Elder Scrolls Online High Isle expansion review: An epic new world to explore

A new expansion has been released to augment Elder Scrolls Online and it’s an epic tale of backstabbing and political intrigue.

The adventure begins in lush woodland countryside in a clearing lined with mysterious monuments resembling Stonehenge.

This is the land of High Isle and Amenos in the Systres Archipelago, a place of stunning white cliffs, towering castles and monster-infested jungles. It’s home to Breton chivalrous society, but you’re soon thrust into a world of three warring alliances.

High Isle is an expansion pack for Elder Scrolls Online from Bethesda (ESO) and it’s incredibly epic.

ZeniMax Online Studios’ expansion gives the MMORPG – originally released in 2014 – a new lease on life.

I hadn’t played the series since Elder Scrolls V: Skyrimso i jumped at the chance when i was given the opportunity to review ESO’s High Island.

Choose your character

The first step in the game is to create your character, and there’s a wide variety to choose from.

There are plenty of options depending on what you want to do: PvP (player versus player), solo or maybe you’re a beginner like me.

I decided to go with the Magicka Sorcerer build (thanks for the guide AlcastHQ) and chose to become a High Elf.

A very cool start

A quick bit of background for the uninitiated.

One of the best-known predecessors of ESO, Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, started the game with the hero waking up in a prison. And things got more intense from there when Emperor Uriel Septim VII entered the cell in search of a secret passage. Recently, the opening of the game has been described as having changed the world of RPGs forever.

ESO changes course with the imprisoned hero again after a “magical translocation”. This is the start of a tutorial that helps new players learn the basics of the game, including how to fight.

Deliciously twisted tale

The High Isle Chapter opens up a huge new world to explore in ESO.

The main storyline focuses on a plot by the chivalrous Ascending Order to disrupt the peace talks between the Three Alliances to end the War of the Three Banners. So let’s jump in.

I prepared myself with training material which enhances the experience and was designed by a friendly foreigner (thanks Boffardello). I rode my Bloodshadow Wraith Steed and got straight into the political intrigue.

High Isle’s main quest begins with “Of Knights and Jacks,” a delightfully twisted tale of politics, alliances, and backstabbing.

Assisted by one of the game’s new companions – Isobel Velois the Breton Knight – I helped Lady Arabelle Davaux defeat Guild General Quentyn who had joined the Ascending Order.

There was a lot of combat and more than a few puzzles to solve along the way. I haven’t reached the end of the quest yet but I can’t wait to start the journey.

Hours of play

The expansion is a massive addition to what is already a huge game to explore.

There’s a seemingly endless supply of fun quests – from role-playing to scavenging for loot in dark caverns filled with dreugh (a terrifying scorpion-style monster), clannfear, and daedroth.

The voice acting in ESO It’s incredible. Even John Cleese makes an appearance in the game as Sir Cadwell.

You can go fishing (you’ll need bait), cook food (you’ll need ingredients), make potions, craft armor, or just ride your glorious steed around the hills.

It’s about questing and finding clues. Fortunately, there are helpful arrows to guide you.

You can fight monsters or sneak around to steal things. And you can always ask for help from the friendly community.

There are frankly too many details in the game to fit into a review. This is the kind of game in which you completely lose yourself.

Tribute Tales

One of the cool new additions to the expansion is the Tribute Tales card game.

Quick admission here – I spent hours playing Magic: The Gathering in elementary school, which kind of speaks for itself.

Tribute Tales is a super complicated game in which two players compete with collectible decks.

Having a good understanding of the cards and what they do is critically important.

The goal is to amass as much prestige as possible and when you reach 40 points you win the game.

I had fun playing the game as part of the quest and it would have been received quite well by the ESO community.

My take on the High Isle

I’m still working on this huge expansion, but my first assessment is that it revitalized the game.

The main quest is great fun and the land of High Isle and Amenos is a huge new playground to explore.

I’m already addicted.

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