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The Elder Scrolls Online's Summerset expansion is shaping up nicely

Authored By Chris Carter

The Elder Scrolls Online is about to dump a super lore-heavy expansion on us -- Summerset. It takes us back to the Summerset Isles (and Artaeum), a place that hasn't been touched in the games since the very first entry -- Arena -- in 1994. While it's not quite as powerful of a launch as say, the iconic Morrowind, it's still a pretty impactful zone if you're an Elder Scrolls fan.

A new trailer below gives us another glimpse into the purple-hued area, as well as a peek at the upcoming conflict that will once again involve the Daedra. This time around you'll be teaming up with the Psijic Order to take them down, while uncovering new abilities and such along the way -- most of which are time-based.

I've been playing the PTS (Public Test Server) edition for roughly a week, and although I definitely need to see more of the narrative play out before I can make a judgment on the story, I'm sufficiently impressed by the zone. ZeniMax Online Studios has done a great job of capturing the raw beauty and danger of Tamriel. It's larger than Morrowind, which is a plus in an MMO centered around exploration, but still bite-sized enough to the point where it doesn't feel like most of the areas are filler.

All of the ancillary elements, from the concept art in the loading screens to the soundtrack, are phenomenally done. As far as the in-game art goes I'm constantly reminded of the work in possibly the best Elder Scrolls expansion to date, Shivering Isles, and Summerset's constant sense of wonder (perhaps best conveyed through the various fairy and butterfly presence) lends itself well to some of the busywork involved in running from place to place.

The Elder Scrolls Online really deserves some sort of "most improved" award. It had a lot of issues at launch but many content-gates were removed shortly after, and the move to free-to-play has only helped it, especially on consoles. It's not a perfect system but the concept of starting wherever you want and exploring your favorite zones (paid expansions excluded) is a big draw when it comes to the rich world of Elder Scrolls.

Summerset will launch on May 21 on PC, and June 5 on PS4 and Xbox One as a premium purchase.

The Elder Scrolls Online's Summerset expansion is shaping up nicely screenshot

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