The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Preview

By the decree of Queen Ayrenn (and Bethesda itself), Summerset is the latest chapter of content to come to The Elder Scrolls Online and the world of Tamriel. The update, due out in the coming months, is said to offer over 30 hours of new content as well as two new locations to explore, new items to collect and a whole new power to master.

Will it be one of the best PC games available in 2018? We were invited by Bethesda to play the opening hour of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset in March 2018, and here’s what we thought.

Release date and pricing

So, when is The Elder Scrolls Online Summerset available to buy? Bethesda has confirmed that the game will be released around the world on 5 June 2018. But, if you’re already a TESO player on PC or Mac, you’ll be access to the game a little earlier, on 21 May 2018. Oh, and those that want a little taster can head to the test servers in April to give Summerset a test run.

Despite not being available for a while, you can already pre-order The Elder Scrolls Summerset on PS4, Xbox One, Mac and PC from Game (£29.99), Amazon (£29.99) or Green Man Gaming (£29.99) in the UK, or Best Buy ($39.99) and GameStop ($39.99) for those over in the US.

It’s worth noting that all copies of Summerset also come with the base game (unlike some games that require both the DLC and base game) so if you’re yet to jump into the exciting online world of The Elder Scrolls Online, grab a copy of Summerset and enjoy!

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Preview

Summerset is the 2018 chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online, one of four pieces of content being released for the game this year. Now, we’re careful to say chapter and not ‘expansion’ because Bethesda has made it clear that Summerset is for TESO players old and new, and is accessible right from the get-go. It even features a beginner’s tutorial that explains controls and systems in-case new players opt to start their adventure in Summerset Isle.

Other MMORPG games offer expansions as end-game content only for those die-hard players that hit level caps and are bored of the same dungeons all over again. TESO decided to take a different approach to DLC as, aside from wanting to make it accessible to everyone, the game simply isn’t level-based and wouldn’t work as well as it would in games like World of Warcraft.

It’s a nice touch that focuses on inclusivity and not just rewarding those that have been playing the game since its original launch back in 2014.

After partaking in the Summerset-focused beginning tutorial, we were welcomed to the gorgeous island of Summerset, home of the High Elves. With soaring architecture, stunning mountains and coral forests all free to explore, it offers something fresh and new compared to the rest of Tamriel.

As the Isle is the home of Elves, there’s a focus on magic and fantasy in terms of the quests you can undertake, the environments you explore and, of course, the enemies that you come up against. Though we only had just over an hour with the new chapter of the game, we were able to undertake a handful of quests and, by the end of the session, we were more invested in the story than we were with the base game when we played it back in 2014.

So, what’s going on in Summerset? The Proxy Queen has decided to open the borders to the Isle for the first time in its history, welcoming civilisations from Tamriel to visit and live. It’s a move that not all High Elves are happy with, and there seems to be disharmony in the ranks. Though probably not on purpose, it’s arguably similar to interests and actions of certain countries in 2018, making the storyline all the more interesting to us.

As well as exploring Summerset, you’ll finally get to not only meet but get to join the Psijic Order. The Psijic Order is an ancient civilization that many believe were the original founders of magic in Tamriel. They live on Artaeum, a mysterious place that can appear and disappear from Tamriel at will. Though we didn’t get a chance to during our hands-on, Bethesda has assured us that players will be able to fully explore Artaeum at some point in the game.

The latest chapter of TESO doesn’t only include a new area, new quests and new loot to discover, oh no. It also introduces an entirely new mechanic that end-game players have been waiting for, for some time; Jewellery crafting. In addition to crafting weapons and armour, crafting jewellery gives players a new way to boost their character's stats, helping to give the edge in PvP combat and in dungeons.

Though you’ll need a copy of Summerset to access the crafting mechanic, those with only the standard game will still be able to buy crafted jewellery from players and get the same magical benefits.

All in all, there’s around 30 hours of new content coming in the Summerset update. As well as what’s mentioned above, you’ll also get to access a new dungeon (the Cloudrest Trial), learn to wield a new ancient power, new weapons and loot to find and in-game achievements to discover.

SHOULD I BUY THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: SUMMERSET?

We'll wait for TESO: Summerset to be fully released before delivering our final verdict and score.