As a huge Elder Scrolls fan, you can imagine my excitement when I first heard about Elder Scrolls: Blades. A mobile version of the series I’ve known and loved for going on 15 years? Sign me up!
Blades is a smaller, simpler version of Elder Scrolls, but it still has a lot of what makes the series so great. I played through both demos available at E3, adventuring through a forest and a castle to make my way to find the loot waiting at the end of the road.
Unlike traditional Elder Scrolls games, this is no open world. Instead, there are very linear paths for you to follow along your way. I couldn’t find the path at a certain point, and tried to jump up to another area (as I would playing any other ES game), but that was a no-go. There was no exploration,only the direction intended by the game designer. While this fits the design of the mobile platform well, it does take away a bit of the magic.
Movement can be achieved either by tapping on an area to walk to it, or using the two corners as if they were joysticks to walk and look around. Unfortunately, I’ll admit that I got incredibly motion sick while playing this game. The movement didn’t feel as natural in the tapping, though it got much better when I started using the bottom two corners of the screen as joysticks to navigate instead of tapping.
Combat in Blades is also incredibly simplified. You tap and hold to strike with your weapon, and then tap on your magical abilities when they’re back up (as they have a cooldown rate that lasts a bit). The magic is fun, and it still captures that Elder Scrolls feel–however, by the end of demo, the combat felt a bit repetitive. While it’s worth a 15-20 minute session, I don’t see this being a game that I play for hours at a time.
Overall, Blades will hopefully satisfy the hungry Elder Scrolls fan as they await the arrival of Elder Scrolls 6. While not a substitute, it’s a nice treat while we all wait. Until then, adventure will await within your pocket.
You can sign up at PlayBlades.com for a chance to take part in the Elder Scrolls: Blades early access. Stay tuned for more E3 coverage here on Gaming Trend.