Even in it’s most basic, vanilla form The Elder Scrolls Online was nothing short of a beast. An enormous open world awaited fans of fantasy that simply overflowed with elves, mages, warriors, and felines? Yes, felines. Elder Scrolls Online’s latest expansion, Elsweyr, puts its focus squarely on the feline-like Khajiit race, and the beautiful desert city of Rimmen.
Elder Scrolls fans have previously speculated that the mysterious and unusual Khajiit were, at least in part, inspired by the Romani people. That speculation is only likely to grow in fervor following the Elsweyr expansion as we see more of the Khajiit and their fantastical culture. The city of Rimmen sprawls across a scarce desert, with a nearby jungle offering yet another biome to explore. Yet there’s plenty of people who will feel like the new biomes just aren’t enough, and for them Elsweyr brings along dungeons full of mysterious new experiences.
At times it can almost seem like its too much to keep up with, especially if you’re a new player that’s stepping foot into the world for the very first time. Fortunately, Elder Scrolls Online’s Elsweyr update does include a tutorial quest for those starting out with brand new characters, but even still it doesn’t cover some of the most basic notions. It can be horribly overwhelming to be thrust into The Elder Scrolls Online’s world as it is, but it’s even more daunting when you have your first encounter with Elsweyr’s newest big bad boss before you even figure out how to consume a health tincture.
Its truly breathtaking to be strolling about the world casually and then looking up into the sky as it is eclipsed by an enormous dragon. Its even more daunting when those dragons destroy your woefully unprepared character in an instant, though that is a problem that’s more exclusive to newbies than the hardcore Elder Scrolls Online fan base. That said, you quickly learn that these open world dragon fights are locked down to spawning in certain areas of the map, and that while your character may be the only one in all of Elsweyr that is competent enough to solve the mystery of the dragon attacks, as well as putting a stop to them, you are also perfectly capable of avoiding them until you feel confident enough to take one down or have a team to help.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Eslweyr update does bring with it a new class as a necromancer for players to try on their character of choice. However, if players were hopeful that they would have a true necromancer playable in ESO complete with hordes of undead following them through the realm, then they may be sorely disappointed to discover that is not the path the developers have taken here. ESO’s necromancer is decidedly less badass than what one typically thinks of for a RPG necromancer, opting instead to throw spells that include imagery of skulls at enemies than actually raising the dead. However, the ultimate for necromancers – Reanimate – does allow a player to revive up to three dead allies and that can come in handy in the depths of a dungeon where things can go wrong very quickly.
While the dragon bosses, focus on the Khajiit, and dungeon exploration are all intriguing they are still wrapped up in the core game play mechanics one would expect for Elder Scrolls Online. There’s constant fetch quests sending you all around the map to speak to a variety of NPCs, and occasionally engaging in some button mashing fight mechanics. If you weren’t already sold on this game play loop from vanilla Elder Scrolls, then Elsweyr isn’t likely to change your opinion of the game.
While the The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr Collector’s Edition does come with the new Elsweyr expansion, previous DLC expansions, a limited edition pet, mount, and clothing players who are hoping to finally have literally everything Elder Scrolls in their possession may be disappointed to discover that this is still not a definitive edition of the game. There are countless microtransactions in the shop just begging for your hard earned cash if you want to add them to your character. To add insult to injury, players with more than one Elder Scrolls Online fan in their family can expect to purchase the Elsweyr update or Collector’s Edition more than once, as the content can not be shared across accounts – even on the same Xbox.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr Collector’s Edition is a sprawling epic that will keep RPG fans drowning in hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of content. Whether you’re interested solely in building furniture and decorating your house or you’re a hardcore necromancer that spends their days slaying dragons Elsweyr has something for you. Unfortunately, you just might have to pay out the nose in microtransactions or additional content if you want to access it all.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher