Battlespire, probably the weakest Elder Scrolls game, has been added to PC Game Pass as part of the QuakeCon released this week by the newly formed Microsoft subsidiary id Software and Bethesda. Arena, Daggerfall, Redguard, and other Elder Scrolls games from the 1990s were finally added to Steam.
I don’t intend to be a hater, but Battlespire is a game that only a mother could enjoy if she could even manage to play it for very long. I’m against anti-Bethesda revisionism, even though I’m not the biggest fan of Fallouts 3 and 4.
Combat in Elder Scrolls has always been more of a pleasant side activity to Tamriel’s expansive, diverse realms, which raises the question of why combat would be emphasized in a dungeon-crawling game that is essentially linear.
The basic notion of Battlespire is rather dubious because it adapts Daggerfall’s clumsy melee combat and broken, uneven skill system into a hack-and-slash game.
Battlespire not only removes the series’ distinguishing features but also provides a particularly glitchy, punishingly difficult experience. This isn’t Daggerfall! as prominent Elder Scrolls enthusiast and YouTuber LGR phrased it. Set realistic expectations.
However, even subpar video games ought to be kept around for future players, and Battlespire comes from a fascinating period in Bethesda’s past.
Between the 1996 launch of Daggerfall and 2002 (originally scheduled for 1998) launch of Morrowind, the company spent a considerable amount of time traveling the wilderness. Prior to Morrowind becoming a true megahit, Battlespire and Redguard kept the studio afloat.
Thus, it’s exciting to see them now, many years later, get the Game Pass and digital shop treatment. No such success for the unexpectedly excellent Shadowkey for the Nokia N-Gage or the more foreseeably subpar Dawnstar and Oblivion Mobile for flip phones.
All of these games—Quake 4, Wolfenstein 3D, Return to Castle, as well as the availability of Hexen/Heretic from more sources—are sure things.