‘The Elder Scrolls: Blades’ review: An inconsistently fun grind

Nicholas Solomon

785-844-9497 / [email protected]

Word Count: 532

‘The Elder Scrolls: Blades’ review: An inconsistently fun grind.

After the release of ‘Skyrim’ in 2011, Bethesda has slowly lost touch with fans. Fallout 4, while a good game, by no means lived up to the Fallout standard with Fallout 76 being utter garbage. It comes as no surprise that they have decided to release a free mobile game to make more money.

The game has merit, but unfortunately with some all too common trade offs that will turn off many players.

This comes in the form of “Elder Scrolls: Blades,” developed and published Bethesda. It takes place in a setting somewhere between the high fantasy setting “Oblivion” had with Cyrodill, and the more Nordic “Skyrim,” and you play as an unnamed “Blade,” a member of some special force of warriors.

Blades has three core modes. There is the main mode called town. The basic gist is that you have a home base that needs repair and upgrade so you must go to various places to collect materials to fix up your settlement. There is also abyss, a roguelike die and start all over mode, as well as a multiplayer mode. I have yet to unlock the multiplayer. Abyss offers a nice change of pace from town.

This is all a refreshing loop rather than not. Rather than being the usual strategy type mobile game, it has a first person perspective. Don’t be mistaken, you won’t be using an Uzi 9 millimeter or a 40 watt plasma rifle, you’ll be using melee weapons like swords, shields as well as magic and ranged weapons. The basic loop of the game’s combat is going from enemy to enemy, slashing at them, and going through various dungeons to find the aforementioned materials. There is also the much needed leveling system with skills entwined as well.

There are some immediate issues. The movement is extremely floaty and uncomfortable, and the combat’s hit detection is extremely wonky. There are also time barriers placed in artificially to make you pay to progress. This is how it works. The chests you find have time countdowns to actually get the chests open. Those range for hours on end, and it leads to gameplay that is so slow and annoying, especially for impatient folks like me that want instant gratification. It doesn’t help that the only alternative is to pay to instantly unlock them. While it is a fair trade off for a free-to-play game, it still is annoying, however Bethesda have already lowered the time countdown a few hours.

Overall, Blades is much more accessible and interesting than I expected it to be. There are so many free-to-play shovelware games that are so much worse. While the gameplay is just as repetitive as other free-to-play mobile games out there, fun can be had in Blades, preferably in short bursts.