Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind — Nostalgia revisited

This June, the next chapter of The Elder Scrolls Online will begin. Even before ZeniMax Media made the official announcement, there were plenty of data mining leaks which showcased the iconic island of Vvardenfell. We were given access to the complete game in closed beta form and the final build weeks ago and have been waiting to share our final thoughts since then. The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind features over 40 hours of quests and combat in the most beautiful location the game has to offer. If you haven’t played the massively popular online adventure in a while, now is the right time to return. If you haven’t played The The Elder Scrolls Online before, Morrowind represents the absolute pinnacle of storytelling and intrigue, and is the perfect place to begin your journey across all of Tamriel.

Aside from the new location, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind adds a new Warden class, a new competitive multiplayer mode, a new Trial and other content which elevates an already stellar experience. If you create a new character, you can jump right into the new campaign as you’re on a ship to Vvardenfell. Unfortunately, in traditional The Elder Scrolls fashion, you end up a prisoner after you’re captured by slavers. However, that’s where the story begins. You’re rescued by an assassin and team up to save all of Morrowind. The fate of the land hangs in the balance and you must take up the mantle of a hero to help Vivec, the legendary warrior-poet and Guardian of Vvardenfell, save the world from a deadly Daedric threat. Yes, the vile Daedric princes are back again causing trouble!

For longtime fans of the franchise, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is set roughly 700 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. You’ll definitely encounter familiar locations as you attempt to solve the mystery of Vivec’s mysterious illness and restore his strength. Players travel from the volcanic Ashlands to the mushroom-filled forests, and walk the streets of Vivec City, still under construction at this point in time. The way the game comes together with previous entries in the franchise is absolutely perfect. You learn so much more about the world you care about through the architecture.

Morrowind is The Elder Scrolls Online’s largest landmass addition to date. It might just be the biggest addition to any The Elder Scrolls game yet. Luckily, you don’t have to grind through the base game to experience Morrowind content. Those who already own The Elder Scrolls Online can simply upgrade their experience and immediately jump into the new chapter when it launches. Thanks to the One Tamriel update from last October, new players can also sail directly into Morrowind and play with other adventurers of all levels. If you’re a new player you’re in for a real treat. The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind includes all the original content, so new players will have access to hundreds of hours of questing throughout Tamriel. Existing players can choose to carry their characters over to Morrowind, or start fresh on a new adventure with a new physique.

The Warden is one of the biggest changes to the game. You should give creating a new character a go because Morrowind introduces the first new class since the game launched. The Warden wields powerful nature-based magic and, true to the Elder Scrolls franchise, can be customized with a number of abilities to suit your playstyle. The Warden always has the ferocious War Bear watching their back so it makes combat a joy. It’s surprising how it changes the dynamics of any battlefield because you aren’t scared to take on a multitude of foes on your own.

Just like Destiny’s Raids, the latest expansion also introduces a new Trial and multiplayer mode for you to play. Players can enter the Telvanni tower of Tel Fyr with your strongest allies to battle your way through the Halls of Fabrication, and explore a part of the Clockwork City in a challenging new 12-player Trial. If you don’t want to do that you can always try and best other players. If you head to the Ashlands, you can take on fellow gamers in exciting competitive team deathmatch-type battles in sprawling arena environments.

My time with The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind made me realize how vast the game is. The title started off as a rather banal experience which was somewhat broken at launch. Not only have the developers improved the environments over the years, they’ve also tweaked the gameplay so that it feels like a high-quality product. The environments in Morrowind are even more gorgeous than what The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition has to offer.

Despite all the aesthetics, the story is what stands out. It’s a complex tale involving politics as much as mysticism and that’s why it shines. Obviously I can’t reveal spoilers but throughout the course of the campaign you’ll be shocked at many moments. With the addition of the Morrowind content, The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the best games out there and may be the best online title on any platform.

If you can’t wait to play this game, you can purchase the The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind right now. So far a few different editions will be available at launch which include the Standard Edition, the Upgrade Edition, the Digital Collector’s Edition and a physical Collector’s Edition. Purchasing the game early also gives you access to an exclusive Warden costume, the Dwarven War Dog pet, Treasure Maps, Dwarven-themed crates with lots of goods, and scrolls that give you additional experience.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is a game all Xbox One and PC owners should consider. The title may have somewhat tarnished its image at launch, but the constant updates and events have rectified all the issues. This latest expansion is the ultimate addition to the game which is a shining example of what’s possible when developers respect the wishes of fans and truly love the lore behind the critically-acclaimed series.

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