Elder Scrolls Online: The Clockwork City Review
The Clockwork City is an expansion to the Elder Scrolls Online taking us to a steampunk realm that Dwemer lovers will feel right at home in. The city is constantly moving and taking different forms, clockwork buildings made up of cogs, gears and various other pieces of mechanical contraptions assemble around you. With a large new area to explore and a large quest to embark on. The Clockwork City adds a fantastic new world to explore and interact with.
You were able to explore the Clockwork City before, in the Tribunal expansion of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. However the world has not been seen in this much detail and with such rich story telling before. The world has been created from the ground up and has a lot to discover.
You encounter many beings on your travels, such as mysterious half mechanical creatures that seem to repair and establish some of the realms less tended to areas. You are a stranger and uninvited guest in these lands resulting in these creatures reacting aggressively towards you. While this world is awe inspiring; it’s one you aren’t supposed to be in. You’re met with constant aggression as you attempt to unravel the secrets of the Clockwork City.
As you continue your adventure in this strange world you begin to discover the story of its creator, Soltha Sil, a mysterious Dark Elf responsible for everything you’ve seen so far. Delving further into this story you quickly figure out things are not quite as they seem, as you explore more of the realm you begin to uncover a plot involving the Daedric Princes that could alter the fate of The Clockwork City and even Tamriel itself.
The expansion adds a lot of exciting new creatures, weapons and lore. The creatures you meet are unlike anything else in the game. Mechanical Raptors that hunt in packs trying to ambush you in your travels prowl the lands of the Clockwork City. These creatures breathe some fresh air into the game, all the sudden it feels as if you’re in a sci-fi adventure, very unusual for the Elder Scrolls. The world feels alien, more alien than it did before at least. It will have you questioning what you already know about the Elder Scrolls setting.
Sure we’ve seen mechanical contraptions before, such as automatons in Dwemer ruins that we’ve all come to know from games such as Skyrim. However the Clockwork City pushes the limits of what we know. These creatures are stitched together abominations, driving you to discover why they were created. Who is this Soltha Sil and why is he torturing and splicing creatures and people like this?
Alongside the large range of quests, you are given access to a 12 man trial, The Asylum Sanctorium, which pits you and your allies against vast numbers of enemies and brutish boss fights that will test your characters to the limits. This trial is unique in that it’s the first ‘Choose-your-own adventure’ where you’re able to decide which of the fearsome bosses to pit yourselves against. The trial varies in length, either you can approach is cautiously facing the fearsome bosses one at a time or boldy attack all three at once. Completing this trial which can take between 15 minutes or 30 rewards the player with unique weapons found only in The Clockwork City.
A new feature introduced to the game is Transmutation, this is the process of tailoring and tinkering with your equipment to best suit your needs. Alter your weapon to deal a certain type of damage to gain the upper hand in combat, or perhaps modify your armour to become more resistant to types of magic or even improve on some of your existing skills. In order to transmute your items you’re going to need to gather special crystals that enable you to interact with “Transmutation devices”. These can be gathered by doing daily quests and arena awards
In terms of gameplay and performance the Clockwork Tower was released together with the latest ESO patch, which brings many bug fixes to the game and improves performance. I found myself experiencing very few issues whilst playing the game with smooth gameplay and unhindered combat not interrupted by the occasional stuttering I used to experience.
- Detailed world
- Interesting plot
- New mechanics
- Slightly grindy