Right before E3, Bethesda announced Elder Scrolls: Online, a project that’s been in production for the last five years–and a rumor that’s been around for just as long. Contrary to popular belief, Elder Scrolls: Online has real-time action, which is faithful in style to the past Elder Scrolls titles. The game’s offers graphical capabilities that are on a par with Oblivion, and PvP battles with over 200 players at a time.
The story takes place in Cyrdoil, roughly 1,000 years before Skyrim, and features surrounding three factions: Eonheart Pact (Elves and Argonians), Daggerfall Covenant (Orcs, Red Guards, Nords), and the Aldmeri Dominion (Khajiit, Wood Elves, Dark Elves). Players can choose a faction and fight along with others for Cyrodil, which is located in the middle of all three. The cinematics’ environments and concepts are well done, which pleased me. And then Bethseda showed gameplay.
Gameplay, at least in the demo build, is god-awful. ESO is third-person only, and looks like a dumbed down version of Guild Wars. The combat’s sloppy, and I couldn’t tell if my character were doing any damage at all. Although the action is real-time, there’s an action bar at the bottom of the screen similar to other MMOs. Another downer: You’d hit your action key and suffer much lag. The PvP’s even sloppier. I couldn’t discern what was happening onscreen, as spells and attacks of all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes filled up the screen for the ultimate lag-fest. Hopefully, Bethseda addresses these issues before the titles early 2013 release.
Dishonored, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. The game takes place in a steampunk city called Dunwall, that’s powered by whale oil. It has a lot of vertical space; you can literally climb atop anything, go through walls, and even teleport. It’s a good combination of stealth and first-person action, which requires a good mix of blocking, attacking. The enemy ranks are comprised of guards, prostitutes, Tall Guys (guards on robotic stilts), and more.
The menu system is filled to the brim with different weapons and supernatural powers. You can dash across rooftops to stealthily move to other locations, possess animals (like fish underwater for super-stealthy access into a building), and even manipulate time. Much like Deus Ex, you can take stealthy or aggressive approaches. It’s game to look for when it’s released this fall.