Published on June 21st, 2015 | by James Wright0
Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited XBox One Review
Summary: The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited is a fun experience on the XBox One but without the amazing PC graphics but perfect console gameplay
It’s been quite a journey for both ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda to take their epic MMORPG to next-gen consoles and even though there’s been a few launch issue hiccups, Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited is finally here. Given that, Impulse Gamer were also given the opportunity to test out the XBox One version and thankfully the server issues have been minimal for us as we explore this beautiful and intricate online world. Okay… there’s been a touch of lag but that’s probably because of our Australian location.
For those who played the PC instalment of Elder Scrolls, you can import your character to the console version but for me, it was a brand new experience with quite a journey ahead of me. Another interesting feature of the game is that Bethesda has removed the subscription element of the game but you still need a valid XBox Gold subscription to play it. That’s good on one hand, however premium transactions are still included for those that want to skip part of the grind. As a comparison, the game definitely feels like Skyrim or even The Witcher to some extent given the amount of freedom and if you’re a loner, the game can be played solo but it’s definitely more fun teaming up with other players.
In terms of characters available for the player, Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited boast the Dragonknight, Sorcerer, Templar and Nightblade which each resemble a certain archetype from Dungeons & Dragons but all characters can share the same weapons and armour. So being able to wear armour that was once intended for “tanks” is perfect for Sorcerers that even allows you to “level-up” these items as well. It also creates this new strategy for RPG unlike the standard classes.
Newcomers will appreciate that the game does not throw you into the deep end and the first 10 levels in the game does serve as a good tutorial system as you learn the mechanics of the game, especially the combat system. There’s also plenty of quests and players to be found which does create this great living, breathing community. The only steep learning curve is probably your ability, skills and statistics menus but after a few days of play, this should become second nature to you. In terms of skills and abilities for your characters, it’s quite a mixed bag like racial skills, weapons and even world skills.
Quests are quite varied such as traditional fest quests, saving people and some important ones like stopping dark rituals and the like. All quests feel quite solid and nothing is too forced and it really brings something to the table to create a great interactive RPG experience. As RPG’s have come a long way from classes, the Elder Scroll Online does move with the postmodernist approach to characters where your avatar is given access to all weapons and armour in the game, without being limited to class. Sure, class does play an important role but the developers definitely allow you to flesh out your character without these constraints.
For those players that love crafting, this game supports an in-depth crafting system which allows you to create a vast array of items from weapons to potions and even food for your character. You can then trade these items through the lands of Tamriel to further develop your character. Player interaction also feels better on the Xbox One compared to the PC because you can use voice chat to interact with others that is definitely needed in some of the PvP areas of the game.
Given that the console version of Elder Scrolls Online is based on the PC version which used a keyboard mouse combination, the developers have successfully mapped the controls onto the XBox One controller and for the most part, it works well. Some of the options are hidden in the menus but once you familiarise yourself with the controls and the layout, navigating the game will come naturally… eventually. The highlight of the controls is the combat mechanics which makes battling your enemies a relatively flawless experience, especially dodging and even pick pocketing characters. With that said, I personally feel that the controls are more sturdy on the XBox One because everything is one place, opposed to a mouse and keyboard combination.
For purists, the story of Elder Scrolls Online takes place 1,000 years before the cataclysmic events of The Elder Scrolls V as war prepares to grip Tamriel in its unholy hand. As a result, three alliances have emerged as they attempt to gain the upper hand on their enemies for control but in the shadows, a new evil arises with that of Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement. The game also starts in a classic cliff-hanger fashion and players are attempting to escape the nefarious dungeon of Coldharbour which then starts the game for the player in one of three lands.
Graphically, Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited is a good looking game on the XBox One that successfully recreates the wonders of the PC version but definitely pales in comparison, especially with the pop-up and reduced draw distance. The world is detailed, interactive and really creates this otherwordly experience. However with that said, Elder Scrolls Online can look a little dated at times, especially when compared to non MMO games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Dragon Age 3 which create a very stark comparison.
It should also be noted that given the online aspect of MMO’s, developers still have a way to go before creating something similar. Nonetheless, it still looks good from the realistic lighting, shadows, weather and of course, the diverse characters and enemies that you meet. Another feature is just how massive the world is, it’s amazingly big and it gives the player some unparalleled freedom of exploration. Lastly, you have the audio that features some great voice acting, sound effects and a very fitting interactive soundtrack.
Sure, Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited has been on the PC for awhile now and although the graphics may not match the PC version, it’s definitely a far smoother experience in terms of gameplay and ZeniMax Online Studios should be commended on creating a great control system that really makes this a sturdy MMORPG experience on the XBox One. The only cost that you need is a valid Xbox Gold account and most players can dodge the premium transaction aspect of the game if they want too.
Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited XBox One
Primary Format – Games – XBox One
Game Genre – Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
Rating – M
Game Developer – ZeniMax Online Studios
Game Publisher – Bethesda Softworks
Reviewer – James Wright