The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Review
I’m lucky enough to have the chance to preview and review a lot of games. That’s awesome, but there’s a downside. I rarely have time to get endlessly lost in a sprawling and ridiculously deep MMORPG like The Elder Scrolls Online. However, I have reviewed nearly every annual expansion, including the latest chapter, Necrom. I’ve never failed to have a good, if breathlessly short, time in ESO. It always leaves me wishing I could play longer.
The Land of Dark Elves
With each new expansion, The Elder Scrolls Online adds a little more territory to the map. This time, the new zones are the Telvanni Peninsula and Apocrypha. The Telvanni Peninsula contains the Dark Elves’-founded settlement of Necrom, literally the city of the dead. Visiting Necrom will be your first order of business in the expansion and the start of the chapter’s main quest line. Almost immediately, you’ll meet Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Forbidden Knowledge. Monstrous enemies of the Prince are swarming across Apocrypha, headed for Necrom, and you must stop them. Of course, that short description only hints at a very extensive main quest.
As usual, the new zones are interesting and memorable to experience and explore. The Telvanni Peninsula is characterized by cliffs, outsized mushrooms, and verdant, green landscapes. Apocrypha, in contrast, is an alien-looking world with several horrific monster enemies. It’s a terrifying place to visit. The Elder Scrolls Online continues to demonstrate that its team of art designers is at the top of its game. Graphically, ESO is more and more showing its age a little, but with every expansion, character models continue to improve, backed as always by solid writing and voice acting. Sound design remains impressive and ESO’s music never fails to inspire and add beauty and mystery to the experience.
Friends and Foes
A few chapters ago, The Elder Scrolls Online introduced companions, AI characters that could accompany you on quests and fight alongside you. For primarily solo players like me, these were a fantastic addition to the game. After all, getting a party of like-minded humans with enough free time to play is a challenge. Companions have been both practically useful, and genuinely amusing or interesting to chat and adventure with.
In Necrom, the new companions are Warden class Sharp-As-Night and an Arcanist named Azandar. You meet the former pretty early on, but Azandar is located in Apocrypha and is a bit more hidden. Both have interesting backstories and engaging quest lines. Of course, if you’re trying out the new Arcanist class yourself, Azandar might be redundant.
Many of Necrom’s new enemies are genuinely terrifying creatures. They include the Seekers, floating, tentacled entities that come in several degrees of challenge. Other new enemies are the Hushed, the reptilian Lurkers, and the spider-like Mind Terrors.
Start from Scratch?
Nearly every expansion for ESO introduces at least one new class. Necrom bring the Arcanist, a magic-based class that uses runic powers. The Arcanist’s powers are split into three basic categories: healing or curative, offensive, and defensive. Depending on how you evolve the character, it can be a powerful and focused ally in combat or a stand-alone, balanced adventurer that can fight, heal and defend equally well.
Players wanting the try out the Arcanist will need to roll a new character, of course, play through the new content, and then explore freely. Existing players can pick Necrom from their installed content, and use one of their characters to access the starting quest.
As with each generous and engaging new expansion, there is an abundance of excellent content to experience. Appealing new companions, distinctive new zones, and fantastical monsters are paired with a useful and fun-to-play Arcanist class. Necrom’s main quest is more mystical than political this time around, and there are some extra-challenging encounters out in the wild. As always I come away from The Elder Scrolls Online both impressed and disheartened that I don’t have more time to play.
***PC code provided by the publisher for review***
- Interesting new Arcanist class
- Great new enemies
- Varied new zones
- Useful new companions
- Some quests are uninspired
- Balance issues with some enemies