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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While the story lightly features a theme of good versus evil, the majority of the plot is dealing with the complications of politics and doesn't have a lot of positive messaging.
Positive Role Models
There are several strong female characters, but they tend to engage in behavior that stops them from being ideal role models.
Player's character can be male or female and can be from a wide variety of races, species, and backgrounds. NPCs (non-player characters) are somewhat diverse, and notably feature older women in important roles, but this expansion has a more limited display of racial and ethnic diversity than the game as a whole.
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Ease of Play
Lots of systems to keep track of, but the expansion does a very good job of letting players of any experience level play. Thorough, easily accessible tutorials available at all times.
Violence & Scariness
Combat is a major portion of gameplay and involves magic alongside ranged and melee weapons. Violence is presented realistically, sometimes displays blood and gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Several NPCs (non-player characters) have suggestive and sexually charged dialogue.
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Several NPCs swear regularly, words used include "arse," "bastard," "damn," and "damned." Because the game must be played online, players might encounter other people using inappropriate language if they use text or speech chatting.
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Products & Purchases
The Elder Scrolls is a long-running franchise with many games and pieces of merchandise available for purchase. Many in-game options for spending more money to acquire new cosmetics and items, including a monthly subscription.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol and a fictional drug called skooma appear regularly in the game. Players can consume both products and frequently visit taverns and other places that sell alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle is an expansion pack to the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) The Elder Scrolls Online available for PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, macOS, and Windows PCs. As of 2022, this is the latest chapter in the long-running franchise. The expansion adds a new region and extra content to the base game, including an all-new storyline, a collectible card game, and new companions to take adventuring with you. Although this is a new addition to a long-running game, it is easy to jump into the new content with very little experience. The gameplay features a lot of realistic violence with a light amount of blood and gore, direct references to drugs and alcohol and the ability to consume them, sexually explicit language, and frequent profanity.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.