The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dawnguard Review

As the first DLC Release for the frankly gigantic Skyrim, Dawnguard is certainly facing a small action. I would bet that most players in the conquering epic of Bethesda still have a lot of goals in their quest log, so asking them to spend 1600MSP for a new part of the game that takes place in many pre-existing areas might not immediately feel like a must-have suggestion.

Perhaps this is why Dawnguard’s great attraction is the ability to partner with a troupe of vampires and quickly learn the ability to turn into a vampire lord. Unlike the frustrating and gently debilitating bloodthirsty Vampiris health issue you can suffer in the main game, Dawnguard’s Nosferatu allows you to transform into a towering monster with which you can play a dozen new dark abilities.

It’s not as funny as it sounds. The third-person vampire lord form is Dawnguard’s biggest disappointment, and while you can transform at will, you’ll soon realize that the world is simply not made for such massive stature. You can’t go through small doors (there’s a surprising abundance of small doors in Skyrim that I discovered), open chests or pick up prey, and you’ll regularly fall into the landscape and cling to tiny objects. In addition, vampires can not read cards. I don’t know why.

The easiest way to fix this error is that you can instantly transform between your two forms, but unfortunately this is not the matter. You can edit at will, but the process comes with a long Non-skippable Animation that becomes a massive task from the second time you use it.

While you become a vampire lord, there are a lot of fun new moves, including a floating strike State that allows you, for example, to throw fun bombs with your right hand and resuscitate the dead with your left hand, I discovered that it only takes a few hours to avoid using the form completely. It’s a real shame because you unlock even more treats when you suck the lives of enemies to enhance your vampirism, such as turning into fog, calling gargoyles, and striking your enemies before they choke their lives. It’s just a shame that something with so much promise feels so much like hard work.

Opt-out of Nosferatu and you have an equally stressful Alternative: enter the Dawnguard vampire hunting faction, access to new werewolf skills and the ability to hire armored trolls as temporary pets. Plus a Lot of Crossbows. Much of Dawnguard’s quest series is the same, no matter which faction you are with, and no matter which path you take, you watch about 10 hours until you see the main missions.

As you might expect from a quest of this length, there are ups and downs. The game’s desire to launch you into a faction and pull you through the ranks is even more pressing than the main game, and a particularly monstrous quest led Bethesda to rip a page out of the Tingle School of Game Design, inviting characters to sneak around a huge surface that fills a bucket of magical water. This is an insignificant carpeted section; His Frustration is compounded by the fact that the nature of the unique character who gives this quest should have triggered something great. Instead, this great revelation is muffled and confused, stuck somewhere in a nested series of recovery quests.

The same reviews could often be leveled at the main game, but Dawnguard’s high price automatically makes it a more demanding judge of content. However, if you judge purely by hours invested, the first part of Skyrim’s DLC stands out-I’ve been pretty lucky so far in just under 13 hours, I’ve completed the main quest and look forward to some of the extra bonuses. There’s also the question of a Bonus secondary mission that revolves around an old forge and obscure old books to locate and whip it.

Whichever faction you partner with, you get a new castle that you can call home (although my Dovahkiin now owns so many Skyrim properties that he could easily consider renting them out to students), a Trio of new calls, a skeleton horse, lots of decent new weapons, and my new favorite companion. You also get Auriel’s Bow, a weapon so nice to use that I contrition that my character has just about zero archery points, and the ability to forge powerful new Dragon weapons that could help you if you stumble upon the new legendary dragon along the way.

So there’s a lot to do, but nothing Dawnguard has to offer seems like exceptional, must-have content. While it’s nice to rediscover some of Skyrim’s peripheries, the lack of new essential areas to explore is also disappointing. Dawnguard, for better or worse, is very Skyrim who plays the same melody in many places.

Of course, there’s nothing particularly wrong with this; Skyrim is still a gorgeous sight, and I’m happy to return to its enchanting world of snowy peaks and slightly wobbly facial animations for a few hours of new loot and new Gameplay additions. Dawnguard is significantly better than most of Bethesda’s recent Fallout 3 DLC, but you’ll be very disappointed if you wait for Skyrim’s Version of Bloodmoon or The Shivering Isles.

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