The world of The Elder Scrolls Online keeps getting larger and larger. The game was initially released over eight years ago back in 2014 and had already received five expansions, each offering a new location filled with quests. The newest of these, TESO: High Isle, released yesterday and I’ve been questing and exploring to get a feel for this latest expansion. This is another high-quality release that adds a lot of hours of additional content to the already massive game, with an interesting main storyline to boot. So let’s ride on horseback through the craggy rocks and sun-soaked vistas of High Isle.
If you’ve got a plus membership or purchased the expansion, all you have to do is travel to an automatically unlocked High Isle wayshrine to get started on this new adventure. As soon as you do, you’ll be greeted by Jakarn, an NPC you may remember and is voiced by veteran actor Steve Blum. He represents a woman named Arabelle Davaux, who has come out of retirement to assist The Alliance in holding a meeting that could have a major impact on the continuing Three Banners War. Ships that carried crucial diplomats for a meeting hosted on High Isle have gone missing, and it’s up to you to get to the bottom of it.
Things start off with a multi-leg quest that sends you off to multiple locations to get some idea as to what happened to the ships. You find out that The Ascendant Order, an organization hell-bent on opposing all Tamriel rulers and their continued involvement in the Three Banners War, has been making itself known in High Isle. The order stole an idol from a lighthouse that allowed it to use a blessing from Kynareth herself to light the way. It’s also taken to forcing scavengers to work under its banner.
By the Nine!
In classic fashion, things aren’t quite as they seem. You have to work with Arabelle and her comrades to find the missing diplomats, all while battling the Ascendant Order. And, naturally, this takes you into caves and crypts along the way. High Isle is another large zone separated between a vast, open area and a city. The city is packed with quests to accept. One tasks you with going into a Delve zone and sprinkling reagent salts into lava pits. Venturing forth to do so will get you embroiled in a quest to save someone’s wife within the zone, all while looking for a valuable mineral.
High Isle itself is decent-looking, even if The Elder Scrolls Online continues to show its age. The terrain is grassy and full of trees, with jagged rock spires jutting out of the ground, granting much verticality to the area. You’ll find fields strewn with large, colorful sunflowers on your way to visit a druid. There are beaches with opportunities to gaze out at the water illuminated by a lovely sunset. A group endeavor sees you and others leap off a boat to engage in a large-scale battle with a pirate empress.
Overall, I’m enjoying my time in High Isle, as it’s more well-written content for The Elder Scrolls Online set in a charming, if familiar, Breton setting. This may very well be one of the game’s better expansions, as there’s a lot to like here, even for people who have been playing the game for years.