Friday, 22 June 2018 09:00

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Review

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Diving into Summerset...

...the newest chapter released for ESO, you are immediately immersed in the High Elven land of your dreams — no, not Lothlórien, but instead the Summerset Isles, a close second. Due to the decree of the young Queen Ayrenn, the borders of the Summerset Isles are now open to foreigners. While those from outside of Summerset seem eager to travel and explore a land that has been closed off to them, it would seem that there are those from Summerset who are not as thrilled by the arrival of the tourists. You will quickly find yourself drawn away from the land (which is as beautiful as the rest of Tamriel’s map) and paired up with Razum-dar, a former fan favorite and the Eye of the Queen, to figure out precisely what is happening to the disappearing newcomers.

While the Altimer have never been secretive about their feelings for the other races of Tamriel, it is now made clear exactly how they feel. Newcomers to the isle get treated with disdain and sometimes even hostility. Some races such as Argonians are looked at as barely more than a wild animal. Wood Elves do not fare much better in the land of Summerset.

Like all previous game content within ESO, Summerset is available to players of all levels, and this is one of the best features that ESO has released. New players don’t have to go through the tedious task of leveling through previous content to gain access to new and exciting features released with Summerset. Players who wish to go back and experience previous content can do so at any time due to the nature of how the ESO system works.

Summerset is the second chapter released for Elder Scrolls Online, following last year’s successful Morrowind. Summerset is letting the story lead the way for this expansion. While the setting is more than visually appealing, it is not far outside the realm of the usual environment of Tamriel. The central chapter storyline takes on the subject of immigration in a way that only a fantasy MMO can, with the combination of disappearances, Daedric magic, and High Elves who think they are better than everyone else. The quest line keeps you interested in what is going to happen next. The side quests are plentiful and exciting, weaving you in and out of the various beautiful landscapes that make up the Summerset Isles.

While making your way through the Summerset quests you become familiar with the Psijic Order, a group of monastic mages who disappeared over 300 years ago — or so it is rumored. You gain access to their home, the island of Artaeum, along the way. There is not much to do on the island compared to the Summerset Isles, but it is a stunning addition nonetheless and a joy to explore.

Of the new additions that come with Summerset, the Psijic Skill Line is one of the most interesting. Eric Wrobel, ESO’s Combat Lead, stated that they wanted “players to feel like they’re super powerful sages that can control time”, and they accomplished this without a doubt. They also achieved their other goal of creating something for the more damage-type builds while remaining true to the passive nature of the Order.

Something for Everyone

No matter what role you fill within the game, there is something within the Psijic Order Skill Line to get excited about. While the initial quests to gain access to the Skill Line require not much more than some travel throughout the Summerset Isles, the advancement of the Skill Line needs a bit more work, especially for those who are newer to the game and have not opened up wayshrines throughout Tamriel.

Other additions released with Summerset that are worth mentioning include jewelry crafting and the new 12 player Trial of Cloudrest. Additionally, there are new group challenges which include Abyssal Geysers and quests to kill dangerous monsters and enemies throughout the Isles.


The Verdict: Excellent

Summerset might not be as big of a release as Morrowind, and it is not able to draw on the nostalgia associated with its predecessor. Due to this, it had to stand on its own as an exciting release for ESO. It has done that successfully and smoothly and goes to show that ESO does not need to rely on old stories and lore in order to put out content that players will be pleased with, though I don’t know that any players would mind if they did. It seems to have hit its mark with original and appealing content, interesting and exciting quests (some of which relate to the story that is unfolding and some that don’t), and plenty of activity for players to immerse themselves in.

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Natasha Burakiewicz

Tash is an avid gamer, spending most of her free time at her computer playing whatever might fancy her interest at the time. Tash spends her days working in the Technology Industry where her love of Gaming and Computers is an integral part of her role. While she will play most any game, she is most often found absorbed in RPGs and/or MMOs.