It's tempting to write off subscription MMOs completely, but there are some signs of life in the sector: Final Fantasy 14 is doing quite well, and the forthcoming WildStar is in the final stages of a persuasive charm offensive with the MMO community. But there are only fleeting signs of life in The Elder Scrolls Online itself - and few of them have anything to do with The Elder Scrolls. Maybe this grand project sounded like a good idea in 2007, but now it feels like a leftover obligation: a game no-one really asked for, and a flawed premise from the start.
A few well-designed systems struggle to overcome lifeless presentation. Capable, but ultimately hard to recommend.
ESO is missing the spark that got us lost in Skyrim and Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls Online immerses you in its intricate quests and fantasy landscapes, only to undercut its strengths at every turn.
Elder Scrolls Online doesn't tear down everything that came before in the MMO field and thrust the Elder Scrolls gameplay into the world of massively-multiplayer. In the end, the game is a theme park MMO in the standard World of Warcraft style, wearing the lore, characters, and locations of the Elder Scrolls universe. Visually, the game is consistent, but that consistency is boring and drab. The game itself is punctuated with exciting moments, but overall it's just above average and I have a hard time recommending that in a subscription MMO. If you're a big Elder Scrolls fan, give it a try. If not, there are better choices out there.
Personally as an MMO player, I think I'm mostly going to be putting my time in the near future into Final Fantasy XIV and WildStar until that happens.
[I]f you can stick through the starting areas to around Level 10, find several friends to group with, and stomach the litany of technical flaws, The Elder Scrolls Online will more than grow on you. Whether it remains that way will be determined when I review the endgame content more thoroughly several weeks from now.
Inferior to competitors and predecessors in every respect.
Where The Elder Scrolls Online fails is when it doesn't break enough from the traditional MMO formula, which is the same mistake other massively multiplayer games keep making, but the only places I've felt that weakness so far are in the monster behavior and quest systems. If the endgame and player-versus-player content I haven't gotten to yet also stick too close to typical MMO formulas, then it's going to be difficult for Bethesda to justify the cost of a subscription for The Elder Scrolls Online unless additional, fresh, and substantial story material is regularly added to the game for high-level players, maybe even on a monthly basis.
So here we are at the end of a very long review for a very big game, and the question of whether or not The Elder Scrolls Online has captured the magic of its single single contemporaries still remains to be answered. I think the framework is there, but there are some painful missteps that are holding it back. MMOs are a constantly evolving ecospace, so it's possible we'll get there, but for now I'll cautiously say…maybe.
The Elder Scrolls Online is a ton of fun in an outside-the-box sort of way. It can't seem to decide whether it wants to be single player or MMO, so be prepared for some in-between weirdness, but nothing that really detracts much from the experience. Between Guilds, crafting, PvP, and dungeons, it has all of the makings of a solid MMO.
The Elder Scrolls Online is a solid massively multiplayer online experience. There is a variety of content both in the adventure and player-versus-player modes. A lack of risk-taking in the genre formula, however, holds the game back from being innovative or unique. Fortunately, the Elder Scrolls setting and lore are presented perfectly in addition to including one of the best player-versus-player systems in an MMO. Fans of the Elder Scrolls series who can overlook a monthly subscription fee are sure to find plenty to enjoy on their online adventures in Tamriel.
Overall, Elder Scrolls Online does not revolutionize MMOs but is a solid entry in the genre. If you don't like MMOs or are getting burned out from them this probably won't change your mind, especially given its slow start. If you like the genre and also enjoy Elder Scrolls-style combat, however, then this game will likely be more your cup of tea.
By their very nature, MMO's evovle - but as it stands right now, The Elder Scrolls online isn't a worthwhile investment. If you're an Elder Scrolls fan, you might want to give it a try but I do think you may be a teeny bit disappointed. If you're an MMORPG fan, there are some ideas here that you will certainly like.
The Elder Scrolls Online isn't a terrible game, but its shortcomings make it impossible to recommend, especially considering the diverse options gamers have in the MMO marketplace. It's possible that future updates will make the game worth revisiting, but quite a bit of the core gameplay would need to change for that to be the case.
The Elder Scrolls Online combines the best of Elder Scrolls with the worst of the MMO genre.
Playing The Elder Scrolls with your friends may sound like fun, but after playing a bit, you might just end up wishing for the sweet release of Oblivion.
The Elder Scrolls: Online is a nice distraction for fans of open world RPGs and MMOs alike, but there's not enough here to keep either crowd around for very long.