The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road | Impressions (2024)

Over the last week I’ve spent some time in The Elder Scrolls Online’s ‘Gold Road’ on my Xbox Series X. Sans my multiple “Gold Rush” mispronunciations, I’ve been enjoying my time in the West Weald region of Cyrodil. A countryside prominently featured in ‘The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion’, players will find themselves whisked away to a time where Ithelia, one of the many Daedric Princes, wander the world without memories, an overgrown forest threatens the city of Skingrad and the like, and a cult razer-focused on growing the forest and giving it back to the Wood Elves as they so believe.

I only recently started playing ESO again, my last time with the game is but a faint memory. I distinctly remember hundreds of players trying to rush out a prison cell door, but I digress. My current playtime with the game is all on PC, but as ZeniMax Online’s PR team so graciously offered me a code to run through Gold Road on Xbox consoles I figured, why not have two toons?

Consider this impressions article to be what I’ve covered in Gold Road so far and more from the perspective of a leafy-green that’s still playing The Elder Scrolls Online like the singleplayer RPGs. I’ll shake that muscle memory off eventually, I hope.

Now is time to walk the Gold Rush Gold Road, Proxy.

Starting a new toon on consoles, one thing I appreciate about ESO is the fact that I can quite literally jump into any point of the game’s content and experience the Zone’s story and encounters. This change came a few years back as far as I can tell, but it’s a good way to simply be able to jump into the game right away to play with a friend or simply because you really like that region. On the other hand, playing this game a bunch now, I honestly cannot tell if there is any overarching story. So far, I’ve simply been enjoying Zone stories as self-contained adventures and will hold off on a deep review of The Elder Scrolls Online until I’ve completed most of the game’s content, Gold Road included.

ESO is also really easy to get into. At first, I thought that the game was scaling enemy levels to my character as I was checking out the new Zone, but I later found out that the game scales you to enemies until you pass level 50. Some players might not like this, but I cannot lie, I do like being able to jump right into the action especially if I’m going to be playing with friends. If your friends hate video games, don’t fret as ESO is solo-friendly too—you’ll find players in dungeons that’ll be more than happy to silently speed run dungeons with you as long as you can keep up.

Speaking of jumping into the action, upon entering West Weald you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of some ruins. A conversation later and you have your reason to walk around this beautiful region of Cyrodil. Largely a bunch of flatland, a lot of detail is present in this new Zone that I really appreciate seeing. Especially having a bigger and livelier version of Skingrad than the one present in Oblivion. But it’s also a lot prettier and vibrant thanks to an excessive (but pleasant) amount of foliage and good texture work. Now the first three objectives for this Zone’s story take you through a dense woodland rainforest that was once a lively village, Daedric depths, and an estate where funny things are afoot.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road | Impressions (2)

Compared to other MMOs on the market, I like ESO’s approach to storytelling. It’s like Skyrim in that actors play out scripted scenes in the overworld as opposed to strictly relaying information to you or one another through dialogue boxes. Gold Road has a good number of encounters that are entirely unique and will have you complete a varied number of combat and investigative objectives. These quests also offer you a chance to catch up on background details if you’d so please. But if not, you can simply back out and continue away. No unprompted lore dumps, thank the Eight.

As I ran through some of the Zone’s story content and new world raids called the “Mirrormoor Incursions”, I also took the time to properly level out my toon. This time around I chose to be a High Elf assassin and had a lot of fun unlocking my active abilities and trying them out on unsuspecting foes. The game’s combat is action-focused and can be played in the first and third-person. It’s not traditional tab-targeting, but like many MMOs contact between you and your foe can vary based on positioning.

You’ll be doing plenty of dodging and repositioning to stay alive and deal stuns and critical attacks. But really, staying alive always boils down to “staying outside the red circle.” Scribing is new to ESO as well with Gold Road and though I haven’t quite gotten around to it, I’ve heard it’s a good system for really diversifying your builds.

Players deep into The Elder Scrolls Online will more than likely have Gold Road by now, the upgrade coming out just last month. But the game is quite newcomer friendly, sans the inventory management. It’s quite easy to become overencumbered and honestly trying to keep my inventory clean with a controller isn’t exactly all-too convenient. The game on console lacks K+M support which is a shame, but otherwise the game is fully playable and really convenient with a controller. I’ll likely starting using one on PC when I switch back over.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road | Impressions (3)

There’s a lot of The Elder Scrolls Online that I haven’t gotten around to cover, and I’m actually excited to be able to fully review this entire adventure once I’ve done so. Elder Scrolls lore has always eluded me, particularly with the higher concepts and how things never quite seem to connect. But even then, the quests are fun thanks to varied mission objectives and interesting to me. Having full voiceovers helps with that as well.

If you’re in town for a new MMO, give The Elder Scrolls Online a try. It’s on Xbox Game Pass for console and Gold Road is currently available as an expansion pack for $39.99 USD. The full ‘The Elder Scrolls Online Deluxe Collection: Gold Road’ not only has the latest upgrade pack but every other major continent as well and that goes for $79.99 USD ($63.99 USD with Xbox Game Pass). The game is also available on PC via multiple storefronts and PlayStation consoles.


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The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road | Impressions (2024)
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