The Elder Scrolls – one of the biggest and well known game franchises, which started back in 1994 with The Elder Scrolls: Arena, followed by four sequels with last biggest installment Skyrim, released in 11.2012. Online – a modern word in today’s gaming scene, which sells by presumption. But would this symbiosis be enough? Would it worth it and meet gamers’ expectations?
Well, I never thought I would be a huge MMO fan until a friend of mine offered me to try World of Warcraft (WOW) in the cold Winter of early 2007. Back then, as my exams of the university have just passed, and I had about 2 weeks free time, I’ve decided to give it a try. I still remember that time – getting out of the warm bed by 11, playing for straight 2 or 3 hours, a short break as my stomach reminded me of its existence and needs, than again couple of more hours in front of the PC, small evening snack and back in Azeroth until 4 hours past midnight. And so on until the 14 days trial ended and I got an idea, how actually zombie apocalypses start, as I almost turned into a walking (or non-stop gaming) corpse.
This pretty unhealthy way of life didn’t last long as lectures began, I started my first job, but my WOW ‘career’ lasted for good 4 years with couple of brakes, until game’s magic just wore off and I quit. However my love for MMOs didn’t die with quitting WOW and I gave couple of more games a good try – Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2. I again felt the magic, but it was not as it used to be with WOW. May be it was just me, who grew older or it was life, which turned to be more serious as it seemed back as an university student.
Apologies for this lyrical digression. I mean I have quite the experience with MMOs and keep an eye on most new MMO releases recently – Star Wars: The Old Republic, Tera, Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World. Not counting Guild Wars 2, which started as free-to-play, all of the others turned into such (although there are still options or content you could or even must pay in order to enjoy the game). And now, when it slowly starts to look out, that (subscription) MMOs are into a state of decay, we will receive The Elder Scrolls Online.
I think, that in order the game to be successful, it should bring something really new. But checking the site (http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/) and couple of (early builds) gameplay videos I don’t believe it would turn into something special. We have (this time) 3 opposing factions, territory fights and for sure – bland and typical MMO’ish type of quests. May be, the only fresh and new invention seems to be the option to become an emperor of all Tamriel. Even the most distinct features of the series won’t be present – 1st person view, no daedric artefacts, no transformation into a warewolf or vampire, no radiant AI, no option to buy a house. So, it seems it is actually only Tamriel and its lore which make this game worth of the name Elder Scrolls.
I really don’t want to be a prophet, but if you like the Elder Scrolls and MMOs but you can’t afford paying monthly subscription, but really want to try out this game, just wait for 9 months after its release. If at the time there are more than 5 active servers my best bet is that it would be already free to play. And if you don’t want to wait until then and would like to give it a try as soon as possible, you can sign up for the beta here – http://signup.elderscrollsonline.com/. Feel free to leave a comment below of what it really looks like.
P.S. Because I really don’t want it to sound so negative at the end, I would like to share the recently released cinematic, which is really long, beautiful and really masterfully animated. Enjoy: