The Elder Scrolls Online combines all the lands of the Elder Scrolls role playing games, into one huge massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Unlike previous games like Skyrim or Oblivion, you can now adventure in Tamriel with your friends and other players online.
The whole of Tamriel lies before you
Like other MMORPGs, you begin with character creation, choosing your sex, race, class and so on. Afterwards you are free to roam the huge world of Tamriel, with its islands, forests, deserts and snowy areas. The Elder Scrolls Online looks and feels like a real Elder Scrolls game - early worries that the game would feel bland and watered down can be dismissed.
As you explore, you'll pick up quests along the way, and it feels much less like you are being guided by the hand than one of its contemporaries such as World of Warcraft. This freedom also means you can easily find yourself unprepared for battles in which you will have to retreat until you have enough experience to fight.
Combat feels good whether you're fighting a monster or another player. There's also plenty of options for crafting your own weapons and armor. You can choose a first person view, or an over the shoulder third person view. Blocking and attacking feels smooth, and requires some player skill, not just an accumulation of experience points. As the world is so huge, you will probably want to buy a horse to make the distances more manageable.
This feels like an Elder Scrolls game
The graphics look stunning, with some really beautiful scenery that have excellent levels of detail. The way the light plays through trees is very pretty, while buildings look suitably dirty and medieval. The day/night cycle and weather also help The Elder Scrolls Online feel like a living place.
Dungeons are a little less impressive, but it seems like Zenimax took early criticisms on board and have put more variety into their design. If you don't want to play with friends, there is plenty to do on your own which also helps to make it feel like a traditional Elder Scrolls experience.
A worthy challenger and great adventure
The Elder Scrolls Online isn't a perfect MMORPG, but it's a good start that does justice to the 20-year old series.