Review The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood offers very meager lunches for 40 euros

The Elder Scrolls Online continues to rely on nostalgia and forgets to add anything relevant to the game.

Date of issue: 1.6.2021
Studio: ZeniMax Online Studios
Published by Bethesda Softworks
Available: PC (Windows, tested), PS5, Xbox Series, PS4 & Xbox One
Players: 1-
Age limit: 18
Game played for review: 13 hours

The Elder Scrolls Online has been offering those in love with the fantasy world of Bethesda the opportunity to live digital life as Dunmer, Khajite, Breton and other races characteristic of the game series for seven years. The MMORPG, which has changed over the years, has recently focused on year-round large story arcs that in 2021 will center around the Daedra gods.

Started at the beginning of the year Gates of Oblivion campaign continues next bigger Blackwoodin the sign of the extension that opens to Tamriel The Elder Scrolls: Oblivionissa the last viewed title area. In time, however, the events take place 800 years before Oblivion, and the story will be continued from the end of the year in the form of two smaller updates.

In Blackwood, however, players are invited to the town of Leyawin and its marshlands as members of the local government are mowed one at a time. The player arriving to investigate the case soon encounters a conspiracy of cultists, the realization of which would know the end of the known world – once again. And since the Gates of Oblivion is a pretty obvious hint, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the destruction of Prince Mehrunes Dagonha it’s there again as its gates are opening.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood

Like other The Elder Scrolls expansions, Blackwood is again a completely independent story that doesn’t require the player to have any more knowledge of the rest of the game world. The solution has its sides, but at the same time it makes the experience feel very detached, even though the tasks nod to the original Oblivion. Unfortunately, the detective game itself is not very meaningful, which is partly due to The old-fashioned structure of The Elder Scrolls Online.

During the approximately seven-hour campaign, players travel from one conversation to another, rotting essentially the same enemies they have been killing for the past seven years. However, the characters don’t have enough attraction and the plot itself follows very familiar paths. In addition, the Blackwood area itself feels very much seen and deserted – with the exception of the Deadlands interludes – that the hustle and bustle goes mostly with automation. In recent years, ZeniMax Online Studios has relied heavily on nostalgia for its extensions, and the power tool is beginning to be exhausted.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood

Unfortunately, nostalgia is also by far the only addition to players, as Blackwood has long been the poorest extension to the parent game. Nothing is known to those waiting for new races or professions, which seems like a really big shortcoming for a € 40 extension. Of course, there are tens of hours of new missions, new area-specific events, delve caves and one bigger raid cave, as well as a large slice of new collectibles, which are now standard on ESO extensions.

In addition to these, a little bigger addition to Blackwood are the new partners.

Two of these arrive with the plug-in, which can be recruited to the side after completing the character-specific task. In practice, the partners act as playmates guided by artificial intelligence, which gain experience and can be better equipped. There is also wordmaking between these and the player as the friendship improves, but both characters are extremely boring and impersonal.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood

However, the problem for the partners is that they are of little use. Sure, an extra pair of hands will help knock some caves, but they won’t match human players with more challenging caves, for example. So unlike, for example, the Trust AI partners added to Final Fantasy 14 the other year, which allowed single players to pass dungeons designed for a small group alone, The Elder Scrolls Online still requires other human players for these.

Admittedly, I have no doubt that this will soon be in the developers ’plans as well, but at this point, the existence of partners will remain rather futile.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood is by far the weakest revelation of the last five expansions of massive multiplayer. The new playable area remains visually very dull and unmistakable in its story, and offers the game series veterans nothing new in terms of professions, abilities or character classes. It is therefore very difficult to get excited about the recent expansion.


“Blackwood offers only the essentials in terms of content, and it doesn’t entice you to explore just below the surface.”

Source: by

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