Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Consoles: Xbox One (Reviewed), PS4, PC
Publisher: ZeniMax Online Studios
Developer: Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Online Studios
The Elder Scrolls Online endured a rocky launch and foray into the proceeding months on PC platforms. Those who have dedicated themselves to making the most of this massive MMO have already staked their claim in the world of Tamriel. Now that the console port of the game has released in the form of Tamriel Unlimited, Xbox One and PS4 owners can now do the same. And what makes this experience simpler to deal with is its non-subscription based gameplay.
Right off the bat, it must be noted that there were severe log-in issues and cases of lag/crashing during launch week. The time it takes to delve into this MMO and finally get your character created may be problematic for some, especially during high peak hours on the servers. Finally getting past the queue wait screen, developing your chosen avatar and being revived in Coldharbour to start your journey is riveting. Moving around the environment with a gamepad and doing battle by utilizing the shoulder buttons feels great. The console control layout works perfectly and should instantly be familiar to Skyrim players. Special moves are tied to a hotkey bar, but are much easier to activate due to them being tied to the face buttons.
Picking your preferred faction leads you on three separate paths through the entirety of the game. The many different towns, caves, forests and other types of locations within this MMO are full of side missions to tackle. The main story mission brings you along easily and holds your hand for a bit as you look to understand the intricacies of each complex system. Some missions are way better than others, though. There are instances where you’ll grow bored with many of the tedious missions thrown your way. Managing your character through the many sub-menus is easy to navigate since they’re comparable to Skyrim’s setup. It may be daunting at first to configure your items and power up your character’s skills, but at least its easy enough to grasp after a while.
The world you inhabit is vast and ever reaching, but its far from pretty. Many of the locations you enter are easy to tell the differences between, but the lackluster visuals don’t do them any favors. The console versions look decent at best when compared to its PC brethren. Some of the scenery and its elements stands out in certain areas, while most of them appear unexciting and repetitive in the several locales. The many avatars running around in one area tends to make the game chug along slowly at times, plus you may encounter game crashes from time to time.
This is an MMO, so you’ll truly appreciate it when you’re playing alongside loyal party members. While its still fun to go exploring on your own and follow your main storyline to the end, your true enjoyment of the game will arrive with other questers in tow. A feeling of ultimate gratification will hit you when several other warriors join in your fight against powerful foes. Voice chat is the main feature included for the console versions, yet the lack of a text chat option hurts the human interaction element. It’s needlessly tougher to interact with guilds and invite players into your session with no way to type out your inquiries.
Even with the issues at hand, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited features that same addictive gameplay that will push you to do everything thrown your way. The mechanics that worked in Skyrim work just as well in this MMO take on the series. Pulling off a myriad of actions lends more experience to your skills, plenty of NPC’s and human players make each area feel alive and the 1st-person battles are intense. But its easy to see that this MMO doesn’t quite measure up to its competitors, due to the small problems that plague it.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited arrives on consoles with a solid port. The easier controls make venturing into its near endless mission structure simpler to grasp. This MMO is packed with enough quality content for both single and multiplayer minded players. However, there are some nagging issues at hand that hamper the overall experience. The visuals are decent but not amazing, some missions can be a bit repetitive and unexciting and the non-text chat option hampers the PVP experience. Truly dedicated fans of The Elder Scrolls will enjoy this fresh start on consoles. For everyone else, there are better PC and console MMO’s out there to jump into.
- The world of Tamriel is massive and is chock full of fun activities
- The human player interaction and single player elements are strong on both ends
- The use of a gamepad makes this entry more approachable and easier to navigate for console owners
- Visuals aren’t too impressive on current-gen consoles
- The lack of a text chat option hinders the PVP experience
- Some of the environments look too similar, plus some missions can be tedious and boring