Posts Tagged ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’

Impressions: The Elder Scrolls Online

I don’t know what to tell you. My first few days in the Elder Scrolls Online universe have left me feeling very fed up. It was always going to be a tough job for Bethesda to recreate the awe and adventure of their single-player fantasy games for a mass(ively multiplayer) audience. But there was a hope that, actually, everything might turn out all right for fans. I’m sorry to say that, based on my 21 hours or so of questing, that hope should be laid to rest. You could say that 21 hours is short enough in MMO terms to be called a ‘gut reaction’. I suppose could have approached the game more scientifically, but to do that I would have had to measure my progress in ‘sighs per hour.’

It isn’t all bad.

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Oh So Cinematic: The Elder Scrolls Online’s Launch Trailer

Zzzap!

Alien shapes swarm across a once-majestic landscape, now fractured and ruined. An endless battlefield unfolds before our eyes. A struggle against surely-impossible odds, yet camaraderie pulls us together. Death. Chaos. Madness. We field terrible weapons which may save the day but at what cost to our our humanity? From all this, a lone hero rises, the only one who can save us all.

The Elder Scrolls Online, you may have heard, launched on Friday. Our crack reviewer is still reviewing away (we slide a kipper under the locked door every time we hear Brendan’s typing slow) so we can’t tell you what it’s like quite yet, but we can show you a cinematic trailer accompanying the launch and speculate about what it’d like to be.

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Hands On: The First Few Hours Of Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online (“The” optional) is out in April. That’s quite soon! So over the last few days Bethesda have opened it up to allow some journalists in, to have a poke around. I’ve played up to level 7, so far, which isn’t enormously far in, but does represent that crucial opening five or six hours. And I’m here to tell you all about them.

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The Elder Scrolls Online Is Really Very Expensive

Good gravy, Zenimax must have a lot of money. (Which only fits my firm belief that a company with a name like that is going to be behind the great zombie outbreak.) A sprinkling of their vast coffers has been used to create a very luscious cinematic for The Elder Scrolls Online, featuring your mum as the big baddie. They release this to mark the announcement of an Imperial Edition of the forthcoming MMO, a “premium collector’s edition”, or as I like to call them, The Expensive Ones For Mad People. Except, bloody hell, this game’s going to be expensive for everyone.

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Avoid Strolls In The Elder Scrolls: New TESO Video

Now, where did we park our ship... ?
Sage, Konkle & Crenshaw sounds like a folk band–and who am I to say they aren’t–but they are also three developers working on The Elder Scrolls Online. The three of them banded together, as folk tend to do in MMOs, and recorded a little play session, showing-off a little bit of the game’s group content. I love wandering the worlds Bethesda builds, but when a game includes most of Tamriel, being able to easily and swiftly team up with friends is definitely a plus.
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The Elder Scrolls Will Go Online On….

…DAHN DAHN DAHN…. April 4, 2014. There, look, I know was a big old tease in the headline but at least I didn’t make you wait long, did I? 4/4/14 is indeed the release date for Bethesda’s MMO adaptation of The Elder Scrolls RPG series, and that’s for PC and Mac – next Jennifer systems will follow in June.

Here’s a PVP trailer, too.
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Elder Scrolls Online’s Skill System Lets You Be Everything

Except a giant alligator monster. Probably.

When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a fireman and an astronaut and a cowboy and a monster truck and Batman and a shoe and a barn and a machine that could produce infinite popsicles and the head of a moderately successful middle management firm. Eventually, however, I realized that I’d have to settle on just one thing, so I decided that I hated money and became a games journo. The Elder Scrolls Online, however, ties no such noose of practicality around the neck of your dreams. Given time and exploration, you can be everything. Video detailing how it all works below.

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In Your Face: Character Creation In Elder Scrolls Online

Why yes, you're correct: I haven't blinked in my entire life! How could you tell?

How do you take your Elder Scrolls characters? Green? Purple? Thick? Lean? With one lump or two hundred disfiguring scars and gashes? These are questions you should probably begin asking yourself – at least, if you plan on playing The Elder Scrolls Online when it launches next year. True to Elder Scrolls tradition, the big, hopefully not bad MMO spin-off will allow for character customization out the wazoo, which sounds really painful. In reality, however, it looks like quite a pleasant feature, although the series’ history of bizarre, uncanny valley unfriendly faces might have a thing or two to say about that. Venture into this post’s frigid southern reaches for a video.

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Tête à Tête: TESO Team Talk Alliance PvP


TESO‘s single player was a little underwhelming when I played it at Gamescom. Sure, it looked like Skyrim, but I suspect that’s probably the wrong message to be sending. My feeling is that TESO needs to be its own game, and by mimicking Skyrim it’s sleepwalking into trouble. Rather than attempting to trade on Skyrim’s success, it needs to be setting out its own stall to the MMO crowd, and doing so on its own. One area it might do this is in PvP, which is increasingly sounding like the most interesting area of the project. In a recent Q&A the team have started going into some details, and they sounds like My Sort Of Thing.

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Zounds! – Elder Scrolls Online To Be Subscription-Based

These are harsh lands, but I am confident that they will not monetize me. At least there is that.

Hello! Welcome to Bizarro Land. In this reality, I’m British, everyone else is American, my hair is flat and lacking in ambition, Jim hates both snazzy hats and robots, John is an adorable kitten, Adam is very mean and also 100 stories tall, Horace IS FINITE, and Alec is still on parental leave… for a brood of fire-puking spider demons (who strongly dislike repeating game titles over and over and over and Space Hulk). Also, two MMOs announced that they’re embracing the all-but-dead art that is the monthly subscription model in the same week. First it was Wildstar, and now it’s The Elder Scrolls Online. Head below for details while I stop John from spitting up on the rug again.

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Mushroom Kingdoms: The Elder Scrolls Online

Oh, The Elder Scrolls Online, now is really not the right time for this sort of behaviour. I see you there, in your thirty minute long QuakeCon presentation, and I can’t deny that I was pleased to see it embroidered with mushrooms and mounts, but my mind is still full of Everquest Next. Maybe it’s just bad timing. Had it been another day, I might not have looked the other way. Chances are I would have done though. That said, toward the end of the video, a player mounts a monster’s head on a spike. That’s new, I think. Although, disturbingly, heads on spikes instantly remind make me think of John Romero. Has there ever been a greater example of the form?

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Kwama Shawarma: Elder Scrolls Online First-Person Cam

It’s thanks to the heightened perception stat of PCGamesN that I’m able to point you toward footage of the first-person combat in The Elder Scrolls Online. Previous videos favoured a third-person approach to swordplay and spell-lobbing, which caused much disgruntlement, so perhaps this short clip will manage a degree of regruntling? I actually saw the short clip twice and didn’t notice the first-person sections at all because they’re the same muddy-brown brawl as the rest, except with some swords occasionally swinging at the fore of the screen. The target of those swords are a clan of kwama, as the dev post accompanying the video explains: “The kwama, which you’ll recognize if you played Morrowind, are insectoid creatures you’ll encounter in three forms in ESO: the scrib, the worker, and the warrior.” Scribblenauts!

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Gambon! The Elder Scrolls Goes Online Next Spring

John Hurt (maybe) earlier, Michael Gambon now… It’s only a matter of time before we get Derek Jacobi narrating a trailer for FIFA 2014, or Simon Callow talking about Call of Duty. Gammbers, the Singing Detective and Dumbledore himself, is here today to talk to us about The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda’s MMO adaptation of their until now distintively singleplayer Tamriel-set RPGs.
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Hands-on: The Elder Scrolls Online


The Elder Scrolls Online is in the unusual (and perhaps unenviable) position of having to appeal to two kinds of player – fans of the Elder Scrolls series and fans of the MMO. It would be silly to argue against the suspicion that, at a certain point, these two groups must overlap. It’s that sweet spot of the Venn diagram that Zenimax is pitching to with its foray into the lots-of-people-fighting-at-once genre. It has already been pointed out that TESO looks to be leaning towards the tried and tested techniques of the MMO, rather than forging a distinct multiplayer world from Elder Scroll conventions, a la the broken yet personable Mortal Online. Having recently had a brief wander in Tamriel, it does seem to us that, as a game, it is certainly more World of Warcraft than Skyrim. Even if it does pay tribute to its forebears in terms of lore and world-building.
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Yours For The Looting: Elder Scrolls Online’s Exploration

It is also yours for the lute-ing.

I must (and have previously, and will continue to) admit that I wasn’t overly impressed by what I played of The Elder Scrolls Online. One thing that did take me by surprise, however, was all the random doodads lying around that I could just snatch up. One by one, bristling baskets of apples went right into my increasingly delicious pocket. Bread loaves, too. Oh, and bottles and lighting fixtures, because why not? I guess they were all for crafting, but I was just trying to fulfill my gamerly dream of possessing all objects. The latest Elder Scrolls Online video delves into all that and more, which is nice since these are kind of Elder Scrolls cornerstones. And it all looks quite attractive, too! I continue to worry, though, that Zenimax may not entirely be getting the point.

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Cold Day In Hell: Elder Scrolls Online’s Evil Oblivion Plane

This could be you!

[This Elder Scrolls Online post/travel brochure brought to you by Got Your Soul Industries, a subsidiary of Molag Bal, the daedric trickster god.]

COME TO PLEASANTLY BREEZY COLDHARBOUR. Bring your kids! Bring your significant other! Bring your brittle, tenuously tethered soul… wimsuit! Bring your swimsuit. Yes. You thought Skyrim was Tamriel’s number one destination for snow-coated outdoor fun? YOU THOUGHT WRONG AND YOUR LIFE IS FORFEIT. Um, we mean, clearly you haven’t traveled to other planes of existence. You should be more adventurous. Plus, for you native Morrowindians, our trees are all snaky and weird, and you’re in no very little danger of being shouted off a cliff by some crazed dragon hunter. So come join us in Coldharbour, whether you want to ski, snowboard, or have front row seats for the coming End Of Days. We promise, we don’t bite. (Disclaimer: except for Xzanlthor’phlaranx, Dreugh lord of a thousand pointy mouths. He has been known to bite occasionally.)

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Zenimax On TESO’s First-Person Mode, Mudcrab Armies

I recently ventured to Zenimax Online’s mighty fortress in the fantastical kingdom of Baltimore, and I was very good. I only spent 40 percent of the time incessantly quoting The Wire. When not explaining to random passers-by why you best not miss when you come at the king, I even played some videogames! Specifically, The Elder Scrolls Online, because Zenimax kinda makes that and stuff. I did, however, come away with quite a sizable list of concerns, as this one’s DNA struck me as decidedly more MMO than TES. But a promising-looking first-person mode suggests Zenimax is paying attention to the wishes of the fantasy titan’s truly colossal fanbase, so I decided to air my grievances directly. Click past the break for lead gameplay designer Nick Konkle’s responses to Zenimax’s almost comically abrupt turnaround on first-person, TESO’s ability (or lack thereof) to replicate the moments of AI-driven randomness TES players so love, PvP’s potential for maniacal politicking, the open class system, and – of course, most importantly – mudcrabs. Mudcrabs, mudcrabs, and more mudcrabs.

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Zenimax: Elder Scrolls Online Will Become More Open

For me, going hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online yielded a dishearteningly un-Elder-Scrolls-y experience in places. Admittedly, however, it was only the first few hours, and – even in rooms so quiet that everyone angrily shushes mice for skittering by – MMOs don’t generally demo well. With those things in mind, I aired some of my concerns to the game’s developers – the full results of which you’ll see at lunch today. For now, though, here’s the big one: Why does everything feel so rigid? Where’s the organic madness, the giants playing continental golf-hockey with wolves, pelting me with pelts while I fearlessly press on in a single cardinal direction, constantly stumbling into random adventure? Why not replicate that openness with actual, you know, people instead of NPCs? As part of a group interview, creative director Paul Sage explained the rather large gulf between the two experiences.

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What Happens If You Play Elder Scrolls Online Like Skyrim?

The Elder Scrolls is kind of an odd series, when you think about it. As players, we expect that we should be able to fly careening off-rails from the get-go, ignoring whatever fantasy story domino chain the writers have conjured up in favor of venturing off into any three-eyed gorilla murder cave we please. “Fuck being the hero,” we say. “I’m gonna punch horses until an army of hooved hellions chases me across the countryside.” But the very fact that Bethesda’s games actually allow for that is a key reason many of us love them so much. So then, with TES charging into MMO territory under Zenimax Online’s steady whip, can it hope to adapt the elements that keep the series from simply blending in with a suffocatingly samey fantasy pack? I ventured to Zenimax’s frigid Baltimorian lair and went hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online to find out.

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Big Hands I Know You’re The One: TESO’s 1st Person Cam

Is this an official screenshot? It's impossible to tell

We’ve got acres of Elder Scrolls Online coverage due to hit you in the face (n.b. this is an analogy for ‘reading words on a screen’ – RPS solemnly pledges not to hit any of its readers in the face) later today and tomorrow, as Nathan’s just got back from playing it, but lest it be drowned out by wordsplosion, it’s worth stating THE BIG LOUD NOISY HEADLINE on its own too. Which is that Bethesda have reinstated an Elder Scrolls-traditional first-person mode into their MMO. The internet got pretty internetty when the game was initially revealed to be lacking this TES mainstay, but now it’s back in there, visible hands and all.
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