Bleakrock Island… Skyrim Lives On In The Elder Scrolls Online
One of the best things about this weekend’s ESO beta test (besides the free monkey of course) was the lifting of the non-disclosure agreement. With the NDA no longer in effect, gamers and bloggers are free to publish in-game screenshots and videos, and no longer have to fear giving their firsthand impressions about The Elder Scrolls Online. As editor-in-chief of the Skyrim Fansite I’ve wanted to speak freely about the game for months, and I have to say that this new found freedom is exhilarating.
Approaching The Elder Scrolls Online as a passionate Skyrim fan, I was curious to see how my favorite Tamriel province would be depicted in the game. As such, I created a Nord Dragonknight named Thorson Battleborn (no relation to the Battle-Born clan of Whiterun). As a member of the Ebonheart Pact, I began my adventure in Bleakrock Island as soon as I escaped the Wailing Prison.
Bleakrock Island is located off the northeast coast of Skyrim, and let me tell you the place feels just like home. The Nordic architecture and landscape are both familiar, yet different in some ways as well. It almost felt like revisiting my old high school years after graduation, walking the halls with an air of romantic nostalgia. Everything from the towering pine trees and rocky outcroppings, to the bawking chickens and Nordic accents of the NPCs brought back good memories. These memories in turn burned even brighter with the new enhancements ESO presented in the game’s re-imagining of Skyrim. There were icicles hanging from the eaves of the buildings, and even pigs rooting in the dirt in the farmyards. Besides pigs, other new animals made their appearance out in the wild — owls, cardinals, black birds, and squirrels to name a few. Other Skyrim stalwarts were enhanced graphically — bear, deer, and wolves were given makeovers to look more natural and lifelike.
Bleakrock Island Pictures
Overall, I was very impressed with The Elder Scrolls Online vision of my beloved Skyrim, and I look forward to exploring Bleakrock Island further as soon as the game is released in April. During different beta tests I’ve played in, I’ve visited various places in Tamriel. As beautiful as all of these places are, Bleakrock Island is my absolute favorite.
I’ve attached a few screenshots and will be posting Bleakrock Island wallpapers very soon in the Skyrim Fansite’s wallpaper section. Until next time fellow travelers!
A few readers informed me that they aren’t seeing the same level of graphics that I am. One of our Facebook fans even described the ESO visuals as being somewhat cartoonish. Personally, I haven’t experienced this. While I’m not running the most expensive graphics card in my gaming rig, my gpu is top shelf. I’m running an EVGA GeForce GTX 770 with settings maxed out on ultra, and Bleakrock Island looks terrific — just as good as Skyrim on the same rig, and better in some instances (certain textures and light reflecting off water for example).
In case anyone missed it, I wrote an article last month about The Elder Scrolls Online graphics (The Elder Scrolls Online Graphics: Are They Any Good?) that explores the visual difference between the game on ultra and lower settings.