Metascore
42

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. May 28, 2020
    60
    Blades is a free to play dungeon crawler set in the Elder Scrolls universe, with some interesting ideas, but repetitive, even boring, levels and poor combat mechanics.
  2. May 25, 2020
    60
    The most interesting feature is, in fact, the cross save that allows you to play indifferently on Switch or mobile devices.
  3. May 18, 2020
    60
    The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a simple dungeon crawler, with a nice progression system but repetitive gameplay during expeditions, that represent the core of the experience. The game's got lots of microtransactions since it's a free-to-play title, but the graphics are pretty outdated and there are no motion controls on Nintendo Switch.
  4. May 26, 2020
    55
    Only for hardcore fans of Bethesda fantasy games, The Elder Scrolls: Blades on Nintendo Switch is still, at its core, more of the same of the mobile version.
  5. May 21, 2020
    50
    On paper, The Elder Scrolls: Blades proposes to deliver a light version of the seminal The Elder Scrolls RPG experience. Despite providing some solid gameplay mechanics, it is plagued by poor performance, an always-online limitation, and predatory microtransactions.
  6. May 21, 2020
    50
    I don't hate The Elder Scrolls: Blades, at least conceptually. Bethesda's lightweight F2P Elder Scrolls game has all the hallmarks of the franchise but delivers them all in such a hollow way that it loses everything that makes the franchise beloved. You might find some enjoyment in the game, as I have done, but you will inevitably become weary of the dungeons, frustrated with the timers, and on Nintendo Switch, you will find the performance to be at times unbearable. Fans of The Elder Scrolls deserve better than this, but it's all they will get until The Elder Scrolls VI launches years from now.
  7. 40
    The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a simple case of a mediocre game on mobile just not holding up on an actual console. Concessions made for mobile play just don’t make sense here. Not to mention when blown up to a TV or even the modest size of the Switch’s screen, Blades is pretty ugly. It's a downright joke when compared to the actual full Elder Scrolls game already available on the platform. Unlike other Bethesda mobile offerings like Fallout Shelter, Blades is a simplification of a complex game rather than a game built with mobile limitations in mind. When you take away the reason for those limitations, you’re left with an ugly mess of a game with nothing to justify its own existence.
  8. May 18, 2020
    30
    The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a bland and repetitive grind, a free-to-play mobile game all dressed up like a proper Elder Scrolls title but lacking in any of the adventure, exploration, wit or charm of a mainline entry in the franchise. Combat here is dull, levels are small and linear, town-building is boring and everything is designed to frustrate you into spending your money on the gems required to override the constant timers that impede your progress as you level up and make your way through the barely existent story. It's a free-to-play title so you won't lose anything (other than your time) by giving it a whirl, but we reckon you'll have had your fill of this one in pretty short order, and there are lots of much better freemium experiences available on Switch to spend your precious time on.
  9. May 20, 2020
    20
    While it's nice to see more and more things get ported to the Switch, there are things that belong on the platform and things that do not. This would be an example of something that does not. A truly tedious experience, after just a few hours. The best thing about The Elder Scrolls: Blades is that it's a fantastic advertisement for playing Skyrim on the Switch.
  10. 0
    This game is a creatively broken, anti-intellectual insult. Bethesda spat in our faces and, because saliva is a kind of "content," figured that it could monetise it. Sadly, the success that Blades has seen on mobile - and will no doubt translate to success on the Switch as well - just goes to show that when it comes down to it, consumers actually like being spat on, because it means that they are getting content.
User Score
2.7

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 44
  2. Negative: 31 out of 44
  1. May 20, 2020
    0
    Having not played it before, I downloaded this "game" on Switch for a laugh and thought, eh, it is free so why not? I was bored out of my mindHaving not played it before, I downloaded this "game" on Switch for a laugh and thought, eh, it is free so why not? I was bored out of my mind within 10 minutes. Everything in this "game" is done with so much blatant cynicism that it's mindblowing. Everything from the bland environments, the dull voice acting, characters that exist only as quest dispensers and nothing else, the total lack of an atmosphere at all while it is filled to the brim with microtransactions that they remind of you of every 2 minutes. Oh you just got done doing one of our completely worthless quests that had no thought put into it whatsoever? Here, now please give us money for some loot boxes. Don't worry, we'll ask again, and again, and again, and again. SO FUN.

    Bethesda has earned my sincere hatred and that is sad for me, as I loved Oblivion and Skyrim despite their problems. I could wander in those games for hours just taking in the world. Blades only cares about the money in my wallet and is hoping, begging, pleading the entire time that I throw money at it at all times for its barely even bare minimum effort. No thank you.
    Full Review »
  2. May 16, 2020
    7
    A lot of people complain that this isn’t the next Skyrim, and they’re right. What they don’t realize is that it’s not supposed to be, it’s aA lot of people complain that this isn’t the next Skyrim, and they’re right. What they don’t realize is that it’s not supposed to be, it’s a very good free mobile ES game, turned into a ‘ok-at-best’ Switch game. It’s not open world, it’s free, and it’s designed to take your money with in-game purchases. It’s it mind blowing? No. Is it even close? No. Is it a free Elder Scrolls game? Yes.
    The controls are simple, so anyone can pick this up, they are boiled down to the basics. In this case they seem to be TOO simple, why can’t we swing our weapons unless in battle? Why can’t we crouch? Why can’t we jump? It’s because none of those things are necessary here, it’s a bristling world, filled with almost nothing, it has a linear design, with no deviation needed. You go, you do, then you go and do again. And again. And again. Is it fun? Sure, for a bit. It’s a shadow of a full-on ES game, and boy does it feel like it. I find myself stepping away frequently, and returning some time later. Flat, one-dimensional NPC interactions don’t help it’s cause. For a free game, it’s damn good. For and Elder Scrolls game, it’s less so. Take it for what it is, and enjoy it until you get tired of it, then move on.
    Full Review »
  3. May 19, 2020
    2
    The idea of a dungeon crawler mixed with a town-building sim is wonderful, throw on an Elder Scrolls skin and it's even better. Unfortunately,The idea of a dungeon crawler mixed with a town-building sim is wonderful, throw on an Elder Scrolls skin and it's even better. Unfortunately, TES: Blades fails execution of this in every regard. Bad graphics, repetitive gameplay, and the same tired music on a loop are the high points, throw in predatory microtransactions and you might as well call this game what it is: garbage. Full Review »