Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skyrim: Dragonborn Review

Warning, there will be a few spoilers in this review, but nothing horrendously important. If you wish to continue, read on.

When I first heard about this DLC I was stoked. Returning to Morrowind after all these years kept me on the edge of my seat as the game loaded. The last 200 years (in-game time) has not been kind to Morrowind. Ash litters the ground from heavy volcanic activity. Snow rules in place of what was forest, and the extreme swing from ash to snow to calm lakeside areas is a bit odd. Giant mushrooms have been turned into houses (which you can eventually own one for yourself), and random patches of ash spawn undead creatures of fire. The story though, that's another matter.

You begin the story by being attacked. Pretty much how every big quest starts isn't it? Cultists, sent by Mirrak, appear in Skyrim to eliminate you from the picture. It's the first taste of the enemies you will face in Skyrim, and they seem unimpressive. Dispatching these foes, you find a note informing the cultists of your identity and whereabouts.

After hiring a boat to take you to Morrowind, you reach a settlement riddled with ash from the nearby volcanic region. This doesn't seem to damper the citizens spirits though. They seem just as miserable as before. Questioning the people about Mirrak doesn't get you anywhere at first. Nobody seems to remember anything about him except some vague scraps of info talking about a temple.

Other landmarks include large stones coming up through the ground. Mind controlled slaves endlessly build arches and buildings around them, trying to finish... something. Touching the stone yourself ends up making you a slave to the control as well, but only temporarily. Dragonborn cannot control another Dragonborn. And that's what Mirrak is. The first Dragonborn.

Fear my awesome mask of tentacles
The story progresses like normal. Learn who he is, tear down his sources of power, and ultimately find a way to beat him. It's difficult though, because everytime you kill a dragon, the bastard comes in and steals the soul. How am I supposed to defeat you if you keep jacking my shit?

Eventually into the story, you meet Hermaeus Mora when you get transported to his realm. Man does he look freaky. A floating giant eye surrounded by dozens of  little eyes all blinking at random intervals. Not only that, but there are tentacles popping down through the sky in multiple places. It's creepy but you can't look away. Anyways, Hermaeus Mora gives you some knowledge on how to defeat Mirrak because he's bored.

That's enough of the story, lets get into more important stuff. Ash Spawn enemies are a pain because they can rise up directly under your feet. It's annoying and can hurt a lot before you get your bearings. Other enemies include raiders, the Morag Tong and werebears. Most of the craftable weapons and armor are useless if you put a points in dragon smith. But Stalhrim can be quite useful. It's extremely rare though so carry a pickaxe at all times.

New shouts are out there, including Bend Will which makes creatures obey you, then humanoid creatures and eventually dragons. Bending dragons to your will allows you to mount and ride them. Kick. Ass. If you rush through you're looking at about 10 hours of gameplay, but going through the mines, doing the side quests, you net about 30 hours extra into your Skyrim career. At 1600 MSP, 30 hours is a steal.

No comments:

Post a Comment