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Hands On Previews for The Elder Scrolls Online Coming In

by on February 7, 2014

Gaming press impressions of the The Elder Scrolls Online are now popping up all over the place.

The impressions are all over the place, too, ranging from “boring” to a “a lot of fun.”

One of the more positive previews comes from The Game Fanatics, which also posted the 10 minute preview video you see above. The Game Fanatics call The Elder Scrolls Online “better than Skyrim” and praised the combat.

“The best part of TESO is that the combat is vastly improved over Skyrim. This is largely because you can finally have more than just two things equipped at a time. You have your main weapon and 6 skills that can be used. This makes mages actually make sense (in Skyrim they felt odd because of only having a skill for each hand) and gives weapon based character some actual skills to use. This is exactly what needed to happen. Combat in Skyrim devolved into a giant mess of swinging axes and hurling fireballs. This, with the addition of competent skill trees, makes it feel relevant and also a lot of fun,” The Game Fanatics’ Ben Runnings wrote.

Although Runnings found several flaws with the game, he described the overall experience as a “great mix.”

“There is a lot to this game and I came away feeling very positive about it. Despite the problems or little nitpicks I had, I was still having a ton of fun exploring the world and fighting random creatures. It may not have been on my radar before but it is now. It was simply a lot of fun and that’s what games should be,” Runnings wrote.

Rock Paper Shotgun’s John Walker was quite a bit less impressed.

He said that although The Elder Scrolls Online’s PVE quests make an effort to be better than the standard MMO, “kill 10 of this” quest, they still can be “phenomenally dull.”

“At one point a boat’s captain asked me to find three of her missing crewmen. They were within her eyesight,” Walker wrote.

And unlike Runnings, Walker found the combat to be a letdown.

“There’s no impact to the combat, and while it shares The Secret World’s cone-of-attack dodging, it feels loose, flimsy and detached, like Elder Scrolls games don’t. Compared to MMOs, it’s regular, uninspired. Compared to the series from which this game spawns, it’s very disappointing,” Walker wrote.

Game Informer’s preview offers a bit more optimism, however, saying that although things start off a bit dull, they start to improve if you stick it out to higher levels.

“The experience was overwhelmingly positive in the new areas from levels 10-15 that it honestly feels like two different games. Combat becomes interesting and involved, with many abilities to choose from. Monsters become more exciting than the same humanoid in a cowl shooting fire for three hours. The characters that were annoying to meet in the beginning area begin to ooze flavor. Things get fun and interesting fast,” wrote Game Informer’s Daniel Tack.

If you want to check it out for yourself, beta keys are available either through signing up on theelderscrollsonline.com and waiting or, if you’re impatient, through a promotion on curse.com.

The Elder Scrolls Online releases to the PC and Mac on April 4, 2014 and to the Xbox One and PS4 in June of 2014.

Image from Game Informer.


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