The Elder Scrolls: Arena Review

Original Blog: http://www.gingerchrisgaming.wordpress.com

Useful Wiki Page: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Arena:Arena

The Elder Scrolls: Arena was released by Bethesda Softworks in 1994 for PC DOS and other relative microcomputers of the time, the game is a CRPG and was the first in the Elder Scrolls Series.

A little history on the game, originally the game was set to be a gladiator combat game, where you would go to various arenas and ultimately become the ultimate victor in the Imperial City. During its development the team added side quests to give a wider view on the game and added loads of stats. Finally they decided to make a full blown RPG with loads of stats and a massive open world.  Near to the end of the development they were rushing to make a Christmas release for 1993 but because the artwork for the game was already printed they still had to use the Arena name.

Even though they missed the Christmas release, Arena was released on March 1994 and didn’t receive much of a audience. But as the time went of many copies kept selling and inspired Bethesda to release a sequel Daggerfall.

Now onto the real game, The game is based in the world of Tamriel, and is a 1st person viewed game, the game has a massive open world and has been stated to be ‘Practically Infinite’ by many. Like all of the Elder Scrolls Games there is the main quest which leads you through the plot and there are the side quests. The main quest is a good experience and lasts you a few hours but if you choose to do the side quests you would still be playing even now. The main story is viewable when you start the game:

“For centuries different factions battled in petty wars and border conflicts, until in 2E 896 Tiber Septim crushed all those who opposed him and took control, proclaiming himself as Emperor. Still, the bitter years of war had its affect [sic] on the populace. The name Tamriel, Elvish for ‘Dawn’s Beauty’, seldom fell from anguished lips and was soon forgotten. In a place where life and death were different sides of the same coin tossed every day, the people of the world began calling the land of their sorrow, the Arena… Now, 492 years after Tiber Septim took control and kept the peace, the land of the Arena has a new threat. The Emperor, Uriel Septim VII celebrates his forty-third birthday. But jealous hearts desire the throne and plot his downfall. It is said that hope flies on death’s wings. Prepare then, for as the Elder Scrolls foretold, it will be here that your adventure begins… Uriel Septim IV [sic], Emperor of Tamriel, stands with Talin, leader of the Imperial Guards. They have been summoned by Jagar Tharn, Imperial Battle Mage of the Empire, on rumors of treachery… The Emperor is betrayed… And transported to a dimension of Tharn’s choosing… After months of preparation Jagar Tharn, takes the throne… Ria Silmane, once Tharn’s apprentice, is captured before she can warn the Elder Council of the Imperial Battle Mage’s treachery… Manipulating the essence of magic, Tharn prepares to take the true Emperor’s place as ruler of the known land… The Imperial Wizard wastes no time in gathering his servants… And turning them into twisted counterparts of the Emperors Guard…”

If you finish the main quest the is still a ton of content which still hasn’t been touched on. First of all there is the Spell creation system. The amount of spells you can create is like nothing anyone has seen before. There is an infinite number of spells you can create. You can name them and add any affect from any spell in the game. To think of it I haven’t mentioned the towns, they are made by hand and there are hundreds of them! They are filled with thousands of NPCs which have their own name, own rumours (side quests) and they also give you directions to inns and forges around town. Even though in my game they move at the speed of light they still give some good information. I cannot explain how advanced this game is, they amount of features and amount of randomly generated dungeons and landscapes is unreal. Although I have not mentioned maybe half of the game’s content I really recommend you play this even for a nostalgia try. I give this 4/5 just because there are some serious bugs and glitches that could have been fixed. And also because the game has so much potential to be anything it wanted to, it the team hadn’t rushed it the game to me would be all time favourite… and well it is a bit.

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