Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls Blades to early access a couple weeks ago and recently let anyone with a account access to it after the initial beta period. When I saw the game enter early access on iOS I rushed to download it only to have a quick intro fight and have the servers tell me I wasn't allowed in the beta quite yet. After sending a request to join I was let in the next day and was really excited to give the latest Elder Scrolls game a try.

Blades has been one of my most anticipated games on 2019 because Bethesda did such a great job with Fallout Shelter I figured Blades would be just as incredible. After playing blades off and on for a few weeks now I can say that it's a fun enough game but some of it's free to play trapping are annoying and the game as it is doesn't hold my attention very long.

Make No Mistake, Elder Scrolls Blades is Pay To Win & Advance

I don't have a problem with games rife with micro-transactions as long as they don't get in the way of the game being fun. I've played quite a few free to play games and haven't spent money on them such as Hearthstone, Fallout Shelter, Fortnight and Heroes of the Storm. Again, if the base game is fun, I don't typically need to buy cosmetics or the like, it's just not that big of a deal to me. That said, unlike games where you simply pay to buy cosmetics, Blades is a game where you can pay to advance and get very powerful items. For instance, one of the best legendary swords in the game is for sale called the Bloodthirst that does 93 damage with 214 DPS and restores your health while reducing the health of the enemy. It's an incredible weapon that can be purchased for 1,000 gems one of the premium currencies in Blades you can buy for about $10. If you want more gems you can buy many gem packs the biggest being 14,000 gems for $100! There are a lot of things you can spend gems on including loot chests as well as pay to win in game jobs. Right now you can't pay gems to win storyline quests, but you can complete any job (random quests) with gems if you don't have time to beat them normally.

Another way to spend gems is on opening chests. You find chests as quest rewards or in a dungeon. Each chest takes time to open starting from a few seconds for a wooden chest, to hours for a silver chest to six hours for a golden chest. The better the chest the bigger reward but if you don't want to wait to open them, you can pay gems to do it right now. Waiting to open chests is ultra-annoying but it does offer something to do in the game while you aren't playing it. That said, you are limited in the amount of chests you can have and you need... gems to increase you maximum chest holding capacity.

The good news is you can find gems in the game the bad news is you don't find that many so if you want a lot of them you better get out your wallet.

Blades Is A Great Start To A Fun Dungeon Crawler

When you start in blades you village has been destroyed and your are set to fix it back to it's former glory. You dungeon crawl your way to fight and loot enough to rebuild your town while finding better armor and weapons to crawl even deeper. I really like the rebuilding the town aspect of the game and appreciate the time they put into the story, even if a bit simple it works well on mobile. That said, the random job quests get very tedious and they only have a few tile-sets and dungeon configurations making playing the game feel very bland after a bit. Frankly Fallout Shelter suffered the same fate but over time they added a ton of content making the base game incredibly deep and much more rewarding that when it launched giving me hope Blades will get even better.

One point of note is that Blades diverges from Fallout Shelter in that it requires you to have a account and be online to play it. Makes sense as it syncs you character for hot cloud backups between devices but you're not gonna be able to play this on an airplane unless you buy Internet access.

Crawling The Dungeons with Sam

Currently Sam is my character and she is a level 9 Breton that focuses mainly on swords and dodge attacks. Blades lets you pick skills in any tree and when you level up you can focus on Magic or Stamina giving you more ability in whichever you select. The games difficultly ramps up pretty quick but as I play quite a bit of the easier quests before taking on a story mission and make sure my gear is fully maxed, I haven't run into any difficulty wall. That said, I'm still also only level 9.

Blades looks and sounds incredible on my iPhone XS Max and if you have a recently modern smartphone it looks like you can play it. It's not a perfect game and falls out of attention after I play it for a bit but Bethesda has a good base foundation for a great game and if Fallout Shelter is a guide, Blades should get even better.