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Earlier this month, Bethesda’s free to play mobile dungeon crawling action-RPG The Elder Scrolls: Blades left early access, while simultaneously launching on Nintendo Switch. As a result, a number of outlets decided to check the game out and see if it holds up as a more traditional console experience. Here’s what they had to say:
I don't hate The Elder Scrolls: Blades, at least conceptually. Bethesda's lightweight F2P Elder Scrolls game has all the hallmarks of the franchise but delivers them all in such a hollow way that it loses everything that makes the franchise beloved. You might find some enjoyment in the game, as I have done, but you will inevitably become weary of the dungeons, frustrated with the timers, and on Nintendo Switch, you will find the performance to be at times unbearable. Fans of The Elder Scrolls deserve better than this, but it's all they will get until The Elder Scrolls VI launches years from now.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades uses its nature as a mobile-first title as a thin excuse for being a boring, mundane, monotonous experience. It may be free, so there's no point asking if this is worth your money- but is it worth your time? Absolutely not.
While it's nice to see more and more things get ported to the Switch, there are things that belong on the platform and things that do not. This would be an example of something that does not. A truly tedious experience, after just a few hours. The best thing about The Elder Scrolls: Blades is that it's a fantastic advertisement for playing Skyrim on the Switch.
Nintendo World Report 4/10:
The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a simple case of a mediocre game on mobile just not holding up on an actual console. Concessions made for mobile play just don’t make sense here. Not to mention when blown up to a TV or even the modest size of the Switch’s screen, Blades is pretty ugly. It's a downright joke when compared to the actual full Elder Scrolls game already available on the platform. Unlike other Bethesda mobile offerings like Fallout Shelter, Blades is a simplification of a complex game rather than a game built with mobile limitations in mind. When you take away the reason for those limitations, you’re left with an ugly mess of a game with nothing to justify its own existence.
Nintendo Life 3/10:
The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a bland and repetitive grind, a free-to-play mobile game all dressed up like a proper Elder Scrolls title but lacking in any of the adventure, exploration, wit or charm of a mainline entry in the franchise. Combat here is dull, levels are small and linear, town-building is boring and everything is designed to frustrate you into spending your money on the gems required to override the constant timers that impede your progress as you level up and make your way through the barely existent story. It's a free-to-play title so you won't lose anything (other than your time) by giving it a whirl, but we reckon you'll have had your fill of this one in pretty short order, and there are lots of much better freemium experiences available on Switch to spend your precious time on.