In a completely identical way to the editions of the game seen on iOS and Android systems, The Elder Scrolls: Blades promises to bring players back into a large number of dungeons and scenarios drawn from one of the most amazing – and loved – fantasy sagas of all time (all, absolutely free, since it is a free-to-play). Will it really be an essential product like almost all the other chapters of the saga, or has something gone wrong?
Welcome back to Tamriel, more or less
The plot of Blades it is decidedly slimmer and less complex than that of the titles of the main series: in the role of a lone warrior we will see our native village reduced to rubble after the attack of the fearsome Blood Queen. After creating our character from scratch – through the usual editor – we will be called to rebuild the city by completing quests and earning enough money to retire on the housing unit (from houses through the shops of weapons and objects).
Unlike the classic series of The Elder Scrolls, Blades in fact, it will give us a way to approach all a management part never seen before. This particular game formula will allow us to access new armaments and get in touch with various non-player characters, who will gradually explain the main plot, consequently unlocking new missions to be completed.
The various quests will lead us to explore different areas of the main map, all clearly inspired by the classic fantasy canvas of the Bethesda series: it goes from forests full of pitfalls, passing through abandoned strongholds and catacombs infested with undead and creatures of the underworld (some of which take weight from the basic series).
Unfortunately, once, however The Elder Scrolls: Blades will try to approach his illustrious older brothers, all the flaws of mobile production will inevitably surface. Thanks to the left analog stick we can move our character, while with the right one we will adjust the game view.
The back keys are instead used for attacks from the right and from the left (if you have played any chapter of TES, you will have understood the operation on the fly). The problems start with level design, poor in ideas and even less of creative flashes, which will give us the opportunity to go through a long series of corridors and rooms that are often too similar.
The sword broke
Forget the intricate mazes of Skyrim or the moors of Oblivion, there is no trace here. This will therefore nullify the sense of exploration, which has always been one of the strengths of the TES saga, although greater attention to the architecture of the dungeons would have been enough to make the various primary (and secondary) quests away from the perennial yawn. To disappoint is also the degree of almost zero environmental interaction, also because of the numerous invisible walls that will prevent us from exploring beyond the borders of the level pre-set by the developers.
Even from a purely graphic point of view, Blades does not show who knows what technical performances, given that the game turns out to be a 1: 1 conversion of the previous edition appeared on smartphones and tablets. Some lag problems in various areas – especially some dungeons crowded with monsters and opponents of all kinds – they will make everything a little frustrating (hoping that a corrective patch can intervene in this direction as soon as possible).
Other malus which is certainly not passed unnoticed is the total absence of the exclusive features of Nintendo Switch, i.e. motion control and support at 60 frames per second. A real shame, given that both features would allow the game to shine with its own light (or at least a little more than it currently does).
Luckily Bethesda has instead chosen to include one of the most interesting goodies, namely the cross-save with the mobile version of the game. In fact, just connect your Nintendo Account to the game, to transfer our saves between Switch and the mobile edition (and vice versa). The progress achieved in our previous game will therefore be preserved, also having the opportunity to choose which version of Blades devote ourselves. Note: the title is a free-to-play also as regards this edition for the hybrid platform, but obviously the presence of some in-app purchases within the game is obvious.