I was thinking of how to talk about this game. See the main problem is I have played every Elder Scrolls game ever (except Redguard it was on the Xbox). This includes Battlespire one of the worst ES games ever. So one might say I'm bias I love Elder Scrolls in fact I love it so much I have spent over 350 hours in Skyrim. That is more than 14 days of my life played in a video game (a little depressing but damn did I love that world).
And you know what this game feels like.
It feels like Battlespire. Broken. Painful. Devoid of any Elder Scroll love.
This game is the same game I played in Beta; they didn't fix a damn thing.
For instance: Do you like grouping with your family and friends in an MMO? Well FUCK YOU. This game hates you if you like grouping. Quests are instanced in such a way that you can't easily help each other. Each person typically has to do each step themselves. This makes the game in my wife's opinion complete shit because she hates doing quests. Typically in a good game like Final Fantasy 14; we get the quests; she follows me and I do the boring stuff. When a fight starts we help each other out and move on. This game if I do a quest before her or choose a different path. There is no helping out all you get to do is watch a floating arrow bounce around and then die.
The next glaring problem with this game is the User Interface and by User Interface I mean what User Interface. They took Skyrim's interface a game built around immersion and playing by yourself and used that one. THE FUCK. There is no minimap (oh you get the skyrim compass which is almost completely useless). You don't get any buff/debuff icons. You can't see if your group has any buffs or debuffs on them. Your group is noted only by little arrows on their head making it hard to see them. The inventory system is the same one from Skyrim you know the one that was such shit that people made entire mods around fixing.
This interface feels like something I would have came across while playing Daoc or EQ 1 not a game post WoW and post Final Fantasy 14. And I know exactly what their response will be "well if you don't like it you can just mod it." Here is the thing I shouldn't have to mod this game just to make it bearable to play and that is what I have had to do. I have already 5 mods installed just to make the game more bearable to deal with and these are mods that were made DURING BETA. That is right their developers already knew that people were wanting this shit and did they listen? Hell NO.
Next off are the Dungeons. I expect dungeons to be expansive, with enjoyable bosses and AWESOME LOOT. Well they got the expansive part right. To bad the bosses are all tank and spank repeat and the loot. Well let's see I got 1 gold from one boss and a minor soul gem from another and nothing on the final one. Yep totally worth running that dungeon. The Bots get more loot from farming the solo dungeons than I got from doing a group dungeon.
Speaking of the Bots. There are TONS of them and they are doing nothing about them. You can not enter a solo dungeon and not find 15 or so bots standing around where the final boss spawns and why are they doing this? Well you know that loot I mentioned above well the solo dungeon boss actually drops loot so why not just bot it and get as much money and loot as you want. To bad that ruins everyone else's experience because you are now fighting bots for the loot and the kill.
Next off is the fighting mechanic. Well its Elder Scroll so it sucks. Seriously they got this 100% right. I have never liked the ES games fighting mechanics because they are always shit and this game nailed it again. You get 5 abilities you can use and that is it. Oh the game has a bunch of skills in it to bad you can't hot key all of them or even half of them. Most of the abilities you use feel flaccid and sometimes the game freaks out and you don't even know if it is firing or not. Compare this with Final Fantasy or Guild Wars where every ability you use is flashy and just has a great feel to it when it goes off and you are left wanting. The only thing that I would say they did right in the combat is the combat is active. I prefer a game that does require me to dodge and move.
So did this game do anything right? Well the sound is awesome. The game's musical score makes it feel very epic. There is not a moment in the game when the music doesn't make you feel like you are on a grandiose adventure to bad its in this broken shit.
The next thing they did right is the factions and pvp. They took a play from DAOC and made a large expansive area that has tons of things to do and is in a constant state of flux as you fight each other for keeps, scrolls and the right to be called Emperor. To bad you can't level in pvp like every other damn game does.
Personally my plan is to give ESO 2 months; that is one for free and one for pay and after that I'm going back to Final Fantasy 14.
Post Script: Linked below is Angry Joe's Review; once again I think he sums it up pretty well.