Free Trial Impression -- Apr 2016

MendelMendel Marietta, GAMember RarePosts: 1,875
I took a couple of days to mess around with ESO's free trial.  Here's some impressions I had during my time in this trial.

Visual:  The game looks quite nice.  The landscape and buildings are nicely constructed with quality artwork.  The character models are good, with a fairly impressive variety of looks attainable at low levels (level 6).

Content:  The introduction is another 'escape from the prison' (do all ES games start with your character as a captive?).  The intro feels very busy, with your character doing all sorts of things.  Only problem, there were so many other newbies that it became a challenge to actually kill anything when it was necessary to kill in order to progress the story.  Too many players, not enough mobs.  That introduction should be in an instance to avoid the congestion issues, or make it optional.   Overall, the writing wasn't too bad.  Enough stereotypes to make it easy to navigate the NPCs, but without the stereotypes becoming boring, comical, offensive or sarcastic.  There's a main plot that's pretty easy to follow, without the annoying hand-holding of the introduction, with lots of side quests.  I really liked the harvest / collection system, and I found the fishing system to be well done.  There were lots of things to interact with in this world.

I could do without the constant ethics -- items that you could take were marked with a big red "STEAL" option, while a nearly identical item in a nearby pile was free to loot.  Theft as a concept depends on an observer, it isn't buried into the item's nature.  What about different actions for different NPCs observing the theft -- ignoring the theft in indifference to going to tell the owner of the theft -- not just everyone attacking you.

Some of the puzzles were good.  Most too often relied on moving around the landscape in a prescribed manner, jumping at the right spot to get to the next platform.

I'm not a fan of FPS style WASD controls, especially when the left and right (A and D) are move, not turn.  It forces the game to be played with a keyboard and mouse (mouse-look controls the direction of travel), and it's extremely prejudiced for right-handed players and mice.  Heaven help the left-handed player without a mouse with a lot of programmable buttons.  I couldn't find a way to reprogram the A/D keys to an RPG-style (turn instead of move).

There were quite a number of players running around, but I didn't notice any groups, didn't see much grouping, except for one pair who appeared to be someone boxing.   There wasn't any content that really needed more than one person at a time, but that may just be the entry levels.

Overall, it is a pretty good experience, but I declined to purchase the game.  I'm mid-financial crisis, but I put it on my Steam Wishlist to revisit when the current crisis is finished, or Steam decides to throw me a bone and put the thing on a major sale.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

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