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The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is the game’s best new content to date – Hands-on
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The Elder Scrolls Online Summerset offers some of the best landscapes to explore yet. The Summerset Isle is stunning from the deadly beachline shores to the towering mountain castle of Alinor. It is all one stunning display of mastery and with my few hours with the game's test server, I longed for more. 

Check out the full gameplay preview of our time in Summerset so you can witness the beauty and discovery yourself. 

I explored the forests, jumped through streams of water and even took a dive into the ocean before being devoured by piranhas. There is a lot to explore and I was impressed by just how well it was all put together. The Elder Scrolls Online is huge and to be able to create a location that sets itself so far apart from everything else that has been made already is truly an achievement. 

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Summerset was once a closed off area but by the royal decree of Queen Ayrnee (you may remember her from the main game), the borders of the island are now open to the public. Since its opening, dark forces have started to threaten the magic and peace of the lands and you and some familiar faces set off to investigate what in the Summerset is going on. 

While I cannot divulge much of the story, from my time with the main quest, it takes you to some breathtaking areas to do some great things. Side quests are also in an abundance. I helped solve a murder on a wine farm and even auditioned for a stage play which would lay the foundation for a much deeper quest later in the game. 

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But it is the lands of Summerset that is the true winner here. New activities include a brand new 12-player arena-like raid where you and 11 other players fight various enemies in order to free a town from a dark evil. I was unable to test this due to the lack of matchmaking at the time but I could just imagine queueing for this raid and banding together with some friends to complete it. 

Another new feature is the new World Bosses that come in a new public event known as the Abyssal Geysers. These replace the Dark Anchors of the main game and are just as exciting. As they appear a pink light shoots into the sky warning players of its execution. You then fight various ocean creatures that spawn in the area. Is it quite a challenge as the geysers spit out water while you are fighting these enemies which deal damage. 

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There are also urchin-like spiders that spawn and attach themselves to you so you cannot move. If anything, it is one of the most in-depth public events to date in the series as there is a lot going on and a lot to pay attention to at one time. The new enemies also make it an exciting activity as you never know what is going to pop out at you. Of course, at the end, you get some tasty loot that pops out in the form of a shell. 

There is also a new skill line called Psijic. These skills are in a way hidden arts of the Isle of Summerset and fit in well with the game's setting. Time Stop freezes time by slowing down enemies stuck in the area. Meditate lets you restore health, stamina and magicka over time, and Undo it sort of like Tracer's reverse time ability whereas you can restore your health, magicka and stamina from a few moments before use. 

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While these new skills are not at great as the brand new class that came with Morrowind, they are a welcome addition to the game. They also add to this sense of discovery that the entire expansion is about. You have arrived on a once-isolated island and its secrets are yet to be discovered. These secrets being the skill lines and ancient magick. This theme oozes out of every aspect of the expansion as the lands, towns and people all have this sense of ancient history to them waiting for the player to discover it. It is almost as if the lands are completely untouched by outsiders and as you explore them you truly get that sense of discovery. 

So far the expansion looks great and Bethesda has gone out of their way to create an immersive land with exciting things to do and places to see. I will, of course, play the entire story and give the new 12-player raid a go when the main game releases. If you are longing for something new in The Elder Scrolls Online, Summerset is the answer as it is really good. 

The Elder Scrolls Online Summerset releases on 5 June 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. 

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