The Elder Scrolls Online’s one-year-long Dark Heart of Skyrim storyline begins in earnest with this game’s latest chapter expansion: TESO: Greymoor. For the very first time in this long-running Massively Multiplayer Online Game, this snowy, swampy expanses of Western Skyrim are officially open for exploration, even though this is not exactly the same game world players will remember from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
If you have read this expansion’s brief introduction, then you should know that this MMO takes place 1000 years before The Elder Scrolls V, which means some of Skyrim’s recognizable locales, for example, the crowded city streets of Solitude and the riverside village of Morthal, look quite familiar but they are also slightly altered this time around. Gamers will also find a very different status quo in Tamriel’s northernmost kingdom. The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor introduces a kingdom-wide crisis involving werewolves, a growing vampiric threat, an elusive coven of witches, and mysterious Harrowstorms that ravage Skyrim and drive its denizens crazy.
As a matter of fact, I have not played Skyrim for several years, therefore, running around the MMO’s version of the kingdom did not initially offer me the rush of nostalgia that I was hoping for. Walking up to the towering stone walls of Solitude and then jumping around its bustling docks totally brought me back, however, I was not completely overtaken by a warm, fuzzy feeling.
But just as I continued to explore, the warm-and-fuzzies began to creep in, not just because of the recognizable locations and monuments, but because of the general topography of this land and the manner in which I arrived at these locations. For instance, at one point I was semi-aimlessly exploring a snow-blanketed mountain, slaying vampiric sabrecats for the experience. Then, when I was descending a windy path, I suddenly noticed exactly where I was and, look and behold, happened upon the comfortable cluster of houses that is Morthal. This exciting blast from the past reminded me of the sense of adventure and discovery that already pulled me into Skyrim all those years ago.
The central narrative of The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor revolves around your hero helping to get Skyrim’s two rival kingdoms, and their bullheaded rulers to address a roiling, underground threat lead by the Icereach Coven, who are plotting to tear Skyrim apart from the inside out quietly. Aiding you in your mission are the virtuous Lyris Titanborn from the main questline and Fennorian, a quite friendly vampire who does not totally elicit warm responses from passers-by. While Lyris is one of the best, most memorable characters in The Elder Scrolls, therefore, it was quite nice to have her along for the ride during the largely bleak campaign.
This new content and quests included in TESO Greymoor are largely standard ESO fare. You are tasked with venturing into enemy encampments and dangerous caves, retrieving or just destroying all different kinds of items of interest for loot, experience, and Elder Scrolls Online Gold. However, the strength of Greymoor as a whole is that the wretched, gothic atmosphere and imagery that defines the Chapter permeates everything, from the stories driving main and side quests, to the enemies plaguing the landscape, to the look of Tamriel itself.