Published on December 6th, 2018 | by Michael Newman0
The Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire
When I was in college, way back in the mid-90’s, I came across a game that changed my world. The game was Elder Scrolls Arena and who would have thought that 24 years later the land of Tamriel would still be going strong with new games and content updates. Over the years we had games such as Oblivion and Skyrim that focused on key areas in Tamriel whereas Elder Scrolls Online explored areas that have not been seen since the days of Arena. We have also had some beautiful and amazing content updates to Elder Scrolls Online since its release in 2014. In only four years they’ve taken us from the ashen covered plains of Morrowind to the awe-inspiring magical kingdom of the Summerset Isles.
The different DLCs have not only given us new areas to explore but we have also learned more about Tamriel’s inhabitants. Even though they have had a limited showing so far, the lizard folk of Murkmire have always intrigued me, so it was with great anticipation that I finally had the opportunity to spend time with this interesting denizen and I certainly was not disappointed.
Elder Scrolls Online has been busy releasing new content in a fairly rapid pace expanding into regions that we have only seen glimpses of in the past. Morrowind and Summerset Isles were larger expansions and we have also had smaller content releases such as Wolfhunter and Clockwork City.
Murkmire is much like the latter, in that it is a smaller region set in the Argonian province of The Black Marsh. Murkmire is filled with swamps and marshes, and teaming with crocodiles, Bear-Lizards and other assorted beasts both old and new. Unfortunately, much of The Black Marsh has descended into the depths of the swamp which you learn more about in interactions with the numerous NPC’s you encounter and also in lost scrolls and books you discover along the way.
The main quests are some of the most interesting to come out of ESO in quite some time. Upon entering Murkmire you will meet an archaeologist named Famia, who’s scouring the temples to find Argonian artifacts for her museum. Her heart is in the right place, wanting to preserve Argonian culture, but it is unfortunately at the expense of taking those artifacts out of The Black Marsh. The quests you embark on with (and often times for) Famia, have a Tomb-Raideresque feel, carefully tumbling and sneaking your way past various traps throughout the temples. This definitely gives the expansion a more Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe, as opposed to the traditional sword and sorcery feeling you get by playing Summerset Isles.
Famia is only one of the many new and interesting characters you will meet during your time in Murkmire. You will also be introduced to Xukas, an Argonian and member of the Bright Throat tribe. Xukas is more of a diplomat and less of a fighter but don’t worry, he does have you team up with a powerful Naga assassin known as Jaxsik Orn to free prisoners and torch an invading army’s camp. The key takeaway here is that Murkmire has plenty of battles and fascinating lizard-folk to interact with during your stay.
As always, ESO also has interesting side quests to go along with the main quests. One of my favorites, was a quest where you had to handle a dispute as to who is the rightful owner of a Saltricefarm after the previous owner passed away. Will it go to drug addict sister who only wishes to sell it off to buy more drugs or to the ruthless money-lender whose debt had not yet been paid in full? These side quests are quite fun and are an interesting respite from the exciting and adventure packed main quests. It also wouldn’t be an ESO expansion without some added dungeons. Murkmire introduces the new four-man gladiatorial debut of Black Rose Prison, an arena where you and a group of three others will battle through wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies, all in an effort to save a Wood Elf’s friend who is being held hostage. There is never a dull moment in the land of swamps and lizard people.
Murkmire continues to expand on the very diverse and interesting landscape of Tamriel. It’s a smaller expansion but that doesn’t make it any less interesting or enjoyable. Getting to learn more about the Argonians, outside of the limited lore that we have already been presented with was a real treat. I can’t wait to see what comes next from Bethesda and what locations are left to explore in the world of Elder Scrolls.
What I liked: Interesting quests, Swamp setting, Amazing voice acting (as always) What I liked less: Some repetitive fetch quests 4 out of 5 stars