How The Elder Scrolls: Blades Looks To Change the Mobile Gaming Experience
While mobile gaming still generates millions of dollars on a monthly basis thanks to established [...]
While mobile gaming still generates millions of dollars on a monthly basis thanks to established games like Fortnite and Clash Royale, it can be a bit tough for a newcomer to break ground on the market, mainly due to the fact that players have certain expectations when it comes to how it's supposed to perform. But apparently no one told Bethesda.
The company is taking bold strides in introducing a new kind of mobile tour-de-force with The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a first person adventure that combines hack-and-slash and spellcasting into one unique, simplistic experience that fans of the series and casual players alike are sure to enjoy. The publisher recently gave us the opportunity to go hands-on with the game at QuakeCon and we came away very impressed with the results.
We managed to try out two different stages within the game -- the Forest and the Castle. Each one presented some beautiful, real-time 3D environments that ran smoothly on mobile devices (at least, the ones we tested -- older ones may still be in question). The goal is to get to the finish of the stage, where a somewhat stronger boss character awaits. Defeat them and you can move on to the next area with ease.
Movement in Blades is handled relatively smoothly, as you simply tap on the location that you want your character to walk. It can be iffy when it comes to getting close to walls, as we've gotten stuck on one during certain occasions. However, for the most part, movement is handled very fluidly, and getting around is a piece of cake. Furthermore, if you want to break items in the environment, you simply walk up to it and it'll automatically be destroyed.
A Different Kind of Combat Experience
Now, when an enemy appears -- and they're pretty frequent in the stages we tried out -- you can't really go anywhere. You have to face off against them and eventually defeat them before you can go any further. Thankfully, in-game combat is handled pretty well in Blades.
The general hack-and-slash mechanics are pretty good, as you can hold down a point on the screen, waiting for a meter to fill up. If you release it with proper timing (depending on when an in-game circle fills up with your finger on it), you can do maximum damage to your foe, making it easier to bring them down.
However, they strike back, and that's when you'll want to hit the shield button. This will enable you to block incoming attacks, though you may still take mild damage depending on who's hitting you. Use this whenever you can, as you only have so much health in a stage before you succumb to your wounds. Fortunately, there are health pickups that you can utilize along the way from those aforementioned broken objects.
There's more to Blades' combat than that. You can utilize a shield bash that can knock enemies for a loop (and additional damage); you can unleash a blizzard that can chip away at them while you still do attacks; and there's an electrical charge that can really hurt them. As you might guess, you may want to use these instinctively, as they take a while to charge back up, leaving you only with your sword and shield to defend yourself.prevnext
These Blades Are Sharp
The two stages we saw featured beautiful visuals on the newest mobile device we played on (again, jury is out on older ones), with smooth animation and lighting details that really stood out. But the stages are pretty linear, not leaving too much room for exploration. But as we see more of the game open up, we're sure to see this spread out -- like with the potential building elements that we haven't had a chance to see just yet.
The game will also introduce new elements, including a PvP arena mode where you can challenge other players in the Elder Scrolls universe; as well as an Abyss "endless runner" style stage where you possibly keep moving and take on any enemies that come at you in rapid-fire fashion. Bethesda hasn't detailed this mode just yet, but we're eager to learn more.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades may not be an ideal mobile experience for everyone. It's pretty general when it comes to its combat tactics, and the stages we saw didn't present too much of a challenge. But it's definitely a unique experience and ones that fans and newcomers alike should enjoy. And once the other components come together -- like that building -- we'll really see how it gets to come together.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades is set to release later this year for iOS and Google Play.
(Disclaimer: Bethesda did provide accommodations to QuakeCon.)prev