Blades was designed specifically for mobile devices and is available on both Android and iOS with future plans to release on PC and consoles. It was released for the Nintendo Switch on May 14th, 2020.
There are three main modes of gameplay - "Abyss", where the player must attempt to get as far as possible in an endless dungeon and is useful for training. "Arena", which features Player Versus Player combat. And "Town", where the player can receive quests, interact with NPCs, and advance the game's story.
Combat is revamped here, where instead of the usual hack-and-slash, the player have to time the presses in order to successfully hit (or block) enemy attacks.
The Player Character is a member of the Blades, who have long served Tamriel's emperors as both a Praetorian Guard and Secret Police. Despite their heroic and legendary feats, the Blades have been outlawed, disbanded, slaughtered, and forced into exile as result of The Great War while being hunted down by the fascistic Thalmor of the Aldmeri Dominion.
Tropes present in The Elder Scrolls: Blades:
- Action RPG: The main style of gameplay, reminiscent of the earliest games in the ES series, Arena and Daggerfall.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: "Pay-to-win" mechanics are present and, like most mobile games, give those who pay a significant advantage.
- Dungeon Crawler: "Abyss" mode is set in an endless dungeon where the player must get as far as possible. This mode is particularly useful for training.
- Genre Throwback: The gameplay is meant to evoke the dungeon crawling seen in the first two Elder Scrolls games Arena and Daggerfall.
- Impossible Item Drop: Played entirely straight for the only time in the Elder Scrolls series. Non-humanoid monsters can drop not only sacks of cash, but also alchemical ingredients that you wouldn't expect to butcher from them as well as bulky construction materials.
- An Interior Designer Is You: You get to name the ravaged settlement which serves as your base of operations, and by spending money and resources, you can construct buildings which increase your prestige, granting access to higher quality constructs in the process.
- Interquel: The game is set between the events of Oblivion and Skyrim from the main series following the White-Gold Concordat that outlawed the Blades.
- Louis Cypher: One of the NPCs that shows up in the town after a while is a very loony, bearded Breton named Theodor Gorlash, who always seems to know more about what's going on than he lets on (but good luck getting any straight info from him) and allows the player to alter their appearance on a whim. It's all but stated in-game (and confirmed by Word of God) that "Theodor Gorlash" is an avatar of Lord Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness.
- What makes it a bit obvious is that he is voiced by Wes Johnson, who also voiced Sheogorath in Oblivion.
- Player Versus Player: "Arena" mode is a player versus player mode.
- Thematic Sequel Logo Change: The Imperial Dragon logo is now the variant seen on the Emblem of the Blades, signifying how you're playing as an exiled former Blade between the events of Oblivion and Skyrim.