25 February 2013

Revisiting Skyrim: The Dragonborn Post

So the Skyrim expansions are finally rolling out on the PS3. I hadn't planned to get them for a while yet, but, as it happened, Dragonborn was half price for a limited time after release, so I basically just had to buy it, and, what with still recuperating from my appendectomy and avoiding strenuous activities, decided to dig right into it. It'd been a while since I'd played Skyrim, and it felt pretty good to be back again.

I don't have much prior experience with DLC's. Frankly, I kinda dislike the concept, always seemed more like an effort to squeeze more money out of us poor gamers than an important aspect gaming. So I wasn't necessarily expecting a lot of 'bang for my buck', but, I have to say, I was not disappointed. Dragonborn is, after all, a proper 'expansion', not just any ol' DLC.

So, I installed it and loaded up my saved game. I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to do at first, but pretty soon an encounter with some strange cultists led me to an island full of new locations to explore. The main storyline is... not exactly original, even by Elder Scrolls standards. Yet another ancient evil returning that you have to defeat... But it still manages to be fairly cool and there are some... interesting locations to visit along the way, with, shall we say, Lovecraftian overtones... There's a bunch of side quests and miscellaneous objectives, too, some more interesting than others.

Obviously there's new equipment, new shouts etc. as well, allowing for new gameplay mechanics, like dragon riding. (This, frankly, feels more like a gimmick than a really useful mechanic. You can't really control the flight of the dragon, and while you can attack targets, it feels pretty clumsy. But it's still pretty darn cool, particularly the first time you try it!)

There's a good twenty hours gameplay there (putting my total playtime in the game close to a nigh ridiculous 140 hours), or more, even, depending on how meticulous an explorer you are. There are still many dungeons on the island I haven't even visited, but, as with the main game, without quests to take me there, I'm just not that keen to go exploring dungeons that, to be honest, get pretty repetitive after a while...

I'll likely buy Dawnguard once it's released, but I may save playing it for when I get around to replaying the game with a new character. (Hearthfire, on the other hand, doesn't really interest me. I'm an adventurer, not a friggin' housekeeper...)

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