The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood is Unleashed
The Elder Scrolls Online has been the subject of much debate within the Elder Scrolls fandom, even before its announcement in May 2021. ESO Blackwood is the latest Elder Scrolls Online update, taking us to that in-between place that's not quite Argonian and not fully Cyrodiil. It's a promising adventure on paper, with intrigue and murder, new friends, and old foes. In practice, Blackwood seems unsure of itself and leans too heavily into re-building familiar locations instead of creating interesting stories. This is the best time to save more ESO Gold for updates.
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S
The Elder Scrolls Online is now Optimized for Xbox Series X|S, bringing a host of graphical and performance improvements free for all ESO players on next-gen consoles. This free upgrade unlocks the native power of Xbox Series X|S and allows you to choose between two unique modes: Performance Mode, which emphasizes frame rate by enabling 60FPS at 1440p resolution, and Fidelity Mode, which focuses on visuals by enabling 4k resolution at 30FPS.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced arrives on June 15 and will be a free base-game update for all ESO owners. Taking full advantage of the native power of the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5, Console Enhanced gives you the option to run the game at full 4K or 60FPS. It also includes improvements to draw distance, textures, reflections, shadows, load times and more. ESO has never looked or played better on the console.
Deadlands Arrives in Fall
Blackwood drops you outside the city of Leyawiin at the edge of the Blackwood swamp and points you toward a murder mystery — although "mystery" is a bit of a misnomer. It'd be more accurate to call it a murder fetch. The Elder Council seems to be dying at an alarming rate, and you're just the hero everyone needs to traipse across the entire region and warn surviving councilors before it's too late, which is almost inevitably is. The story behind these assassinations and the Blackwood expansion, in general, is rather loose and, for Oblivion fans, a bit too familiar.
The Longhouse Emperor was developing a secret project connected to The Four Ambitions and the Daedric Princes, a project divulged only to a handful of his closest councilors and seemingly connected to Mehrunes Dagon just like in Oblivion. The ESO Blackwood expansion is set 800 years before Oblivion, so rehashing what amounts to nearly the same plot seems like a missed opportunity to engage with the series' and region's lore on a deeper level.
The same sense of missed opportunity fills the rest of the region. Blackwood seems intriguing and deadly when you first arrive, a desolate, gray swamp with adventure waiting behind every dip in the land and secrets squirreled away in every crag.