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Parents' Guide to

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle

By Jesse Nau, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent expansion has intrigue and new places to explore.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This expansion tones down the scale of the story but doesn't revolutionize the core gameplay. The Elder Scrolls: High Isle is a fairly typical MMO expansion. It adds a ton of new content: a new region to explore, new enemies like the Faun, a collectible card game, two new companions, and an all-new storyline to play through. Mechanically, you have access to new gear, but the fundamentals are the same as always. You complete quests, kill monsters, and explore the environment for experience points to level up and power up your magic, weapon skills, and stats. The new companions Ember and Isobel let you customize the single-player portions of the game a little more, and the Tales of Tribute card game is a fun side activity to do between quests.

The new region, the Systres Archipelago, is the homeland of the Bretons and is a fun and visually interesting place to explore. The game's storyline pulls back from the typical world-ending threat to a more politically motivated plot starring an order of rebellious knights and missing political figures. While the more personal plotline is engaging and features plenty of moments to delight knowledgeable fans, the actual actions you perform are often monotonous. The focus on individual characters and their interactions is welcome, since as a player you spend most of the plot walking back and forth from different story locations without having any input on what's going on. Nothing about the mechanics feels meaningfully different from what you can do in the base game, so investment into the plot and world building is needed to get the most out of what's being offered. The expansion also has a lot of the same potential hang-ups for younger players as the base game: It regularly features drugs and alcohol, the gameplay is mostly realistic violence, and the dialogue has plenty of swearing and sexually suggestive language. On the other hand, the expansion is approachable for new and returning players alike, who can jump into the new content immediately without any resistance. If the particulars of this part of The Elder Scrolls Online's world excite you, or if you're a long-term player of the game, you'll find plenty of reasons to love this expansion.

Game Details

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