developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Game mode: massive online multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet
The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO game which action takes place in the world The Elder Scrolls series. A team of 250 of ZeniMax Online Studios has been working on the game since 2007.
The action takes place a thousand years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The story revolves around the pact that was signed between the Thern family and the powerful necromancer, Mannimarco. This agreement is related to an attempt to recover the power that the Empire had lost and to extend its influence further. The aristocracy of the continent of Tamriel do not know, however, that Mannimarco formed an alliance with a powerful demon, Molag Bal, whose goal is to seize control over the world. Thanks to this dark alliance, the fallen heroes can be brought back to life and keep on fighting battles. The developers intend the game’s plot to be a prelude to a much more complex one.
The players can choose the faction their character will belong to. There are three factions, each of those fights the Empire and is in possession of a powerful army. These factions are Ebonheart Pact (consisting of Nords, Dunmer and Argonian), Dominion Aldmeru (Salache, Bosmeri and Khajiit), and Daggerfall Covenant (Orcs, Bretons, Redgards). The ultimate goal of theirs is to conquer the Empire’s capital. The leader of the successful faction will be made the emperor and will obtain special privileges. In addition, the protagonist can join one of several organizations of characters with appropriate skills. These include Mages, Thieves, and Warriors guilds.
The game’s world, which the player can freely explore without hurry, is much bigger than that of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. As a result, for the first time in the history of the series, the players can, for example, visit the motherland of the Khajiit race – Elsweyr. The gameplay itself resembles a mix of similar MMO titles with the existing style of The Elder Scrolls. The players take quests and that way they learn about the events which the primary and secondary plots are made of. The developers put a strong emphasis on random events that can happen to the player’s character at any time, for example, an unexpected bandit attack.
The combat system, which is the crucial element of The Elder Scrolls games, is based on the one known from the single-player installments of the series – the left mouse button is attack, the right is block. This makes The Elder Scrolls Online much more attractive and dynamic than traditional MMORPGs. The ZeniMax Online studio created a hero development system inspired by The Elder Scrolls series and MMORPG games. Characters still practice the skills they use the most but the experience points were also introduced. The PvP mode is worthy of mention, as well. The players can take part in capturing castles and fortresses with the use of siege engines or take over mines, farms, etc. Up to 200 players can participate up to 200 players.
The game graphics looks fantastic, and at first glance resembles the one known from MMOs such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, or Everquest II. A notheworthy fact is that all the dialogues and speeches in the game were recorded in audio format.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz / AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz, 8 GB RAM, graphic card 2 GB GeForce GTX 750 / Radeon HD 7850 or better, 85 GB HDD, Windows 7 64-bit
Minimum: Intel Core i3-540 3.06 GHz / AMD A6-3620 2.2 GHz, 3 GB RAM, graphic card 1 GB GeForce GTX 460 / Radeon HD 6850 or better, 85 GB HDD, Windows 7 64-bit