no?
        Rehashing yesterday’s content over and over isn’t too exciting in my book to make a show about.
        Except redoing Morrowind in the Skyrim engine, that’d be neat.

    • fish99 says:

      They said Starfield is a couple of years into production and TES6 is the next game after, so say Starfield in 2 years, TES6 in 5-6 years. Still way too long for my tastes.

  9. geldonyetich says:

    Blades looks alright to me. I don’t play many Android games, but I’m planning on giving this an install. It will apparently cost zero dollars to try.

  10. SaintAn says:

    Looks like a scam like everything they make these days. If they really wanted to make a good game for phones they could have released Daggerfall with a few tweaks.

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