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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Guest Review: 'Skyrim: Dragonborn' DLC

By: Robert Bush

Dragonborn has been out for a few weeks now. I’ve only recently been able to play through and see what this new adventure brings. Despite the reviews for the two previous DLCs, I had a great time playing through Dawnguard and building three mansions in Hearthfire. They didn’t feel like DLC material and more so should have been a part of the original game. 

Dragonborn however feels like a true expansion pack , taking us back to the continent of Morrowind in the half-tundra, half-ashland forested area of Solstheim. You can either take a boat there right away without starting the main quest or after the “Call of Jurgen Windcaller” quest a pair of cultists in strange armor come to assassinate you.

The “first” Dragonborn, Miraak, has come back from death to claim Solstheim as his fortress and enslave all inhabitants. You must of course fight off his monsters and kill him to restore order to the barren island. I was disappointed with the caves and caverns because most of them looked as I was back in Skyrim. Besides that, this Solstheim didn’t remind me of Skyrim at all. In the southern part of the island you can look to the mainland and see Red Mountain spewing a continuous behemoth of ash across the continent.

There are a few chances to travel into the dark realm and happy place we all know and love: Oblivion. A little different from the fourth TES game, this variation of Oblivion is much darker and called Apocrypha which resembles its Daedric prince, Hermaeus Mora. Filled with tentacles wrapping and winding everywhere and inhabited by beasties that slash and smack you with tentacles. 

The architecture also lets you know you’re somewhere new. Bringing back the giant mushroom homes from the third TES game and other various new building structures. Brand new gruesome monsters and creatures bring even a seasoned knight some competition. The Lurker for example, a creature from the black lagoon-esque badass with throw tentacles and spit and claw his way to your death if you’re not wary.

I can’t forget the new armor types and weapons! The new Nordic armor and bringing back the Bonemold armor are awesome additions. Various clothing options and rare armor pieces are riddled throughout Solstheim. 

The main quest takes about 10 hours to complete and I haven’t been able to get through all of the 29 side quests the expansion has to offer. There are also various miscellaneous things that villagers may ask you to do. This DLC is well worth the 20 something bucks it costs, if you haven’t bought it yet or played it because you were disappointed with the previous two, trust me. This expansion is the shit and will want you playing for hours and maybe even want to create new characters and play it again. But that may just be me with my fifteen or so characters (pre-DLC content).

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