Let’s talk about The Elder Scrolls Online

TESO’s logo. I’ve been pronouncing the acronym “Teezo” in my head.

I really like the logo—the three factions, Dragon, Lion, and Eagle (Hawk? Griffon?) eating each other in a circle. If you haven’t checked out the reveal trailer, it’s well-made but there’s not much to it. A narrator talks dramatically about how the Imperial throne is empty and that people will fight for it while the three pieces of the logo bang against each other.

The screenshots and gameplay rumors, however, are surpising to me. Granted it’s only a first look, but I don’t feel like this game appeals to my inner TES fan. It will be third-person with more traditional MMO hotbar combat, not featuring the realtime first-person combat the series is known for. I can understand that there would be latency concerns with combat as action-focused as Oblivion and Skyrim—manually aiming every swing, arrow, and spell—but Guild Wars 2 has realtime combat where your position matters, so why not TESO?

The screenshots are perhaps greater cause from concern. Oblivion and Skyrim established a very large bestiary for the series to build on, but the only monsters I recognize are a Flame Atronach, a Storm Atronach, and something vaguely reminiscent of a Clannfear. None of the daedra or other monsters I love to slaughter have yet made an appearance. The environments don’t resemble the amazing vistas I’ve come to expect in Tamriel, and the armor and clothes look unfamiliar too. Most of the time I can recognize a prequel/sequel’s connection to its predecessors, but these screenshots don’t give me that nostalgic feeling.

To end on a high note though, my chief concern was laid to rest: Bethesda is not the lead studio on the project, so they will continue to focus on what they do best with Skyrim DLC and the inevitable Elder Scrolls VI. I would hate to see an end to single-player TES games because of TESO as we did with the KOTOR series and SWTOR.

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