Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Dawnguard DLC Review
The Elder Scrolls franchise is based around a great story and expansive unlimited content. People spent literally hundreds of hours inside of Morrowind and Oblivion doing quests till their hearts content. The Dawnguard DLC expands on both of those key pillars of the franchise for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. But does it it warrant a $20 price point?
The story is really where this expansion on Skyrim really shines. It takes an idea that the retail game originally touched on, vampires and their blight, and takes it to the next level. You make the choice on whether or not to help the Vampire cause or the cause of the Dawnguard, a society based on ridding Skyrim of the Vampire disease. The real question becomes which side will you chose?
Both of the sides are interesting. If you can save right before you have to make a choice I would suggest it. If you choose to help the Vampires you become a Vampire Lord with it’s own separate skill tree. You also get a story that is diabolical, creepy and sometimes stomach turning. The story line is long and interesting with twists and turns of different factions even within the Vampire hangout.
The Dawnguard story line is probably for the more protagonist and heroic type of story people. If you play the Paragon normally then this is the route you will feel comfortable. Freeing Damsels, Moth Priests and fending off the Vampires can be rewarding. The story line stays interesting and constantly begged me to keep playing.
Both stories are very similar, as they are competing factions, but are different enough that both can be played and enjoyed. There is no doubt to me that the story is the shining factor of the DLC and fits in nicely into the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Lore. If story is your thing then the DLC is definitely worth it!
The gameplay is where the DLC for me really starts to fall apart. One of the biggest things promoted in this DLC is the Vampire and Werewolf perk trees. The Werewolf and Vampire Lord are supposed to make you feel like a strong and an unstoppable force. However playing in these modes tends to be anything but.
As the Vampire Lord you can not interact with potions, chests and sometimes even doors. The power pushes you in 3rd person and your character becomes big. I don’t understand why a company that is known for having terrible 3rd person animations (see anytime somebody “rolls” in Skyrim) would forces you to constantly look in that perspective. Movement is clunky and activating or deactivating the power takes a long time. Every time I started to feel like a badass or that the Vampire Lord was a good idea I would get stuck in doorways and be completely removed from immersive gameplay that Skyrim is all about.
The dialog and interactions between people are fantastic, when you do them like Bethesda imagines you will. The voice acting as well as the context the characters fit in are executed really well. However if you try to break off the path or even stand still too long the dialog repeats and in a very annoying way. If I had even a penny for the times I yelled at Serana when writing a guide because she repeated “what do you need” over and over again I would be a very rich man. However that might be a little picky of me, considering most people will just go down the path that Skyrim leads them on.
Skyrim is an amazing game, but the DLC falls a little short. The storyline is great and hardcore fans will love it. People who decided to stop playing the game after 30 or 40 hours might want to really think before buying this DLC. After playing hours of the DLC it just felt like more, kind of buggy, Skyrim that I just didn’t need anymore.