Review: Dawnguard | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

As the site’s resident The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim obsessive, it fell to me to play and review Dawnguard, the latest DLC. (It totally counts for our blog because in the storyline you are aiding or preventing a force that could ‘blot out the sun’, arguably an apocalyptic event. Sure, it’s a bit of a stretch, but you don’t get to judge me.)

For this review, I played thtough on the side of good. I usually do in computer games. In this case, I may use my secondary character to play through as evil later in the game. If I do, I will update this review with those experiences.

OK, so first things first, downloading it was quick. This is an important thing. The first thing I did was go make me some DragonBone weapons – I’ve been waiting for them and at 100 blacksmith I might as well. As I was wandering around Whiterun getting firewood for the arrows, a guard told me to join the Dawnguard near Riften, and that he was considering joining up himself. Not very subtle, Bethesda, but more so than the introduction of Knights of the Nine andThe Shivering Isles for Oblivion, so you are forgiven.  Me being me, despite spending 1600 MS points on this, I thought ‘no’ and carried on making DragonBone arrows. Because I’m contrary.

Dawnguard - image property of BethsoftAnyway, so I went ahead and started the plot. The first plot related area I saw was Dayspring canyon, and I was impressed – Skyrim offers beautiful surroundings and this was no different. While not drastically different to any other Skyrim areas so far, it was noticeably lovely to look at. The Vampires castle was equally impressive, and I love the difference between the Dawnguard fortifications and the Vampire fortifications – in completely different parts of the country, completely different buildings styles, colour, architecture – wonderful. It’s things like that that make this such a superior game. The new enemies are exciting too and the crossbow is fun to use.

I did notice, however, that downloading Dawnguard meant slower loading and saving times. It happens. My console has also frozen more frequently. This occured with the add-ons for Oblivion as well, so I’m thinking it’s probably an issue with the console.

Bad bits: Bits that should be fixed:

I think it’s a bit too easy to FIND the Dawnguard. Hear a guard talk, track them down. Perhaps there should be a slightly longer lead-in – perhaps you could be told to investigate, go to various settlements attacked by vampires etc. That’d be nice.

Bethesda games have always had oddish character reactions, but it seems especially strange that vampires can attack and kill members of a community, leave the dead bodies just lying there, and no-one really reacts – even the characters familes. I appreciate it would be hard to get the voice actors in to record new lines for every single eventuality, but an acknowledgement like ‘I’m so sad my sister is dead’ would be good.

Awesome bits (No plot spoilers!)

YOU CAN HAVE AN ARMOURED FROST TROLL HANGING ROUND WITH YOU.

Shooting dragons with arrows made out of bits of their dead mates.

Vampiric architecture.

GARGOYLES.

IT’S SKYRIM WITH VAMPIRES WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT.

However, overall Dawnguard is a great add-on for the game, and sure to be of interest to Skyrim fans.

As for what it taught me about the apocalypse? That it’s fairly easy to either prevent it or bring it about if you’re a destined hero with the soul of an immortal dragon. I’ll get on that right away.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

(If you want more info on Dawnguard you should check the Bethesda Blog or the Elder Scrolls Wiki)

 

OK EDIT: After a speed-run of the whole game (which took 12 hours) my opinion has NOT changed. GET IT GET IT GET IT.

anninyn

Anninyn lives and works in the UK, though she writes in a world of her own. Raised on a steady diet of sci-fi, intellectualism and political thinking by hippies, she looks at modern life through a somewhat-...unique... lens. She is obsessed with the apocalypse, and can be reached at anninyn@incaseofsurvival.com for all apocalypse-based inquiries. She is working on her first novel. You can find out about her and her other work through her website http://cbblanchard.com/

5 Replies to “Review: Dawnguard | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  1. I believe the phrase, “Shut up and take my money” is appropriate here. I tried downloading it last night but I’m part of a Gold Family pack on Xbox live and only the admin can add points :'( I’ll have to buy them at the shop, I spose.

    1. Get it. There are some areas and quests and people who, no matter how amazing they are, I couldn’t list here because of spoilers, so I’ll say this. The shivering Isles was the best DLC for Oblivion because of the engaging plot and unbelievably beautiful new areas. This is LIKE THAT.

  2. Trying to d/l it through Steam for the PC and it is taking fucking FOREVER. Slow! It’s only 570mb, why should it be so slow?

  3. i’m playing dawnguard on the xbox and i must say that i’m getting pretty frustrated with how long the loading times take…. specialy when you fast travel to some location, you open your map (hope it doesnt autosafe) then choose a location (really lond load) get to say: the thiefs guild.. you pop-up OUTSIDE walk 2 feet open the door and you’re waiting again!! but instaid of being in the ragged flaggon then you first have to open another door wich all takes FOREVER to load!!! now i installed the game on my xbox to maybe help it along a little but it still is really annoying to be watching loading screen most of the time… still done bitching game is great love it!!

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