The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom

The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom

We take on the latest expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online.

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The Elder Scrolls Online, or ESO, is a beast of an MMORPG. I am, generally, fairly new to the game, and I'll probably stay that way, because the amount of content is intimidating, and ever-increasing too, perhaps most critically of all. There is literally thousands of hours of gameplay, and I have a job, so I'll probably never get to experience everything. The new Necrom expansion doesn't help, as it's an expansion with a lot of to unpack. So let's see what Bethesda has added to their long-running game this time around.

What I enjoy most about the game is that all missions and characters have specific voice acting. In other MMOs, it's just walls of text for the most part, but I here I never have to read why I need to kill 10 rats. Not only that, ESO has downright excellent voice acting, and recognisable actors too, who explain why the rats need to be exterminated. However, it also slows down the game, as most characters have a lot on their minds. That's the same in Necrom, but I find them generally entertaining to listen to.

The plot of Necrom revolves around the realm of the Deadric prince Hermaeus Mora, and these are not exactly normal people. Hermaeus Mora, who you meet at the start of the expansion, is a mixture of an octopus with too many eyes and something H.P. Lovecraft could have invented. The grotesque prince hires you to save his kingdom Apocrypha, where he hides a lot of forbidden knowledge, but also Nirn, the planet where the Elder Scrolls is set. That's all you get at first, and you have to find out what threatens the two planes of existence. You then gain access to Apocrypha and the Telvanni Peninsula. The Telvanni Peninsula is similar to the areas seen in Morrowind in particular, and Apocrypha is a strange and bizarre place with flying bog whirlwinds, tentacle monsters, and creatures that are normally only seen in nightmares. The story takes you through both Telvanni and Apocrypha, and the two areas are large and varied. It's great to explore Apocrypha in particular, as it's so weird, but Telvanni is also quite exciting, with strange plants, giant mushrooms and flying jellyfish.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom

The story is also quite entertaining and I don't want to spoil it, but all I can say is that you meet some fun characters and then you unravel a big conspiracy that could potentially destroy the existence of everything, which is really not so good. I really like that the story is so mysterious and that it weaves the two areas together so effectively. There are also some entertaining side missions that complement the main story well. So overall, the storytelling is top-notch in Necrom.

Some of the other things that have been added in Necrom are firstly a new class, the Arcanist, which has abilities that fit with the whole H.P. Lovecraft theme of the expansion. The Arcarnist class, like the other classes, has different abilities to suit those who want to do a lot of damage, heal, or take a beating, just like the stereotypical roles in other MMOs. If you want to deal damage, it's from a distance and with magic. The healer path is somewhat self-explanatory, and the more melee-orientated one can take a beating but still deal a fair amount of damage. I mostly ran by myself and I went the damage route, which was quite fun. Arcanist has a new point system called Crux, which are points you save up by fighting that you can spend on your abilities to do more damage. It works well and is an exciting new mechanic that I hope can be implemented in new or older classes.

You are introduced to the Arcanist class through one of the two new companions found in Necrom. Azandar is a knowledge-hungry Redguard, and his abilities complement the new class in an inventive way. It's great that a companion supports a class in this way, making it more approachable and something other MMOs could learn a lot from. In addition, you can also meet Sharp-as-Night, who is a mysterious Argonian, the lizard-like creatures that are in the other games in the series as well. He doesn't say much, but the more he starts to trust you, the more he opens up. He fits in nicely with the mystical theme that Necrom is going for. It's cool, and right up my alley.

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There's also a new Raid, or Trials as it's called in ESO. I didn't have much time to try it, and when I did, it didn't go well. However, it worked in the same vein as the rest of the expansion, and despite some reuse, it was exciting to see which monsters were going to smash your group of 12 people. And that's exactly what happened. There is also a world event where you can challenge three bosses together. So there's a bit to do and a lot of loot, if that's something to tempt you. However, my focus was on the story, and there was a lot happening in the Trials, so much so that I needed a guide to get through it, so it's not easily accessible for an ESO newbie like me unfortunately.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom

Graphically, nothing much has happened in ESO for a long time. Everything is nice to look at, and Hermaeus Mora is also impressively made, but it all starts to look a bit antiquated. That's probably unavoidable with an MMO as old as ESO, and an upgrade to the graphics wouldn't hurt. The music, however, is spot on and supports the two new areas well.

When you buy an expansion in ESO, you only get a fraction of what other MMO expansions offer. Therefore, there are also an incredible number of small expansions you can buy in the game. It's completely unmanageable, and the microtransactions are silly here. I haven't talked about it much in previous articles, but ESO's system is terrible when it comes to extra purchases. Necrom is a relatively large expansion compared to High Isles, which I looked at some time ago. There's more content here than before, so if my review has tempted you, Necrom is a good place to start.

If you want more content, I would suggest looking online so you don't buy something that doesn't live up to what you want. I got Necrom and didn't need or want to buy anything else. I'm personally a fan of the atmosphere in Necrom, and if you like Morrowind, it's more of the same. Necrom is a good and substantial expansion, where especially the story shines, but besides the Crux system and the Arcanist class, it would be nice to see some innovation in ESO's ever-expanding universe.

07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
Good story. The new Arcanist class. Two new companions. Solid atmosphere throughout.
Not particularly innovative. Lots of microtransactions. Difficult Trials. Too repetitive.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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