The Elder Scrolls: Blades E3 Impression 2
One of the surprise announcements at E3 2018 was that Bethesda is releasing a mobile version of its vaunted Elder Scrolls franchise. They talked a good game about how they wanted to make a real RPG for phones and emphasized the need to be able to play with one hand to permit RPGamers the most flexibility in their play environment.
So I can happily confirm that when I got to try the game I was able to play in both portrait mode and landscape. While landscape adds the ability to use a more traditional virtual D-Pad style control, I spent most of my time focusing on the portrait mode controls. So here’s what they came up with: you tap and hold to charge up an attack, and when a circle fills up you let go. If you time it perfectly you could get a critical hit. On the screen there was a shield icon that you would hold down to block. Additionally, there were buttons to do a magic attack and a shield bash. Movement was handled by just tapping on the screen and you’d move a bit in the direction you tapped.
Combat flow had was generally to block and wait for an opening. Additionally, you could shield bash and make an opening. During these openings, you usually want to try to land magic attack for lots of damage. Then, while your magic recharges, you’d go back to blocking and doing normal attacks during the openings. These one-handed controls worked well enough, but as usual with iPhone games, there were plenty of mis-clicks. These resulted in blocking when I meant to attack and vice versa.
They were showing off two dungeons in the demo. One was a traditional underground dungeon and one was a forest. I chose to go through the forest. As I explored the very simple dungeon, I killed lots of goblins and spiders. The route was fairly straightforward, probably to ease control for single hand navigation. At the end, a goblin with paint on it showed up, apparently the boss. He wasn’t too hard though, and upon dispatching him a new weapon dropped.
In a stroke of cruelty, however, the demo ended right then. That’s right, they wouldn’t let you equip or play with your well-earned spoils. Also missing was the town building part of the game. Alas, that short taste of the game seems to be all we get until Elder Scrolls Blades comes out this fall.