|Platform||XB1, PS4, PC|
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Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series needs no introduction. What does need an introduction, however, is the fact that The Elder Scrolls Online is finally taking the experience (you guessed it) online. This marks the first time in Elder Scrolls‘ long history that players no longer have to go it alone—something we’ve all thought about it at one point or another, especially when traversing particularly nasty underground caverns in Skyrim and feeling grossly outnumbered. Elder Scrolls Online‘s E3 2013 presence was all about getting some hands-on time. Not only were you able to create a character using one of three available races, you were also given a small area of the map to explore and peruse at your leisure. Oh, and did I mention fighting your way through an underground labyrinth alongside friends?
While I’m not a particularly savvy proponent of online games of this caliber, I have to say, my short time with The Elder Scrolls Online proved valuable. Those of you crying foul ought to know that I’ve sunk well over 40 hours into Skyrim and I’ve also played my share of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. With that being said, I walked away mostly—if not completely—impressed.
After quickly selecting my race (Orc) from the few available at E3, I hastily designed my character. I could’ve burned through an hour with the customization process, but I wanted to spend my time actually playing the game. Once the loading process was done, and all the bits and pieces were put together, seeing the world populated for the first time still manages to take your breath away. I couldn’t get over how beautiful everything looked, not to mention how vast the world is. When I asked the world’s size, ZeniMax lead PVP designer Brian Wheeler described it as “ridiculously big.” He went on to note that certain areas (land masses) take upwards of 30 minutes to run through. That’s plenty big enough for me.
For a game that boasts a staggering amount of gameplay time (120-220 hours), my twenty minutes seems like a mere crumb-sized morsel. But that’s all I needed to appreciate all the love that ZeniMax is putting into the game. It certainly seems they’re hitting all the right marks, and following suit with the notoriety the Elder Scrolls series is know for—and I wouldn’t expect anything less.