The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Review (PC) – I Am The Mushroom Queen

After nine years, The Elder Scrolls Online is still a bustling hub of gamers living out their fantasies of being elves, orcs, Argonians and Khajiits. It’s a game that lets you ride a horse, sell your wares, buy other people’s wares, and become an expert in a variety of combat styles.

But I had other plans for this game. I didn’t want to become the next saviour of Tamriel. I wanted to become the Mushroom Queen.

This isn’t just a game review. It’s the story of one girl and her goal to become the ultimate fungi femme fatale.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Review

I played Skyrim years ago for around 50 hours. I quit because I died in a boss fight and forgot to save, losing two hours of progress. I vowed to never touch the game again. When The Elder Scrolls Online was first announced, I was too busy studying to even think about gaming. But here we are, almost a decade later, back on the planet Nirn. 

I started out by spending an hour making the shortest and bustiest Breton Arcanist possible. Her looks are as good as her affinity for magic. In all seriousness though, the character creator is fun, and the options to become a lizard person or an anthropomorphic cat are tempting. I ended up choosing Breton thanks to their mix of human and elf blood, which is great for the flexibility of the arcanist class.

There are no limitations on race and class combinations (though there are passive bonuses depending on race), and players are encouraged to think up their own backstory for their characters and why – as a certain race – have they chosen to follow the path of their specific class. 

I created Koutonii, the Breton Arcanist. Her backstory is that she is the Queen of the Mushrooms in the Telvanni Peninsula. When she isn’t adventuring and assisting the Eldritch Horror-esque Hermaeus Mora in protecting Apocrypha, she can be found tending to the fungi and the creatures that live amongst them.

Despite having no experience with TESO, I found the new Arcanist class to be enjoyable and easy to understand. The class is essentially a rune mage that encourages flexibility. The Arcanist class has three skill lines that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of different playstyles and ability combinations. In addition, the class introduces the new Crux system. Certain abilities generate Crux, while other abilities spend Crux to enhance themselves. 

Herald of The Tome is the DPS-focused skill line. Players can choose from a variety of magical and physical damage abilities that feel satisfying to launch at foes. This skill line is about spamming weaker abilities to generate Crux and then using stronger abilities to spend the Crux for increased damage. This skill line feels intuitive and powerful to play.

Using Runeblades to create Crux and then channelling the Fatecarver beam to consume the Crux for extra damage gives the feeling of being an all-powerful, all-knowing dark mage. The ultimate ability of Herald of The Tome is The Unblinking Eye. The Arcanist summons a baby version of Hermaeus Mora to shoot a devastating laser out of its single eye. The Herald of The Tome skill line lets you become a damage mage right out of a Lovecraftian story and I’m living for it.

Soldier Of Apocrypha is the tank skill line of the Arcanist class. The abilities are used to taunt and debuff enemies and shield and buff allies and yourself. For solo play, I found that taking a shielding skill for sticky situations was ideal, but fully skilling into this line without a full party to play with would make the gameplay quite slow. Despite this, the skill line still plays into the Eldritch Horror theme of the class with shields being made from the tentacles of Hermaeus Mora, making for a cluster of abilities that feel good thematically.

It’s a similar story for The Curative Runeforms skill line. Curative Runeforms feature healing, buffing and utility skills that can be mixed with damaging and tanking skills from other lines for solo play, or utilised together for group play. The most interesting skill in Curative Runeforms is definitely the Apocryphal Gate which creates two portals used to move between locations. Combining abilities from all three classes was something the game encouraged me to do with the skill selection guide.

Not only that but even without the guide, the skills and their lines were easy to understand and use to combo enemies into oblivion. The class overall is easy and enjoyable to play with varying levels of complexity depending on how you want to build your Arcanist.

The Arcanist feels right at home in all the new zones added along with the Necrom update. The Telvanni Peninsula is where the adventure begins and is a cottage-core fan’s dream. Mushrooms of all different shapes, colours and sizes litter the mossy ground as shroom beetles and torch bugs scuttle around the flowers. After strolling through the fungi, you’ll find the city of Necrom.

Dark Elves are the primary race in this maze-like city. I found getting around the city to be confusing at the best of times thanks to its winding halls and underground passages. Once you’ve gotten far enough into the story, you’ll have access to Apocrypha and Chroma Incognito. These areas are the true Eldritch Horror settings. Apocrypha is where Hermaeus Mora lives and where Daedra and Dremora reside.

Chroma Incognito is like a version of the world that exists only in Hermaeus Mora and houses the most Lovecraftian of creatures. It’s a gorgeous setting that lends itself to the themes of both the new class and characters and the update itself. 

Overall the Necrom update has been a whimsical and terrifying pleasure to experience and I can definitely see myself coming back to Tamriel to explore the rest of what the game has to offer.

As a newcomer to TESO, I was worried that the game – especially the new content – wouldn’t be beginner-friendly. But thankfully, even after nine years, the game is still accessible to new players. This includes both the base game and new content, like Necrom.

Not only is it accessible and beginner-friendly, TESO feels fresh and new. The Necrom update fits seamlessly into the world of Tamriel and it’s easy to see why The Elder Scrolls Online is still one of the most beloved MMORPGs.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom was reviewed on PC using digital code provided by Bethesda.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom
Reader Rating0 Votes
Good for newcomers and veterans alike
Arcanist class is fun and versatile
Lovecraftian theme is well thought-out and easy to get into
Getting around the city of Necrom can be tedious at times
Can’t really play full tank or healer Arcanist unless you’re with a group
Solo gameplay is not as enjoyable as playing in a group
Courtney Borrett
Courtney Borrett
Courtney is a writer with a passion for video games and anime. She loves cozy, story-driven games, but also finds inspiration in the strange and downright weird. She has a love-hate relationship with League of Legends. When she's not running it down, you kind find her on Twitter @koutonii

━ more like this

Fate/Samurai Remnant Review (PS5) – I Like Anime Now 

I’m going to say this up front, I am not really an anime or manga person. I’ve really liked a lot of what I’ve...

Saw X and Xbox team up to celebrate the film’s release and Saw comes to Roblox

In celebration of Saw X and Jigsaw's return to the big screen, Xbox, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures have teamed up to let fans experience...

The Boys welcomes Gen V to the family

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Gen V, spinoff from The Boys, the cast of the latter has released a message, welcoming the new...

Gen V Review (TV) – Back to School

While the wait for Season 4 of The Boys grows longer and more excruciating with each passing week, Prime Video is about to provide...

The Continental: From the World of John Wick Review (TV) – Light it up

I was worried that a show with the words John Wick in the title but without the man himself actually appearing would be a...