The next Elder Scrolls Online expansion will take players to a land they haven't seen since 1994

Last year, Zenimax Online released Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind - an expansion to the popular MMO that took players back to the eponymous isle from The Elder Scrolls 3, released in 2002. On June 5, the studio is digging even deeper into the proverbial vaults with Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset, an expansive new Chapter with roots dating back to 1994's The Elder Scrolls: Arena.

And no, that's not a typo. Rather than label it an expansion, Zenimax is calling Summerset a Chapter, with a capital C. This may seem like a small thing, but it's indicative of the ongoing process to shape ESO into a game that feels like an ever-evolving story, not something you sit on for years at a time while you wait for the next class, race, zone, or what have you. That said, a rose by any other name would have as much content, and Summerset is still offering plenty of newness for players to enjoy.

There is, of course, the new zone of Summerset Isle to explore, replete with quests and rewards for new and returning players. Once you've geared up, you can attempt the new PvE challenges, including new Delves (sort of a story-focused dungeon which can be tackled either solo or in a group), boss encounters, and a new 12-player Trial (ESO's equivalent of raids). The PvE content is largely structured around Summerset dealing with an invasion of Daedra forces - a story which began in 2015 with the Orsinium DLC, and will conclude with Summerset.

If you're more interested in what new toys you'll get to play around with this time, two new features should catch your eye: jewelcrafting and the introduction of the Psijic Order. Jewelcrafting is somewhat self-explanatory; it's a new profession-type skill that lets you craft powerful gear and expands your hero's utility. The Psijic Order is a bit more... complicated.

As a sort of precursor organization to the Mages Guild, the Psijic Order helped develop many forms of magic, including those found in the Mysticism school in pre-Skyrim Elder Scrolls games. Stuff like telekinesis, detect life, soul trap, and teleportation (basically the stuff you think of when you hear the word "wizard," sans lightning bolts and fireballs) all came from the Psijic Order. They are also adept at magic which manipulates time, and it's this unique skill which will be passed on to players who join the group.

If all of that sounds nice but you're just not sure about committing, you can enjoy a week of the base game content at no cost, on your platform of choice. The free trial begins today on PS4 and PC, or tomorrow for Xbox One, and will run until March 27. Head over to Zenimax Online's Free Play event homepage for more details and to get started.

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.