The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road Review - Screenshot 1 of 3

The Elder Scrolls Online might have started its life a lot later than certain other MMORPGs, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a name for itself over the past 10 years. Since its initial launch in 2014, which was propelled by the popularity of Bethesda’s solo adventures, it has evolved in all sorts of ways, and now here we are eight expansions deep with the release of Gold Road.

Continuing from last year’s Necrom expansion, Gold Road takes players to West Weald – with a new Daedric Prince now walking the lands and her most devout followers seemingly up to no good. Now, if you didn’t already know, this region was previously featured during The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (aka. the entry dating back to the Xbox 360 generation), so it should already be familiar to longtime fans.

This new quest has you travelling all over West Weald visiting locations like the dense jungle of Valenwood and the ancient Alyeid ruins, and you start your adventure near vineyards just outside the capital city, Skingrad. Without revealing too much, you’re thrown straight into the chaos – being assigned multiple objectives that eventually link up. Of course, with the city right there, a quick visit won’t hurt. Given the timeline differences, you’re going to notice changes to the design and architecture, but it's still an interesting interpretation with landmarks to see, locations to visit and a busy social hub.

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Diving into the expansion content, you’re sent off to explore a number of locations nearby, where you slowly learn about Ithelia’s followers and the new forest. As for the actual gameplay, you’ll take on some quests with key NPCs guiding you, enter particular environments – be it labyrinth or ruins, mow down some enemies, and eventually get to a pivotal point in the story or be required to take down a boss. 10 years on it should be second nature at this point, so don’t expect too many surprises.

The story does take some time to get going and might not be the most exciting (or climactic) at some points for everyone, but certain characters and the occasional mystery did enough to keep us invested right up until the end. It's also worthwhile playing through Necrom before this, but it's not a requirement. And while the expansion and environments all look the part on the Xbox Series X|S, some areas of West Weald didn’t always look quite as lively. Fortunately, there should still be enough quest-related content to keep you motivated.

Apart from the main quest, Gold Road throws in a new world event, ‘Mirrormoor Incursions’, where you take on the forces of Ithelia and the new trial ‘Lucent Citadel’ (a new 12-player PvE event within the Daedric vault where it’s dangerous to go alone). There are also new dungeons, delves and world bosses to take on, which add to the overall package.

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Perhaps the biggest selling point for some players though is Scribing – a new system where you can now customise your build by collecting skills (made up of Grimoires, Scripts and Inks) and then mix them up to suit your own playstyle. Scribing, which takes place in the Scholarium, might even be the sole reason you check out this expansion, but it does take a bit to fully unlock. The reward is an even greater level of roleplay, and it gives you more freedom to customise your build than before, with the payoff on display in battle. Again though, it’s currently locked behind this chapter.


All up, Gold Road offers another familiar slice of adventure in the land of Tamriel. If you are going in expecting big things for the 10th anniversary, try to temper your expectations. We've enjoyed our time with the story and what the rest of the expansion has to offer so far, and we're looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Elder Scrolls Online.