I’m cringing watching this easily Blizzard- or Square Enix-worthy new trailer for Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls Online. Not because it’s bad — it’s a deftly rendered slice of CGI. But it must have cost a fortune. It makes me want to say “Spend the money on knocking the game out of the park, please, not the frippery, Bethesda.” But oh what frippery.
The video’s subtitle, “The Arrival,” presumably refers to the game’s big bad, Molag Bal, who’s trying to suck the world into his demon realm, because I guess that’s what demon princes do. In the broody vignette, class-representative characters posture dourly while Cthulhuian whatchamacallits descend from on high and quaver in the background. There’s a “Me? You lookin’ at me? You wanna piece of this?” stare-down, followed by the good guys getting spectacularly owned (because demon prince).
We know how events turn out, of course, because TESO takes place eight centuries before Morrowind. But as they say, journey not destination. Fingers crossed the former measures up when the game rolls out on April 4 for Windows and OS X (followed by PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June).