Here’s a quick look at the huge new zone added in the latest expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online.
At this point The Elder Scrolls Online is essentially a completely different game to the one that launched back in 2014. After somewhat rocky beginnings the MMO managed to stabilize itself as a sturdy, engaging and fun pay-to-play MMO without a subscription – just buy the game once and you’re set to get stuck into its content, which varies from typical multiplayer MMO shenanigans down to more typically Elder Scrolls style single-player quest lines.
After a successful outing in Morrowind, ESO is moving on by revisiting another classic Elder Scrolls location – Summerset Isle, first featured in 1994’s The Elder Scrolls Arena. Arena was obviously a very different kind of game, but the new MMO version of Summerset keeps the landmass recognizable and features a good number of nice little nods for Elder Scrolls lore nerds, though it’s also built to be completely friendly to new players, too – something which Bethesda confirmed when the expansion was announced a few weeks ago.
The above video features us just riding one of the all-new mounts being added to ESO around some of the absolutely huge landmass being added to the game. Summerset is a pretty big location in general, featuring lots of smaller townships, caves, new characters and factions to meet, plus a huge new city which we briefly run around in the video. Given we had a limited time to explore Summerset, we spend this in-game night dashing from one side of the island to the other, but the point is pretty obvious: this is a sizable zone full of content, and even in the early, slightly janky development build we got to play, it was absolutely filled with charm.
Summerset has a sort of verticality to it that many of the existing zones in The Elder Scrolls Online lack, best exemplified in its capital city, a sort of multi-leveled town that’s built up around a towering castle. It’s particularly cool looking, and it should prove a nice change of scenery for existing players.
Newcomers will get something out of Summerset, too, since like Morrowind the expansion will include a full set of introduction and tutorial missions set in the new areas. This basically means that if you arrive to the game with Summerset or start a new character, you can go through the introductory phases of the game with a special zone-unique intro sequence and mission strand where a strange woman known as Oriandra seems to have great things in store for you. This leads to a new, fully-featured plot line unique to Summerset.
If you’re coming to it as an experienced player you can instead hop straight into that storyline, while new players will likewise be able to travel back to older areas of ESO and experience those stories and quests adjusted to fit their character level. All told it seems like a pretty good deal – which was true of ESO with Morrowind, to be honest. More content is never a bad thing, and we’re looking forward to giving Summerset a proper run once it launches in May. If you’re already sold, Bethesda has pre-order bonuses and a nifty collector’s edition ready for your attention.