The massive world of the Elder Scrolls now on your phone

Explore the world of Tamriel on the go!

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The massive world of the Elder Scrolls now on your phone

Patrick Kline, Photo Editor

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The Elder Scrolls series is known for its huge open world fantasy games that allow for countless ways to play. The series’ most recent addition allows players to build up their own town, explore an endless dungeon called “the Abyss” and go on quests to help townsfolk. “The Elder Scrolls: Blades” is available on iOS and Android. Anyone with a Bethesda account is able to play, but not all features of the game are yet available as the game is still in early access.

Players can expect to jump into the story fairly quickly. You play as a soldier returning from war who finds his/her hometown recently burned to the ground. Those who have played the last installment, “Skyrim,”  will know this war ended in the “White-Gold Concordat,” a peace treaty of sorts. The player was not just a soldier, but a member of the “Blades,” a guild of highly skilled warriors who were once bodyguards of the “Emperor of Tamriel” and then later sworn themselves into the service of the “Dragonborn,” an individual born with the ability to absorb the souls of dragons and speak “Thu’um,” the language of dragons.

The main story starts with the player investigating how his/her town burned down and then it splits into two different paths. The first path goes to the so-called queen of the area who hires mercenaries to get tax money from the town, which resulted in the altercation that destroyed the town. The second path explores a secret vault beneath the town, revealing its past history. The path contains elements of the supernatural.

Screenshot of start menu of Elder Scrolls: Blades

There are also countless quests for players to hone their skills and gather resources. These have no impact on the story, but are a good way to level up as experience points are only gained from defeating enemies and completing quests. Most quests have players either defeating a certain number of specific enemies, or finding a number of a specific resource. There are also daily and weekly quests that offer better rewards than the regular quests.

Both paths will inevitably have the player entering combat against hostile humans, animals and the undead. The combat is similar to previous games in the “Elder Scrolls” series, although players are frozen on the spot and unable to dodge enemy attacks. Rather, they can choose to block by pressing a button at the bottom center of the screen, or they can attack by pressing and holding on the screen and charging up an attack. Players are able to chain attacks into combos by letting an attack charge up to fill a ring before releasing their attack. As players level up, they gain skill points that can be spent to access magic and skills that are usable in combat.

Screenshot of Elder Scrolls: BladesPlayers who want to be able to explore but don’t care for the story will enjoy “the Abyss,” an endless dungeon that rewards players for each floor they complete and for the number of enemies they defeat. Items that players earn in this game mode are useable in the regular play and vice versa. Progress can be consistently made at the same pace that players complete the story missions, as some missions have a recommended player level and will give a warning if they are under leveled and letting players choose if they still wish to attempt the mission.

Players will spend their downtime in the town they name at the start of the game. There they will build up their town with various style houses and workshops, such as a blacksmith and an alchemist. Building requires three important resources: limestone, timber and money. All three can be obtained from completing quests that are randomly generated, through chests that can be found in dungeons or as rewards for quests as well.

As with many apps these days, there are elements of the game that operate in real time, even if the game is not open. The chests are unlocked in periods of five seconds, one hour and six hours for the highest level chest. Buildings are built and upgraded in a range between 15 minutes and 12 hours. Crafting items like armor and weapons, potions and town decorations take time but are done in a matter of seconds.

Screenshot of Elder Scrolls: Blades

With the game in early access still, there are elements of the game that are not yet available to play. Bethesda says there will be a game mode called the “Arena,” a player versus player mode. Updates will continue to roll out before the game is officially launched to ensure the majority of bugs are either patched or removed completely. The developer has a page on its website that answers some commonly asked questions about the game.

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