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About the product
- Arena: The Anthology features the original version of Arena and will launch within a DOS emulator.
- Daggerfall: The ancient golem Numidium, a powerful weapon once used to unify Tamriel has once again been unearthed. The Anthology features the original version of Daggerfall and will launch within a DOS emulator.
- Morrowind: To fulfill an ancient prophecy, the Emperor sends you, to the island of Vvardenfell to rid the land of Morrowind of a dark curse. Also includes: Tribunal and Bloodmoon add-ons, plus The Elder Scrolls Construction Set.
- Oblivion: With the Empire ready to crumble, the gates of Oblivion open and demons march upon the land. In the shadow of evil, a hero will rise from the ashes of a fallen Empire. Also includes: Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles expansions.
- Skyrim: Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel. Also includes: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn add-ons.
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For the first time in the history of the award-winning saga, experience The Elder Scrolls as one extraordinary collection. The Elder Scrolls Anthology features all five critically-acclaimed games, plus official add-ons in a premium collectible box set - beginning with The Elder Scrolls: Arena and concluding with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition. The Anthology also includes a set of five physical maps detailing Tamriel, Iliac Bay, Morrowind, Cyrodiil and Skyrim. Own this essential collection and experience the series that defined the open-world genre.
Top Customer Reviews
Still, I miss physical manuals. Oblivion's manual is one of my favorites for any game, and I don't think paying $80 should include a piece of paper that tells me to go online to find them. This is nitpicking, and doesn't warrant removing a star.
So, what comes in the box?
Elder Scrolls: Arena and a DOS emulator (this game came out in 1994)
Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, also with a DOS emulator (1996)
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind with Bloodmoon and Tribunal expansions (2002)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine and other minor expansions
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with Hearthfire, Dragonborn, and Dawnguard expansions
Also included, 5 maps for the different areas of each game, but no Shivering Isles map:
Hammerfell (Arena and Daggerfall)
Tamriel (all games)
A Steam account is required to activate Skyrim, even if installing from the DVD; this is not required for the other 4 games. If you've never used Steam, it does NOT require a 100% always-on Internet connection, only an initial one to create an account, then activate and download the game. A Steam Key is included, and will also add Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim to your Steam account, but you can install all the games (excluding Skyrim) without Steam if desired.
Since Arena and Daggerfall are available for download for free from the official Elder Scrolls website, you're only paying for Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim and all the associated expansions. On Steam (as of 9/10/2013), Elder Scrolls 3-5 costs $104 with all the expansions included, so $80 is a nice deal for anyone looking to jump right into the series. If you already have Skyrim with all the DLC, then the Anthology isn't worth the money unless you like nice looking boxes on your shelf and all your games in disc form.
The overall quality is good. The box feels solid and has that Elder Scrolls look. The maps are glossy photo-type paper, but are also folded which means they come with creases. It might be asinine to expect them to ship the maps in a tube instead of finding a way of putting them into the game box itself, but it would still be nice to be able to put them on the wall without having a tic-tac-toe box on them.
You also get a few glamour shots and a short synopsis of each game printed on the disk "booklet" that contains all the DVDs. This is good for knowing what you're getting into, and reminding you what the particular game is all about.
Overall, would I suggest the Elder Scrolls Anthology to someone? The answer is yes, but only if you're a die-hard fan or don't own any (or at least most) of the games. It has solid quality, nice maps, and a cheaper price, so it's a great combination and as time goes on will be an even better deal than it is today. However, if you already own Skyrim with all its expansions, it's probably cheaper to buy the GOTY editions of Morrowind/Oblivion and find the different maps online.
The Elder Scrolls replaced both of those for me. Even as an overworked dad and husband, I've developed what I consider a healthy obsession with the Elder Scrolls and Fallout too. The Elder Scrolls games let me get away from the stress of daily life. I recently made the switch from console gamer to PC gamer and bought this set while Amazon had it on sale for twenty dollars. I figured I wouldn't use it since I do like Steam, but wanted this set anyway. I now own these versions of the Elder Scrolls games:
Skyrim: (Xbox 360) Vanilla and Legendary, (PS3) Legendary, (PC) Steam Legendary
Oblivion: (Xbox 360) Game of the Year with all downloaded add-ons like Vile Lair, (PC) Steam Deluxe Game of the Year Edition and this physical copy.
Morrowind: (Xbox) Game of the Year played on Xbox 360
For me, these three games become completely "new" on PC. This is the order of my favorites of these three and it's important to the review.
Skyrim - On console it has been the best of the three for me. I don't care for the leveling up system in it, but the combination of graphics, realistic gore, story and atmosphere makes it my favorite.
Morrowind - A game I had trouble liking at first on the console. It feels a little clunky, everything you "see" is outdated, but the leveling up is very fun, the atmosphere is good despite the lower-end graphics and the story is good.
Oblivion - To me it's the most overrated on consoles. Skyrim's setting is near perfect. It's icy, it's cold, there are animals you would expect to see in cold areas. Morrowind is dark and moody which fits it well. Oblivion is set in Cyrodill and it's similar to North America in climate with the southern region being marshy, lots of water, the central region being green and flat, both coasts have water all along them and the northern parts get into mountainous, snowy conditions, but that's it. It's as if they created this beautiful lush continent for Oblivion, but forgot to add much to the outside parts of the game. You can run across half of Oblivion's map without being attacked once. There are wolves, the occasional Minotaur, but most of the outside area seems wasted.
Having said that, Oblivion on the PC has the most potential since the modding community has added thousands of mods for it. More wildlife, even lusher graphics, it's kind of like taking Skyrim's outdoor adventures and adding it to Oblivion. I've already played the modded PC version for 114 hours. I barely had that much on the console version and I'm nowhere near finished with the PC version.
Morrowind has the great graphics overhaul mod. Though I agree with other Elder Scrolls players who say you should play Morrowind without it at least for one playthrough. The mod makes it prettier, it takes away some of the dark atmosphere, but it makes it much nicer to look at it and easier on your eyes. There's also weapon and armor mods that improve those.
Skyrim falls to the bottom on the PC since in my opinion, it was the best on console, there's some nice graphic mods for weapons and armor, but it was already near perfect for me, not counting the too easy leveling up system.
I've been very happy with this anthology. As others have noted, the Skyrim that comes with this set is a Steam code. Also should be noted, the Oblivion that comes with this set is the Game of the Year edition. I had already bought the Deluxe GotY edition on Steam which includes those small add-ons like Vile Lair, Wizard's Tower, etc...
I've read others say if you install Oblivion GotY from this set through Steam you'll get the Deluxe Edition, but I can't verify that since I already had it downloaded to my Steam account before buying this set. I also agree with the others who say you really don't "need" this anthology if you already have these games on Steam. I haven't tried Daggerfall or Arena, but will eventually. All in all, combining the console versions and PC versions, I've put in over 1,200 hours in these 3 games over the last 5-6 years. I probably still have another 1,200 hours to go with all these mods.