Elder Scrolls Online - Imperial City Review

By Megan Walton, 2 years ago
It's been a few months now since The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited hit our shelves, and I gave the game a solid 4/5 in our official site review, despite some of the problems it had at launch. Now, the game has released its first piece of DLC in the form of the "Imperial City", that extends the PvP Cyrodil area of the game by providing a new location to explore. With new currency, bosses as well as another Molag Bal based quest line to complete, is the "Imperial City" worth your time and money?

Take your character and prepare to enter the Imperial CityTake your character and prepare to enter the Imperial City

Those who played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will have fond memories of exploring the Imperial City, sewers and all. Now you can explore it all over again, although this time it has been taken over by the likes of Molag Bal and his daedra. The city itself is in ruins, but each alliance has a base hidden deep within the sewers, where your character can move about freely without worry of being attacked. After paying your 2500 crowns, the Imperial City is open to you through either your home or guest campaign. Once you enter Cyrodil, you can either start the quest via the marker in your spawn area, or simply make the way down to the sewer entrance yourself. Once inside, you'll come across the Drake of Blades, who sets you onto a quest line to scout and clear the various districts of the Imperial City. While there is plenty to explore, the quest line offers a sense of direction to those that want it, but you are free to follow the quests as you see fit.

In your base are a number of different amenities, including merchants to sell everything you should need, a solo and guild bank to store your money or Tel Var stones (a new currency introduced in this DLC) and specific shops in which you can spend these stones on special items. All of this means that once you have made your potentially long journey to the Imperial City (depending on which keeps your alliance is holding at the time), that there is no need to leave again until you have finished your exploring and questing. Whilst you are safe and sound in the base, as soon as you leave and enter the districts, there is the possibility of meeting up with either of the other two alliances. This is the same when delving deep into the other areas of the sewers, although you will have a long journey to get near the bases of the enemy players.

When you venture up to the surface, you'll be met with a multitude of enemies to fight your way through in order to complete your quests and explore every inch of the city. These enemies are set at veteran level 16, so be prepared for a tough fight. While alone you may be able to sneak around the districts and scout out the area, you have little chance of coming up against more than one enemy and winning. This DLC is definitely aimed at the bigger group, unlike the main game questline which, as the enemies were leveled with you, could be mostly completed alone. In this DLC, you'll be coming up against particularly tough enemies, some of which will be able to kill you in one shot, so a strong and large group is definitely a plus. Luckily, there seems to be a fair amount of player activity in the Imperial City for now, so finding a spontaneous group to explore with isn't hard, but there is a question on for how long the Imperial City will remain full of players.

You'll be facing big, tough bosses that you won't be able to take down aloneYou'll be facing big, tough bosses that you won't be able to take down alone

One of the nice things about the DLC is that not only does it give you new quests inside the city, but you will also find items and quest starters for other areas of Cyrodil. For instance, you could find a bag that needs taking back to its owner in Bruma in the middle of the Arena district. These little touches do well in linking this DLC back in with the goings on of the main game. For those wanting more of a challenge, there are a couple of new dungeons for your group to explore, including the White Gold Tower and the Imperial Prison. Underneath in the sewers, will be posing you more than enough of a challenge though. As you make your way through the dark and damp corridors, you'll be met around corners by wandering enemies who will not go down easily either.

While you only have to be level 10 to enter a campaign in Cyrodil, and consequently to enter the Imperial City, it is definitely not recommended to explore here if you are a low level. There is the feel that this DLC is aimed at the more high leveled player, specifically the ones who have already gained a veteran rank. For those not veteran, you will be wanting to make sure to enter the non veteran campaigns, meaning you will find level 49 and lower characters with which you'll be exploring. This doesn't make the DLC unplayable to the lower levels, but there is definitely a lean towards the more experienced players. However, the ability to go through in a large group makes the experience that little bit less brutal.

Considering the DLC is set in sewers and a derelict city, the setting is thoroughly detailed and designed. The dramatic backdrop of huge stoned buildings and the dreary sewers underneath them are both as grand as they are purposefully drab. You'll hear running water and echoing footsteps as you venture through the sewer tunnels, and an overcast sky with sullen grey surroundings will meet you when you head above ground. For a setting that is meant to be broken and dull, it is presented beautifully and you will wonder at the environment as you wander through it, especially as you are met with giant detailed monsters and fascinating portals and gates.

How many horrors will you be able to take down?How many horrors will you be able to take down?

The "Imperial City" DLC adds an extra six achievements to the game for a simple 200 Gamerscore. There is one for finishing the questline given to you by the Drake of Blades. There' are a couple which challenge you to complete various events such as the Arena. Facing and beating all of the district's patrolling horrors will be easier the bigger the group, and gaining 900 Tel Var stones from a single hit will be a challenge for you to increase your multiplier and then take down a big enemy.


Whilst the Imperial City DLC will set you back 2500 in the store (although those with an ESO plus membership have it included in the price), there's a fairly large new area for you to explore. With the Tel Var stones giving you new opportunity to buy things, as well as vaults to open using dropped trophies from enemies, there is more than enough here to enhance your character. The main game offered you enemies that levelled with you, so gave you the chance to go through it on your own, but this DLC forces you to find a fairly large group. So, if you enjoyed the MMO aspect of the main game and have a solid group to run through it with, then the "Imperial City" DLC will be right up your street, but if you are more of a solo player and didn't particularly like or pay attention to the PvP aspects, then you might want to give it a pass.
4 / 5
  • Lots of areas to explore in a big new location, based around the Imperial City districts and sewers
  • More PvP battling opportunities as well as exciting new bosses and battles
  • Will need substantial group numbers in order to get through most areas
  • Enemies are veteran levels and not scaled with your character
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent approximately 10 hours exploring the Imperial City, scouring the sewers in a big group and facing tough enemies. Unfortunately, this only managed to unlock 1 of the DLC's 6 achievements. A pack of 3000 crowns was provided by the publisher to purchase the DLC via the in game store.
Megan Walton
Written by Megan Walton
Megan is a TA newshound and reviewer who has been writing for the site since early 2014. Currently working in catering, she enjoys cooking extravagant dishes, baking birthday cakes for friends and family in peculiar shapes, writing depressing poetry about life and death, and unlocking every achievement possible.