ESO is clearly a MMO at heart, and has all the social aspects you’d expect. It’s easy to team up formally and informally with other players, and Summerset certainly seems well populated after a couple of weeks of playing through. In addition to the standard content, there is a new raid and other quests that really need a team to be able to complete successfully. Whichever way you play, the controls are responsive and I was never affected by any lag or latency. The only thing that would be useful (being a time-poor dad in his thirties), would be some matchmaking options for these multiplayer-focused quests.
Summerset isn’t quite as exciting an addition as Morrowind was in terms of the visuals. Summerset is a bit more of a generic high fantasy island, with plenty of nice vistas, and pristine Elven cities, but nothing to make it really stand out when compared to other parts of Tamriel or other fantasy games. Summerset also lacks some of the variety of Morrowind. It also really doesn’t help that last year’s expansion could be more directly compared with the 2002 classic, whereas Summerset was last seen in 1994’s Arena, which given the gulf in technology even between the 8 years between the mid-90’s and early 00’s, is hardly a great way to compare the games.
The Elder Scrolls series has always had my favourite score of any game series, and Online continues to delight, with a beautiful, mellow orchestral rendition of many classic songs and new ones that suit the environment perfectly.
‘Summerset‘ is a fine addition to a game which has grown in stature and confidence over the years. It adds an interesting new area which has long been absent from Elder Scrolls games, a huge amount of new quests, enemies and content, along with the Psijic order, a new skill tree, new crafting options – the list goes on and on. Whilst the game may not be quite as tight solo as a traditional Elder Scrolls game, it’s really quite close, and the level of storytelling and quest complexity is now right up there with their single-player epics. If you’re already on board with ESO, then this is a bit of a no-brainer addition.
For those who are considering jumping in, especially on Xbox, where the core game is now part of Game Pass, Summerset is a compelling addition well worth the asking price.
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