ESO Imperial City Review

Charging-into-Imperial-City_1440773648In the MMO arena, most gamers have to wait approximately a year to 18 months before any major expansion is released for their RPG of choice. Due to the unexpected delay of Elder Scrolls Online on consoles, this standard has been broken as the first in a series of DLC arranged for Elder Scrolls has been released merely six months since launch.

For those who have ventured into the shadow of the white gold tower, to represent your chosen alliance, will know that Bethesda has done something slightly different with their PVP zone. Most MMO’s place a distinct emphasis on separating player vs player and player vs environment encounters. This can make the PVP zones feel empty, even soulless. Bethesda does not subscribe to this method. Throughout Cyrodiil you will encounter npc’s as they go about their daily business, providing you with quests and chores to perform, and the environment is littered with the same caves, ruins and events that populate the rest of the world.  This conveys a sense of life on the game that no other MMO currently attempts (to my knowledge).

It is with this in mind that we delve into the dlc, and take our first tentative steps into the Imperial City. With the release of this content, entry ways to the imperial sewers have opened up, (similar to your escape point in Oblivion), allowing progression into the city proper. These access points are also directly linked to the ongoing war throughout Cyrodiil, so if you find the nearby fortification occupied by an opposing force, entry to the Imperial city is barred. Should your faction hold the ground you may enter the sewers and meet with the vanguard that are pushing forward in to the territory now overrun by Molag Bal’s daedric forces.

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Upon entering the Imperial City you are instantly greeted to the two new PvE dungeons reachable from the sewers. The Imperial Prison has long been overwhelmed, with gangs of prisoners ruling the roost and driving out the guards until the Daedra arrived. Now the prisoners and the common people of the Imperial City, trapped within its walls by the Daedra, are being captured and sent to the Ayleid ruins beneath the prison. Furthermore Terran Arminus, a Moth priest has requested your aid in retrieving an elder scrolls for the now overrun White Gold Tower. Both of these 4 man dungeons have their own self-contained story and two difficulty modes; normal and veteran.

Those who have hit level 50 now have up to 16 Veteran levels instead of 14, and the harder instances of these dungeons hold new high level rewards to be collected.

Both dungeons are extremely complex, containing several hours’ worth of content and new enemy types to face. Those who played Elder Scrolls IV will recognise the other game areas revealed in this expansion. The Arena, Memorial, Temple, Arboretum, Nobles and Elven districts all make a return in ESO, each with their own distinctive enemies to face and challenges to overcome. These PvP/PvE environments contain numerous new foes including the Xivkyn, a race of Daedra that has taken up residence within the confines of the city.

So far, despite putting countless hours into the new expansion I would be surprised if I have seen half of the content contained within, and the balance between PvP and PvE within the city feels naturally challenging and makes each venture into a district both unique and familiar at the same time.

With Daedric treasure vaults to be found and collected, both new dungeons, a huge new PvP area filled to the brim with PvE quests there is plenty to for every type of player to do in the heart of Cyrodiil.

Including the DLC with my review of Elder Scrolls Online neither improves nor diminishes my original view, and as such my opinion is that the original score I gave this game still stands.

Thanks to Xbox and Bethesda for supporting TiX

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