Well, Eurogamer is over, and we’ve not heard a lot of official news regarding The Elder Scrolls Online, but that doesn’t mean some of the people who gave it a whirl aren’t talking. I gave a visit to our friendly, neighborhood subreddit and got some impressions for you all to digest:
Hello fello ESO Fans and today I can finally say I played eso and god damn it was good, im gonna try to make this as in depth as possible for you guys, so lets start!
Lets start of with the graphics, I have no idea what anybody had to complain about they were beautiful and IN MY OPINION kicked Skyrim’s arse. The game-play was smooth and fluent and once you get a hang on the skill point system its very easy to use the UI is very basic and feels like a TES game, you had the quest you were doing at the top right and text bottom left which faded after a while, and to communicate with someone btw you go near them hold f and there are multiple options such as add to group add friend or whisper and to chat you press enter type what you want and press enter again to send.
Pretty positive sounding. This brings up a rather contentious point that comes up on forums around the web – are the graphics good or bad? Judging from some of the official screenshots, they are fantastic. Then you see some official vids, and they aren’t so great. I hear some people report from conventions that the graphics are great, and others say they aren’t so hot. I think this might be one of those things that each fan is going to have decide on their own. The criteria is just too subjective; who knows what the opinion is based on and what the comparison is being made to. I suppose in this case it’s obvious, as the redditor announced that the graphics, “kicked Skyrim’s arse.”
Not all was sunshine and roses, though, Dyslexic-Dwarf had a bit more balanced review:
The HUD is nice, I was worried after seeing the instance video that Zeni released, I didn’t really like the look of it, it’s different now, and it’s nice. I was able to invite a fellow player into a party and I instantly noticed that his (still large) HP bar was a lot fainter than the previous videos I’ve seen. My brief toy around with the UI was pleasing, but I’d have liked more time.
The world is obviously very nice, I mean it is really, really nice. My friend & Guild mate was watching from outside the play area, and he said that it looks very boring and bland, I sort of have to agree with him, however, it’s the age old Elder Scrolls style, and without the headset on, he simply didn’t get the full experience. It is very, very immersive. Polar bears fighting in the distance, fish splashing in the water, trees rustling from the birds, you can hear it all.. it’s nice.
Unfortunately, this is where the positivity stops. The combat is horrid. It’s simply not very good. I don’t suppose we will see a Buff/Condition system implemented, which is fine with me, if not a little odd for an ‘MMO’. The 1 thing I noticed was that if a mob attacked me and a I blocked it, they would daze for a moment and that was indicated by a swirling above the mob’s head. That was about as far as it went, though. AOE attacks – you can’t add them, and just leave it like that. There was no indication whatsoever, not even so much as a marking on the ground or a different animation form the mob. Sometimes after blocking, my attack just would not work, I had to re-click on the left mouse button, which was too late and I’d already taken a lot of heat. The plus to come out of the combat is that it does feel very weighty, it turned my mouse into a big ol’ sword, they have done a good job on that end, BUT when you connect with a mob, the weight just doesn’t exist anymore. It’s very hard to explain, but it feels like you are swinging a huge heavy sword and putting all your strength into it, only to squash a pack of butter.
The depth of perception also sucks, I snook up behind a Wolf and attacked him, disregard the fact that it looked like I was nowhere near him, I killed him. I swung my sword way too early, and it still connected. It felt like I was a lot closer though. The 3rd person camera needs some serious work to get the depth right, and the 1st person camera needs all the clipping getting shut of.
Overall, the game looks fab, it’s going to please a lot of Elder Scrolls fans. It won’t please a vast majority of hardcore MMO fans. This game is not an MMO in the typical sense of the term, and that is clear. It really is The Elder Scrolls, online.. That being said, I’m still very much looking forward to trying the game again (Hence why I tried to Queue up again), I’d like to explore other areas of the game (UI etc). I’m going to reserve my final judgement until I have had a longer play time.
That doesn’t sound so great, especially the section on combat. Fortunately for those of us wannabe fans, there was another experienced redditor who replied with the following:
You never equipped an actual skill, and just used your weapon and the two mouse buttons. The ACTUAL combat involves 5 active skills + 1 ultimate + light attack / heavy attack + shield bash (RMB then LMB) + CC Break (LMB+RMB at the same time) + stamina resource maintenance + magicka resource maintenance + exploiting stunned enemies…. You didn’t get to actually experience the combat, you only got to experience the first 2% of what combat really is.
It seems to me that this game is a tough one to judge unless you’ve got it in your own hands for an extended period of time. Let’s be real – this MMO is supposed to be an epic journey through an epic world spanning 50 levels and PVP. Can a fair judgement really be made in a 20 minute game play sample? My mind remains open, and I’m still hoping we’ll get some more review material out of Eurogamer. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep you posted on any major developments. Fall is upon us, and I can’t help but imagine that Zenimax will be ramping their beta up as the end of the year draws near.