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Posted August 23, 2017 by David Latham in Feature
 
 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Horns of the Reach DLC Hands-On


With the dust of the The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind’s launch well and truly settled, ZeniMax Online Studios launched its first DLC pack since the expansion two months ago. Horns of the Reach gives players two new dungeons, unique item sets, monster masks, achievements, collectibles, a whole array of new items, and more. The DLC which comes free with an active Elder Scrolls Online Plus membership, or purchasable for 1500 Crowns from the Crown Store (~$15) is the first of two planned DLC packs planned to be released in 2017, the other being Clockwork City.

Along with Horns of the Reach came a free base game update which included a new battleground, new battleground mode, as well as a host of other updates such as new houses, furnishings, and more. For the sake of the hands-on however, we’re going to stick to what you actually pay for.

The two new dungeons are called Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold, both located in the region of Craglorn. You can queue for the dungeons as soon as the Group Dungeon tab becomes available, or you can always try your luck creating your own group using the zone chat or with friends. The great thing about The Elder Scrolls Online is that everyone gets scaled to maximum level in the Group Dungeon finder, meaning you can easily play these new dungeons regardless of what your level is. Of course your skill level might not be there, and you might not have all the abilities of a higher level player but you should still be able to contribute a somewhat relative amount.

The two new dungeons have an intertwined story which players can explore as they take down the many bosses. Bloodroot Forge begins in a valley, working your way through a lush environment which reminded us a bit of scaling the old-school Mount Hyjal in World of Warcraft. You then end up in ancient ruins which were built inside an active volcano. The shift in environments prepares you for the final bosses which can be somewhat challenging if you are unfamiliar with some of the typical boss mechanics of MMORPG’s.

Falkreath Hold on the other hand puts you inside a city which is being attacked. There is almost a sense of urgency as you rush through the city with NPC’s being attacked and crying for help around every corner. There is of course no need to hurry, and you can pause for strategy at any point as there’s no countdown timer or anything stopping you from taking a moment.

If you’re skilled at MMORPG’s and understand the role your character needs to play, the new dungeons aren’t too much of a hassle on normal. Veteran mode on the other hand provides players with more of a challenge and rewards you with much better gear. The new items look great and add some uniqueness to the DLC. The ‘Horns’ helmet seems to be a stand-out item and we were lucky enough to get it early and show it off to fellow Tamrielians.

Overall the two new dungeons and new items in Horns of the Reach add something fresh to The Elder Scrolls Online and is definitely worth checking out. It adds some interesting lore, accommodated by full voice acting and the usual books and scrolls found throughout the new areas. Remembering that all DLC packs are free with an active Elder Scrolls Online Plus membership means at the very least you can jump in for a month and try out all the added content for the low price of $15USD, otherwise the single DLC price tags can add up over time when you’re not getting any of the other benefits of an active ESO+ membership. With Clockwork City coming out before the end of 2017, now might be a worthwhile time to subscribe to one of the more lengthy and economical subscriptions if you plan on enjoying all that Elder Scrolls Online has to offer.

Horns of the Reach launched on Windows PC on August 14, 2017 while Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners can expect it to hit their Crown Stores on August 29, 2017.


David Latham

 
David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Group of Eight university, but only uses his very unique set of skills writing about video games. By day he's a stay-at-home dad, by night he's literally Batman. Where does he find the time?


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