In June last year, the American publisher Bethesda Softworks on the press-conference as part of E3 2018 presented a new project in a series of role-playing games The Elder Scrolls subtitled Blades. The game is developed for mobile devices, PC, consoles and virtual reality, but first TES: Blades will visit the iOS and Android.
Later, a man from the meme of «Buy!» and part of the Executive producer of Bethesda Game Studios Todd Howard said about Blades from a scene of theatre of a name of Steve jobs at the autumn Apple presentation last year.
It would seem that a major publisher has decided to move one of the most famous series in the video game industry on mobile platforms. What can go wrong? And the clue was in a couple of words «available for free», sounded at the end of the presentation. We all knew where it was going.
TES: Blades already available for iOS and Android in open beta testing. I had the opportunity to see the project from the time of closed beta testing (CBT) and now I will tell you what is able to captivate the player that the popular «the ugly duckling» in the series of TES and what he is all about.
«Enemies burned native hut»
The plot of TES: Blades spinning around you is a former agent of the elite order of «Blades», which after the great war has been outlawed. In the circumstances you have no choice but to go home, but instead of home and old friends you will see the burning ruins.
It turned out that everyone in the County is ruled by the Bloody Queen, under the oppression which the majority of the residents of your hometown ran. The other part was captured, and almost everyone who regularly paid taxes, died in a magical fire, which engulfed the city after the destruction of the statue of its founder.
And so, therefore, you come to the city and on its doorstep you are met by elder Junius, according to which it becomes clear that only you will be able to rebuild the town and to deal with the unrest going on in his district.
Conversation with Junius demonstrates the flexible dialogue system, when you can either «run» on all questions to the non-player character (NPC) to get them all the answers, or simply stop the conversation, which wasn’t mentioned. You’ll just have to read the text and to include fantasy.
Questions to non-player character, like his answers, always determined in advance. Occasionally come across intriguing conversations with old friends, but mostly you have to «preklicati» in turn a few questions to get a trivial «kill five trolls» or «bring 4 skins.»
Before the conversation with Junius players will find a character editor, which presents 10 races: Nord, Orc, Redguard, dark elf, Argonian, Breton, high elf, Imperial, Khajiit, wood elf. Each race gives the character special bonuses. You can also choose the gender, and then edit your character’s appearance and his physique.
Later, you can change your race, gender, and the appearance of the hero have a special NPC, but the ability to create several characters while in the game.
A vicious circle
Go to the main point — the gameplay. It combines the cleaning corridors with monsters and a city building. They are connected among themselves in the following manner: get resources with tasks, develop with their help the city to open new jobs and increase the level of strategic objects like the forge, and then again on the job. And all this in a circle: jobs, city jobs, city.
In your city you can safely move in random order, placing on the ruins of new buildings, most of which are simply buildings–dolls. Their appearance increases the prestige of the settlement. With the growth of the prestige of the increasing levels of the city, which open up new buildings and styles. The latter lie in the decoration of buildings: wood or stone, for example.
In General, of all the city’s important role for you, playing only three buildings: a forge, a laboratory, and the tower of the enchanter. They can buy and build new equipment, cast her magic spell to brew a potion. There’s even a workshop to make decorations for the city and the acquisition of materials on their construction. But all this «tinsel».
Build every building make you wait, then you need to get back in the game and «make project». Only after that the new building «will take effect». These moments in the game a lot, we’ll talk about them separately.
Explore the corridors
Job, like plot and missions from the Bulletin Board are one and the same. We appear in the beginning of the corridor, we reach the end, passing «mowing down» a series of enemies and collecting scattered resources, then we suggest immediately leave the location, or continue her research.
Strongly recommend to choose the last option and carefully walk around the area-level again, because along with the obvious branches in other rooms it might contain a secret room. Passages in them open the switches or circuit. They are highlighted, but they are still easily «missed».
Though the levels and is composed from a limited number of rooms that are easy to remember, I take my hat off to the design locations, because each time at them is a lot of walking to find the keys to the locked doors, or just collect all the chests, resources, and just smash all the jars. Still for locations scattered food to replenish health, but if not look for complex tasks, you will not need it. And you can stock up on potions, but better to fall for «the Abyss».
The abyss is a dungeon in which the scattered control points. The more «checkpoints» is the player, the higher the reward and «thicker» enemies. After death, you can start the «Abyss» immediately with the maximum achieved level. It is worth considering that in the Abyss, no secret rooms scattered resources and food, and enemies, after killing them, is not charged experience.
From my story about the job, you must understand the following: explore similar locations in search of resources in the TES: Blades is more interesting than the fight because the combat system there is no.
Skills, equipment and battles
In confrontation with enemies, which can be skeletons, spiders, orcs and, at worst, ordinary bandits we enter automatically when you approach them close enough.
Enemies do not stand still, and move freely around the location. They can come from behind, but no hidden attacks and finishing moves there. The enemy simply turns to face us and starts the same type of massacre.
Tap the screen and we brandishing weapons. Under the finger and a red circle appears, which by extension becomes gold. Golden colour — a signal that can release your finger, then our hero will make the shot.
You can press and «crush» the enemies from different sides, but their behavior in battle and the damage from it does not change. Do more damage to help chain attacks. They made a series of taps on the screen or by moving your finger from side to side on the display after the club went gold.
The last option, if I understand correctly, should work like Fruit Ninja or Infinity Blade, however, as much as I «drove» your finger across the display, the majority of attacks occur on the one hand, and any combo comes out.
There is a key block and six active skills, which the combat system becomes more interesting. Its obvious the problem of low responsiveness.
The combat system in TES: Blades there are a number of mechanic, sharpened for use in the right time. For example, it spells an interrupt that deals damage to you, the unit is able to stun the enemy when triggered at the moment of impact on you, or a separate skill evasion and subsequent counterattack.
However, none of this works because of the animation of blows is too short and sharp, and the reaction of the character on the same key block unrealistically slow. The only way to apply such skills correctly — to operate at random. Sometimes lucky, sometimes not.
The only time it is possible to calculate the actions of the enemy, it fights with small enemies like rats or wolves. They jump on the hero, and need to go at the moment close to their teeth. This first meeting gave me hope for enemies with a variety of «patterns» of behavior in combat, however, other patterns of attacks from hostile NPC I have never met.
Summing the intermediate result on the combat system: no pleasure in rudovanie sword or anything else in TES: Blades no. Just because it is impossible to master the combat system, which is ruled by random. The result is just «zaklikivaem» of enemies along the way using the skills.
With regard to skills. They can be passive (abilities), magic (spells) and, say, physical (abilities). The last two types use mana and energy, the supply of which is limited and gradually filled in the battle. Mana, like health, can be accelerated potions.
Skills are purchased with experience points, which are credited with raising the level of the character. In battle you can only use three magic and three physical skills.
Passive skills are reduced to the bonuses to a particular weapon, armor and damage types. Mana and energy is increased selectively after obtaining each new level.
In addition to skills and luck in random combat system, on your success in passing the jobs affected by the equipment, which includes melee weapons, the shield (only with weapon in one hand), armor, helmet, gloves, boots, and jewelry. The game promised a PVP arena, so where do without them?
The gear elements have a margin, which is compensated in the smithy. As I said above, the equipment can be enchanted, imposing randomly 1-2 magical effect.
Graphics and control
Remember once again that TES: Blades is being developed by the publisher of the «capitalized» in the face of Bethesda Softworks, who has long worked in the world of console and PC gaming, where made on project presentations «FIB» about the graphics.
I can’t say that TES: Blades looks just absolutely awful, but some effects like light reflection in the water, nuclear light from crystals scattered everywhere and the abundance of particles in the air that could be seen in the trailers and on the presentation of Apple, hence removed.
It should be noted that I play on iPhone XR, but because I see the level of graphics, most likely, maximum. Occasionally TES: Blades gives a cool picture, but the promised level it is.
Another worth noting management. You can move the stick on the left side of the display or touching the screen. The game supports portrait orientation, which is available only the last option. I have to say, so awkward to play, because simply can not see anything. But some people like: to each his own.
We have a lot of «twist» of the camera, which at this stage does not want to obey me. It is too slow, it moves very sharply. I tried to «play» with her sensitivity in the settings, but nothing good ever came of it.
Stroy, kill and wait
Maybe I’m too selective approach to mobile games, but I haven’t seen so much through design as TES: Blades. The point is not that there are crystals purchased for real money, and mechanics with the expectation to «be patient» prior to certain events in the game. The problem is, how it is implemented.
Take, for example, Asphalt 9, where you have to wait for vehicle refueling after a series of races on it, but we have a few machines, and while one car is at the gas station, we quietly «chase» on the other. I can play Asphalt 9 hours, can not be said about TES: Blades.
In the game there are chests of different rarities which can be found at the locations and to receive as rewards for completing tasks. Before you open a chest, you need to wait for some time. Ordinary bronze chest open for five seconds, silver — three hours, and the Golden six hours.
In this case it is «unlocked» chest, you cannot access the other, and their number in the inventory is limited to 10 pieces. Chests EN masse «lying» to each job or order, but because your inventory is always full of them to the eyeballs. And the most interesting — to throw the chests impossible.
Time to open chests is selected in such a way that the player could not go anywhere in case with the bronze version or left out for a long time when opening the other two. I don’t know if there are any more chests in addition to these three. I’m afraid to imagine how long do I need to open them.
And waiting again
Of course, the opening of the chest, like construction, home improvement and repair, crafting, creating new weapons and much more, including completing quests, you can skip the crystals.
In the end, the progress of the player «stumbles» about the interminable wait for the construction of the next house, open a chest, or to improve equipment. It is an artificial stretching of the game in order to «pumping» money kills all desire to play TES: Blades.
I don’t know what VR, consoles and especially the PC was discussed at E3 2018, when even by the standards of modern mobile games TES: Blades is a donation slag. I like to «search» the dark dungeons and hack skeletons even in the «one-button» combat system, but I don’t like games I have to walk as «work».
While the project is still in early access and in the future the developers promise the arena where players will fight against each other and also at E3 2018, comes to visit the cities of friends. But with the current progression system, such changes will not save the game. I don’t think TES: Blades will go on mobile platforms and everywhere will win the hearts of fans of the legendary series.