The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard Review
Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC (Reviewed on Xbox 360)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the massive RPG, has received its first DLC with new gadgets and a great set of missions. Will you help to stop the vampire outbreak or will you feast on the puny humans and stop the Tyranny of the Sun?
Before we would jump into it, one must mention the obvious fact that we’re going to talk about Skyrim. Bethesda’s little baby that comes out about every 5 years or so and manages to steal a bucket loads of hours away from our lives purely by being what it is: Awesome. It’s also worth mentioning that creating a DLC for such a great game brought high expectations with itself.
The player can import any of the previously used characters of any level and skill as well as being able to start a new adventure if they so choose. Of course it is hard not to speak too much about the main game as here’s something that transforms the idea of a DLC into another great adventure in the land of Skyrim. You may wonder how the game is going to integrate the DLC into the whole experience. One word: seamlessly. The player, after just a few minutes of walking around in any of the towns, will hear people talking about the Dawnguard. If you’re one of the more unlucky ones then you might find out about it at night by being forced to fend off a vampire attack.
After acknowledging the location of the Dawnguard HQ, the player must find it, sign up and that’s it. The first quest awaits. After doing the first mission the player’s given a very simple choice by Lord Harkon, the Vampire Lord: Vampire or food?
We picked the way of the food and, as we all know how nice vampires really are, our hero successfully managed to get kicked out of the premises instead of becoming the very-immediate-bottom of the food chain. While butchering some pathetic, weakling Dark Elves as part of some unrelated side-quest, I couldn’t help but wonder, why did this idiot just kicked me out? This question was answered quickly, because the Dawnguard, at its current state is a joke. So our hero (in my case, Asia the Thief) has to do something about this quite unsatisfactory situation. Gathering members and doing different kinds of quests will lead to our chosen conclusion.
Even though the Dovahkiin was very k(h)een to stay on the human side of the fence, it is certainly interesting that while you do have the choice to do so, the game constantly pushes you towards the ‘good stuff’ as turning into a vampire has way more benefits than being the kindergarten teacher of some mosquito fighter club. Having said that, the Dawnguard DLC has some nice additions to it, regardless of the angle the player approaches it from. There are new weapons and outfits to be found at each side of the blood-sucking-chain which will make the more fashion-sensible players run around in confusion from the ever more stylish selection of fine garments.
Skyrim is massive. Having about 20 trillion missions can be a bit boring both to make and to play through. Bethesda managed to come up with some much-welcomed variety in terms of mission types. As a character with thief skills, Asia was tackling unnoticed assassinations fairly easily. The missions and some of the areas are, however, chunky at times which can be daunting after playing for a longer period of time.
Again, we all know how massive Skyrim is. The DLC contains both unique and new areas as well as some missions that will take us to familiar places and have more of an awesome factor rather than being annoying. The way the world of Skyrim reacts to the DLC is simply astonishing. Using fast travel is still an option and if you just want to “quickly” run through the game, you can utilise the fast travel but for those with the hunger for a more in-depth experience, walking is still the more enjoyable choice.
Unfortunately, that’s about the only way to control our character as a vampire. One of the biggest drawbacks of choosing the vampire-lane is that the Vampire Lord form is blessed with some messed up controls and not even the couple of new powers can help to look past this issue; using these powers, combined with the controls, can become a major annoyance. It is great that the game has very user-friendly controls in general but this DLC carried the potential to make being a vampire as awesome as being a werewolf in the basic game. The game didn’t necessarily deliver on this promise and we’re hoping for some quick fixes in the form of an update maybe perhaps.
The sounds will still make the hair on your private parts tingle every time you meet a dragon or a boss-beast. This is valid for the general sounds as well and, without spoiling anything, those of you purchasing the DLC will realise this when they get to the unique areas.
VERDICT: Let’s face it, 1600 MS points might be a bit steep for a DLC that some might only see as a few new missions thanks to the brilliant merge within the main game. Regardless, it is recommended to download for all the fans of the Elder Scrolls series, as well as those who have only a vague interest in the journey of the Dragonborn. It is also worth noting that compared to some full games with around the ten hours entertainment value, we managed to clock around twenty hours of joyful dragon-shouting into our lives. Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC is a must play add-on with some minor flaws but nothing that can’t be tolerated.