We travelled to High Isle, and we came to warn you to prepare yourself with good gear because the new expansion of The Elder Scrolls Online brings a whole host of new features.
Bethesda has said that this new expansion adds over 30 hours of gameplay to its massive role-playing saga. We can tell you they are not far off (that could even fall short) since one of the more surprising things is the vast number of missions, adventures, objects, and action that is given to the player in The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle.
Just as its own name indicates, this expansion takes us to the home island of the Bretons, and let's us experience the race's culture and characteristics in their native land: High Isle, in the Systres archipelago. Hardcore fans of The Elder Scrolls series of games will have noticed that this is a completely new location that none of the previous games have explored. With this, Bethesda wants to wipe the slate clean and give a fresh start to its massively multiplayer role-playing game, seeking the approval of its veteran players and, at the same time, welcoming new recruits.
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High Isle is an island settlement far different from the noisy and troubled continent of Tamriel. Here, both nobles and traders have built a prosperous and quiet society; but that doesn't mean that it is safe. Life on the island will begin to change drastically at the very moment that our boots touch the ground.
As soon as we disembark and put a foot on the island, a character will ask us for help. This is how the main storyline, that will guide our way through the expansion, begins. This narrative has been designed in such a way that, as long as we are getting into a mysterious and deep story, in turn it will help us to go through every single corner of the new location. Along our way we will have the opportunity to begin new secondary plots (and we can confirm, there are many!) whereby we will discover new treasures and features in the expansion. But we will also find new villains and enemies. In a very short time, we are going to figure out that, what at first looked like an easy mission, is going to leave the future not only of High Isle, but of all Tamriel, up to us. As part of this adventure, we will have the chance to meet and recruit two new companions (Isobel and Ember) through their own subplots. In addition, we will also help by unravelling the mystery of the volcanic vents that have popped up across the whole archipelago endangering the territory.
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It is delightful to discover High Isle through its missions, not only because the nice graphics of the medieval scenery, but the characters and decorations that Bethesda has created with great effort. The world around you feels alive and you can observe the tiniest details that are baked in, which elevate the experience significantly, like seeing bears scratching their backs in the trees while crossing a forest. There are also lot of emerging NPC interactions such as fights between neighbours, a husband taking back home his drunk wife... Bethesda has a good sense of humour in these details.
In case you didn't have enough to do with dungeon crawling or mysteries, Bethesda uses this new expansion to give the players an original card mini game named Tales of Tribute. With some easy rules and a tutorial as another mission, we are going to learn quickly how to play this curious game. Bethesda has clarified that their intention with Tales of Tribute is to create a playful addition to the Elder Scrolls universe, and to this end, it has made it clear that it will not be regulated by microtransactions of any kind. The new cards to customise the playing decks can only be acquired through in-game missions or by talking to the population of High Isle. In addition, an internal competition system is created between players whose rewards will be items from the expansion itself.
In short, there is something in The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle for every type of player. Are you passionate for a combat MMORPG? All kinds of monsters and enemies dot the lands of High Isle. Are you into investigation and narrative? Since minute one you will be involved in a deep storyline with touches of mystery, political struggles, entanglements, and betrayals that would delight literature lovers. But what if I am more into playing with my friends? Join a clan or create your own group of adventurers to enter the complicated dungeons and face as a team the new Bosses that inhabit them. Are you feeling handy? In ESO: High Isle you can investigate the crafting area working in secondary trades (mining, carpentry, jewellery, etc.) where you can prove your worth as both an artisan and a collector - you can even build your own home furnishing!
Bethesda has put its heart and soul into the game to offer us a delightful expansion for a franchise that some said had not been able to get back on its feet since Skyrim. The offers of access to the game (with the purchase of High Isle, new players acquire the base game and all previous expansions at the same time!) open the doors to a very immersive experience in the world of massive role-playing games.
8 / 10
Excellent opportunity for new players. The new game "Tales of Tribute" is incredible, with so many options and game modes there is no time for boredom.
A lot of new customisation features but not that many in a technical aspect. Veteran players will see few advancements beyond the new location and storylines.