if you’ve been looking for a reason to return to the world of Skyrim but can’t quite bring yourself to play yet another port of the Elder Scrolls 5 the Elder Scrolls Online’s new gray more expansion provides just such an opportunity alas it’s just fine its quests and setting are appetizing enough if you like your Nordic themed fantasy served with a side of vampires but it’s hard to shake the feeling that ZeniMax online latest dish left the kitchen a tad too early.
it’s hard to fault gray more for its looks the setting of Western Skyrim might be a dreary Marsh but there’s a beauty to it and it shows how far ESS graphics have come since we first saw the rift and East March back in 2014 unfortunately some creativity gets mired in the drive for nostalgia maybe we can accept that the fortress city of Solitude looks exactly the same despite the story being 800 years before Skyrim but nearby more though it’s just a handful of shacks by a swamp surely they could have made some changes just to make it distinctive fortunately for visual variety Western Skyrim takes up only around half of Grey Mohr’s playable area the rest of it unfolds in black reach a gorgeous sprawling zone with glowing mushrooms the size of redwoods black reach isn’t new to ESO though we also saw it back in Skyrim but never run so remarkable a scale is this as with excellent ESO DLCs like merc mire it’s a reminder of what wonder ZeniMax can achieve when it’s creating rather than recreating grey more is a little too much of the latter,
you’ll find no dragons in this version of Skyrim but grimore does riff on the Elder Scrolls 5 a vampire heavy Dawnguard expansion from 2012 the story has a couple of moving moments and Jennifer Hales usual stellar voice acting in the role of Liris helps make up for some weak moments plus there’s a smuggler hiding unknown contraband in a warehouse down by the docks and there are quite a few of those on the whole grey moors main questline is predictable in brief and at times it feels like a lesser version of last year’s elsewhere story in its broad strokes the story is also the foundation for the Harrow storms that randomly pop up and set spots they look cool but in practice they’re just a new variation on the dark anchors and similar events that have been in eso for years and their loot isn’t even all that good you’ll find that sense of familiarity creeping throughout the rest of grey more – it’s got almost everything you’d expect from ESO these days which means you’ll find six Sol oval dungeons called elves to public dungeons six world bosses and for high-end players a new raid like trial the raid aside that’s roughly 15 to 20 hours of play if you’re new to ESO and you simply want to visit Skyrim again it’s easy to recommend because it allows you to drop straight into the new content
and gray more does come with one genuinely new feature that should be great for new players in particular the new antiquities profession feels a lot like World of Warcraft’s archeology profession but comes with a couple of minigames that make it considerably more interesting first you’ll scry for an item to minimize the number of dig sites you’ll need to visit before finding said item and you’ll have to dig in the dirt with brushes and shovel to actually retrieve it the process gets harder with the quality of the relic antiquities are attractive because you can get cosmetic gear amount or rare new mythic gear from them but they’re also great because they’re a way for casual players to make good cash and enjoy expensive things like house customization the vampires skill line also got a major overhaul in the latest patch so you don’t actually have to buy grey more to experience it some of the changes will be hard for longtime vampires to adjust to like taking more damage and abilities that require more resources the stronger you grow as a vampire for that matter it’s often frustrating to realize that some key NPCs won’t bother talking to you if you’re the highest stage of vampire so you’ll need to wait out the condition,
for a couple of hours or swig and occasionally expensive potion if you want them to get chatty again the overall represents an improvement in role-playing but it arguably makes vampirism less appealing for group content speaking of waiting you might want to wait a bit before jumping into grey more as a whole if you’re interested the obscene server lag that plagued the first couple of days after launch is largely gone now but plenty of bugs remain in one of the worst some enemies you find in delves are completely untargetable and invulnerable let’s live to fight another day shall we .
if you love gorgeous landscapes above all else the Elder Scrolls Online’s gray more expansion offers a strongly nostalgic return to the northwestern corner of Skyrim the formulaic story isn’t as compelling but it’s at least held up by a couple of standout characters the rest of grain war is largely a variation on the familiarESO formula although a new antiquity system introduces a welcomed new way to earn cash and cosmetic items without too much effort there is still a lot of Skyrim that we haven’t seen in Elder Scrolls online when it inevitably returns to regions like Whiterun or mark Qarth let’s hope we get something better than this for more on the Elder Scrolls online check out our reviews of last year’s expansion elsewhere and of its sister MMO fallout 76 wastelanders