Saturday, August 25, 2012

Skyrim Dawnguard

I have never made any apologies for how much I love the game Skyrim. So it should be no surprise that Dawnguard scored some pretty high marks with me as well. While this add-on was well received, there were a few minor missteps along the way.

First off, if you didn't like Skyrim then you won't like the Dawnguard DLC. It plays, looks, and feels exactly like the main game. The graphics are really amazing and include some stunning new areas to explore, complete with creepy enemies and entrancing vistas.  Like I said, identical to the initial offering.

The content itself allows for hours and hours of game play. Thus far, I have drawn out about 20 extra hours. While some games give you 6 hours for $60, Dawnguard gives 20+ for $20. Spending your money on this expansion is certainly justifiable and well worth it. What makes this game so long is that there are two very different ways to play. One way allows the player to help vampires reign supreme and the other way helps the vampire hunters. Both story lines have some similar areas, but the change in perspective and different missions give it high replayability.

One aspect of the game that fell short was that the general idea of vampires is so overdone. I expect the best from the Elder Scrolls series and tapping into such an over-saturated pop culture topic is annoying. Granted, the vampires aren't glittery or sexy, I'm still definitely tired of hearing about them. And the only vampire hunter I will ever respect is Buffy. I hope that next time they explore some of the creatures we know less about, it will be the Snow Elves or the Dwemer.

The only other thing I wasn't thrilled about was not even really game related. The DLC comes with an achievement that requires the player to kill a legendary dragon. Unfortunately, legendary dragons don't spawn until at least level 70. Despite having over 140 hours into my main character, I was only a level 52. I spent all my time doing things that don't generate xp like harvesting ingredients or talking with villagers. In order to unlock this one last achievement, I have to grind, grind, grind my way to level 70.  

Other than those two very minor gripes, the Dawnguard DLC totally lives up to the hype and its namesake.  If you loved or even just liked Skyrim, download this content.  If nothing else, it's something new that will keep you busy for the next couple weeks until all the big games start hitting the shelves.

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