Hands-On With The Elder Scrolls Online

Today was awesome. Today was awesome because I spent about 35 minutes with The Elder Scrolls Online, and if it wasn’t the last day of E3 and I felt an urgent need to see a few last-minute titles (I’m looking at you, South Park: The Stick of Truth) I likely would still be playing RIGHT NOW.

As I’ve said before, the only real MMO experience I have is with World of Warcraft, but honestly I’m sorta-kinda over WoW (for the time being, at least). Maybe it’s the way I’m playing, but I find WoW doesn’t present much of a challenge, which makes the entire experience a semi-dull cakewalk. That combined with its repetitive nature and hard-to-follow storyline makes it difficult for me to stay hooked for too long. (Disclaimer: in about six months I’ll probably be addicted to WoW again.  It’s just the way the world works.)

Enter Elder Scrolls Online. This visually stunning, tactical MMO is something I need permanently in my life. During my demo I encountered the usual fetch quests and mythical monsters, but I also encountered a level-up system tailored to unique personalization, real-time tactical combat (including dodging) and sexy-ass water. (Seriously, this game is beautiful and I spent several minutes staring at the liquid goodness alone.) But back to the combat: in my demo, I played as a shield and sword wielding biznatch. By left clicking on the mouse, I would perform a standard attack — clicking and HOLDING would perform a stronger attack — and right clicking brought up my shield. I was told players are actually punished for button mashing (hello, terrible habit I formed from WoW) and are rewarded “finesse” bonuses if the battle is skillfully won. In short, you can kiss goodbye to that 1-10 button mashing technique: it is  not welcome here.

elder scroll


Finally, I loved loved loved the dialogue! Every line was voice acted (and acted well, I might add) and the option to grill every NPC for additional (albeit unnecessary) information presented itself, something fans of lore (like myself) greatly appreciate. Unfortunately time was restricted so I wasn’t able to squeeze information out of NPCs — AKA I don’t have a firm grasp on the story, or exactly what was going on — but even so  I cannot WAIT for Elder Scrolls to become a thing I can play at will. I just hope to God I’m accepted into the Beta! (You know, the thing I applied for BACK IN MARCH BETHESDA.)

Also: My character’s name was Buttsecks McGee. From what I hear it was quite the hit in the Bethesda booth after my departure.

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