In this latest instalment in our on-going History of The Elder Scrolls series, we look at two of the lesser known titles from the acclaimed RPG franchise — Battlespire and Redguard.
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Released on MS-DOS in 1997, The Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire is a first person action role playing game, and the inaugural entry in the Legends spin-off series. Here, players are cast in the role of an apprentice battlemage, where you find yourself entering the titular Battlespire in order to face a gruelling test that will cement your status as the personal battlemage to the Emperor. Upon entering however, you discover to your horror that a horde of monsters have invaded the complex and overrun the Battlespire, killing everyone in their path. It later transpires that a traitor working with Jagar Tharn – the arch-villain from Arena – has made it possible for the legions of the Dardra Lord Mehrunes Dagon to enter Tamriel.
Ultimately Battlespire is a dungeon crawler at heart, taking place in the realm of Oblivion. While previous titles in the series have allowed massive amounts of side-quests in an open-world environment, Battlespire is very linear in nature, offering very little room to explore. One feature that the game brings to the table – and in a first for The Elder Scrolls series — is a multi-player mode. Included in this mode are co-op play, as well as a team based verses mode.
Released on MS-DOS in 1998, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard is a third person action adventure game, and the first entry in the Adventures series. This time around the player is cast in the role of Cyrus, a Redguard from Hammerfell. After hearing of his sister’s disappearance from the island of StrosM’kai, Cyrus sets out for the island in search of her, and ultimately becomes embroiled in the politics of the island residents.
Billed as "swashbuckling action-adventure epic of a lifetime" Redguard offers addictive, sword-based combat. Still, while duelling with pirates and slaying trolls proves entertaining enough, Reguard is still very much an adventure game at its core. Players are tasked with completing multiple puzzles to progress through the game, some of which are incredibly challenging. Aside for a few key plot points, players are free to visit locations and complete quests, in any order they chose.
Redgaurd may not be quite the adventure epic of lifetime we were promised, though its compelling combination of adrenaline-fueled combat, challenging puzzles and intriguing storyline ensured this spin-off delivered an impressive gameplay experience nonetheless.
Stay tuned to PSU for part four of our Elder Scrolls retrospective, which sees us shining the spotlight on the acclaimed Morrowind.
Article by Justin Titus