Bethesda’s PlayStation 4 port of “The Elder Scrolls Online” doesn’t feel too multi-player friendly at first play.
After garnering middling reviews on the PC last year, “The Elder Scrolls Online” makes its PlayStation 4 debut and after ten hours of gameplay, it’s easy to see why.
While ESO is enjoyable to play and a game that fans of the series can jump right into, it’s not necessarily an upgrade. Essentially every element of the game is solid, but it’s not a step in a bold new direction. If anything, it almost feels as if the “Elder Scrolls” formula, specifically “Skyrim” (thanks to a similar camera) has been dumbed down a bit for more people to enjoy.
Taking place 1,000 years before “Skyrim,” the story is perhaps the coolest part of the game. It’s cool to see characters that were a mere footnote in previous versions of the game. At the same time, the “wake up somewhere and not know who are” story beginning is played out and done before, especially in this series. This was a problem that the original version of the game had and it obviously hasn’t been changed in the port. Regardless of the things that couldn’t have been changed, it’s easy to see that the game controls well on the PS4 controller, feeling as if it was made specifically for it. While many will complain that the menu is disorganized, making things like the mail service, a bit more difficult to find, everything, for the most part, is right where it needs to be.
Visually, the game is on the same level as the games released on the PlayStation 3- some may even say that away from the camera view, EOS looks more like “Oblivion” than “Skyrim.” That’s not to say that you won’t enjoy walking by a beach town or through a sunny desert, but you’ll never be wowed. For a game so large in terrain, seeing all of the sights is supposed to be one of the best things going for it. Instead, the prize feature in the game ends up being the leveling up system, which like PC version allows you to develop a cool character and easily assign abilities, making combat, which already controls beautifully, extra gratifying. After a few levels, adding a few abilities to your character and unleashing some brutality is the best part of the game.
In terms of sheer weaknesses, the ESO map is easily the worst feature in the game. With so many icons on the map, sometimes finding where you need to be is too difficult. It gets to the point where you know you’re right where you need to be, but not exactly where you need to be. At some points, you’ll just want to cut your losses and sign off.
But then here’s the caveat. Through the first few days of gameplay and even as we write this, signing on isn’t exactly easy. On day one, signing on was a hassle and even now, you can be placed in a queue where you can wait up to a half-hour to get into the game. Once online, you don’t have to play with anyone. either It’s not mandatory. While playing with your friends and using the headsets to chat is a blast and works well, hearing other people talk in area chat and seeing random players walking through your screen isn’t a fun experience. Simply put, this game didn’t need to be online to work. With a lengthy story and plenty to see and do, it would have been fun enough as a scaled down “Elder Scrolls” adventure before “Fallout 4” or the first “real” “Elder Scrolls” experience on the PlayStation 4.
Only more gameplay will indicate if “The Elder Scrolls Online” is the game that makes the MMORPG viable on the PlayStation 4, but after our initial play through, it’s obvious that the game although solid, doesn’t necessarily capture the essence of a multi-player online experience.
Have you played “The Edler Scrolls Online” yet? If so, what do you think? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know.