First gameplay video of TESO: Morrowind makes me nostalgic for mushroom forests

by: Randy -
More On: The Elder Scrolls Online The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind now has its first legitimate gameplay trailer. The cinematic reveal was admittedly cool, but I always like getting boots on the ground and eyes on the in-game engine.

The trailer opens by emerging from a cave—classic Elder Scrolls—and looking up at an immense mushroom forest—classic Morrowind. Although The Elder Scrolls Online [GN score: 8 out of 10] has made great strides in recent years with the borderless Tamriel Unlimited, and more recently by introducing player housing, taking Gen Xers like me back to the land of Vvardenfell is probably the only way of making me seriously consider a purchase. Bethesda Softworks knows it has something very big on its hands, simply by pushing the fact that it's the largest single landmass introduced to TESO, and by slapping a full $60 price tag on there.

TESO takes place 700 years before the events of 2002's The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, but judging by how far gaming technology has come in the 15 years since, I'm guessing TESO: Morrowind has plenty of room for spectacle. No, it's not going to tear down RPG barriers in the same way as the original. The first Morrowind was insane for what it pulled off. There was nothing like it. Some would argue that there's been nothing like it since. But that's arguing about a time and place, and in its time and place, arguably, nothing since has pushed the envelope of role-playing games like Morrowind did. Is this a "you had to be there" moment? Maybe.

Anyway, that doesn't make TESO: Morrowind way less intriguing. I'd always secretly hoped it would be Todd Howard's team, specifically, that took us back to Morrowind. But I'll give a fair shake to a newer team that's got the love, and its heart, in the right place.

Watch this trailer rekindle—or even kindle for the first time—a sense of wonder about the homeland of the Dunmer, the dark elves. Check out those redwood-sized mushroom trees, those lava flows, those ashlands. Check out the crystal-lit caverns, the giant-crab housing, the freaking Cliff Racers. Marvel at the water-floating city of Vivec, the already hundreds-of-year-old ruins in a land already 700 years in the past, and the temples built to self-made gods.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is coming June 6 to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The baseline TESO: Tamriel Unlimited will not get you to Morrowind. You have to purchase TESO: Morrowind to get to Morrowind, but TESO: Morrowind gets you the full baseline game, too, if that all makes sense.