The sixth chapter of Elder Scrolls Online, High Isle, brings players to the Breton homeland and introduces immersive, European-inspired locations.
In the coming weeks, Elder Scrolls Online players will have an opportunity to explore High Islea new, never-before-seen location in Tamriel and the latest full chapter to launch for Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios’ MMORPG. High Isle is the sixth chapter of Elder Scrolls Online to release and deviates from the formula of previous ESO expansions, foregoing a world-ending Daedric plot for a more contained, political intrigue story reminiscent of Elder Scrolls’ storied past. The chapter includes new locations to explore, a new tavern game that players can engage with, over 30 hours of questing, added mechanics, a new Trial, and multiple quality-of-life improvements that will also apply to the base game.
High Isle and the Systres Archipelago as a whole in Elder Scrolls lore is a vacation destination for the wealthy and those of high society. The new location demonstrates the ideal of Breton architecture that calls back to other Breton structures across Tamriel. While anyone can visit High Isle, it is still considered a Breton homeland. In the main story of the chapter, High Isle has been declared the site of secret peace talks to negotiate an end to the Three Banners War, and players can immediately be plunged into politics and intrigue.
During a special in-game tour of The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle chapter, developers offered a deeper look into the European-inspired cities and towns of the region. The architecture has been designed to create the impression that an older, historical city, with older building styles, is now being met with more modern developments, similar to real-world locations like Vatican City. For example, the ancient parts of Gonfallon Bay, the main city on High Isle, are dominated by longstanding, castle-style buildings, while the newer areas include thatched-roof, half-timbered buildings akin to the style of Tudor-era and German. houses. Gonfallon Bay is also home to historical statues and monuments and thriving shipbuilding industry.
Some of the finer details of High Isle’s major city help it to stand out as one of the more immersive locations in Elder Scrolls Online. For example, Gonfallon Bay has a canal network that allows citizens and visitors to take smaller boats to their destination, similar to Venice, Italy. And, just like in Venice, some of these boats include bards who will serenade riders. These boats may pass under bridges players are traveling across, allowing them to hear the ambient sounds of bards singing as they make their way through the city. Additionally, if they look in the distance over the water, players may sometimes see ships coming in or leaving port.
Outside the major cities on High Isle, Elder Scrolls Online Players can experience rolling hills and sunflower fields inspired by landscapes in southern Europe. Sometimes, these locations are dotted with new creatures like fauns or new world events like Volcanic Vents and Lava Vents. Volcanic Vents, when active, spew lava and spawn multiple monsters, and the player’s party will need to work with a druid to calm the vent before it breaks the landscape. Lava Vents are smaller events in both size and scale and can be dealt with solo. Players may also find delves, smaller, dungeon-like environments that can be explored as part of High Isle’s side stories.
One of the other more talked-about locations included in the Systres Archipelago is the prison island Amenos. Amenos is a jungle landscape inspired by Hawai’i and the South Pacific islands, and the only safe place is its only port of entry, Amenos station. On Amenos, prisoners can be sent into the jungle to fend for themselves, and legend says that even leaving the island at that point is deadly due to something in the air, water, or magic of the location, though players seem to be able to move freely in and out of the jungle and off the island. Players can engage in an Escape From New York-style adventure here. Similar to Blackreach in the Greymoor chapter, Amenos Jungle has no safe roads, and monstrous creatures and prisoners who have managed to survive and band together as a gang can attack at any time. Additionally, the coastline of the island jungle is riddled with shipwrecks and broken reefs, indicating why there’s only one way on or off the island and potentially offering more mysteries to uncover.
Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle is a visually striking chapter, introducing one of the most beautiful areas Tamriel has to offer. The diversity and contrast in the biomes, from the vibrant cities to the rolling sunflower fields to the shores and ports and even to Amenos’ jungle, shows incredible attention to detail and commitment to immersion. Combat is engaging and well-balanced, allowing solo players to venture forth with a companion and successfully complete delves and larger parties to experience more challenging world events just by questing. What primarily remains to be seen is the main questline and story. While many of the other aspects of the expansion have been detailed by developers, including Tales of Tribute and the new companions Isobel and Ember, the story has remained more or less a mystery. Thankfully, fans won’t have to wait long to uncover the plot, as High Isle is set to release on June 7 for PC, Mac, and Stadia.
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Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle will release on June 6, 2022 on PC, Mac, and Stadia and on June 21, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S.
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