From the opening seconds of The Elder Scrolls Online’s Greymoor expansion, it’s pretty clear that fans of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are in for a treat. After playing for a dozen or so hours so far, Greymoor has proven to be an absolute delight, with tonnes of new content, new features and SO MUCH SKYRIM.
Essentially, you can treat Greymoor as a prequel to or DLC for Skyrim. Despite being set some several hundred years before Skyrim, you will feel right at home if you’ve ever played Elder Scrolls V.
If you’ve ever wanted more Skyrim, more stories and more adventures then this is the game you’ve been waiting for. It might be part of ESO and it might be an MMO, but this is as close to a direct follow-up to Skyrim you’re ever going to get.
The Elder Scrolls Online Greymoor
Having played a dozen hours or so, I’ve been flirting with the story, side-quests and new content. I’ve only just started to brush up against the vampire and werewolf themes of the overarching story but for the most part, Greymoor feels oppressive. Western Skyrim is a dangerous enough place as it is, but everyone you speak to feels that things have gotten worse lately.
There’s fear everywhere you go and strange, supernatual occurrences are becoming more common place. Lukcily, you’re an adventurer and ain’t afraid of no ghosts…or vampires, or werewolves.
I can’t comment too much more on the story as yet since I’ve not played enough of it. Though, it does seem tightly scripted and I’m intrigued by where it’ staking me.
One of the features of Greymoor that’s kept me from the story is Scrying. In Solitude, you can find the Antiquarian Circle who introduces you to the Antiquarian Eye. This ancient object allows you to Scry for antique treasures throughout the world. When you do, you need to solve a simple symbol matching puzzle. The more correct you complete the puzzle, the more accurate a location you’re given for the antique.
Once you’ve located one, you head there on the map and complete an excavation mini game. If successful, you’ll unearth the antique and maybe some bonus loot. It’s a really simple mechanic, but it creates a feeling of discovery and of being a treasure hunter that reminds me of old-school cartoons about adventurers searching for buried treasure.
Another of Greymoor’s new features that have kept me busy are the Harrowstorms. Like Elsweyr’s Dragons, Harrowstorms are radiant, public events and they are hectic. Appearing as swirling red tornados, Harrowstorms summon all manner of giant creatures in addition to the gigantic Witch Pike and Vampire Lords that appear.
When they appear on the map, expect dozens of players to swarm and attempt to take down the baddies, while disrupting the Harrowstorm. It’s a huge amount of fun and even though I died several times, I had enough Soul Gems in my inventory to keep fighting.
When I’m not playing the story missions, Scrying or disrupting Harrowstorms, I’m cranking out side-quests. Greymoor’s side-quests have been excellent so far. There are two or three in particular that delivered emotional gut-punches I wasn’t expecting and one that presented me with a very difficult, yet hilarious decision.
Side-quests in Greymoor make Western Skyrim feel like a real, lived in and alive place. Their stories are personal and affecting and on more than one occasion, I totally forgot I was playing an MMO.
That’s the beauty of The Elder Scrolls Online. Even though it is an MMO, it often doesn’t feel like one. Instead, it feels like another entry in The Elder Scrolls series.
And Greymoor could just have easily been called Skyrim 2.
I’ve still got plenty of Greymoor to play, plenty of Western Skyrim to explore and plenty more antiquities to uncover. Stay tuned for more updates to this rolling review-in-progess.
The Elder Scrolls Online – Greymoor is being reviewed on PC using copies provided by Bethesda.