copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

Rati ng:

Impact: Memorable

The new expansion pack brings us back to Solstheim, an island off the coast of Morrowind (last featured in the Bloodmoon expansion for Elder Scrolls Morrowind). The player gets attacked and has to travel to the new landmass to find out why.

The trailer for Dragonborn promised us the ability to fly dragons, throwing spears and a new menace in the form of a power hungry dragonborn competitor. But it was a bit too good to be true….and it is.

The main quest for Dragonborn is quite short compared to the last main expansion pack, Dawnguard, let alone when comparing it to the main questline from Skyrim itself.

Additionally, what you get in those few hours of gameplay adds to the disappointment. So much is wrong here, it is hard to know where to begin.

The characters are completely forgettable. The Dawnguard expansion at least had the chick from Underworld who left some impression on your memory at least due to the simple fact that she was around for a while, but in Dragonborn the main quest goes by so quickly that you do not spend more than a couple of minutes with anyone. As a result you do not remember anyone.

Of course the dialogue does not help. The script is so bland, so flat, so short that it is not surprising the actors don't show much emotion reading from it.

The story is all over the place. Things just happen without much explanation and characters say things without sufficient buildup. There is no story development before things happen, the exposition is awkwardly placed and there is no time for any sort of character development so the whole story feels rushed, simplistic and stupid. This lack of logic and flow is really distracting when you are trying to enjoy the little of the quest you can.

Oh and remember I mentioned throwing spears and controllable dragons. You wish! That would require a real effort on the part of developers and no chance of that for an expansion pack, is there? When the player picks up the spear it becomes an arrow, and as for dragons, you can only tell the dragon whom to attack and where to travel. This would actually make sense if some side character would bother to remind us that the Dragons are fiercely independent creatures and will not be controlled like a horse, but the story does not bother, so it simply feels like the developers did not put the effort.

Now having said all this, there are definitely highlights for Dragonborn that just barely pull it out of the “naughty” list. The art is great and sometimes quite creative. The realm of a Daedra God is especially interesting and memorable.

The return to Solstheim and its Morrowind architecture is a really welcome nostalgia trip for those of us who played Morrowind, especially when you hear some of the original soundtrack making a comeback.

There is of course a lot of new content like side-quests, new armor, the above-mentioned architecture, the creatures, the dungeons and other things. Indeed, it feels like this side-stuff is what the developers devoted most of their time to because it sure as hell was not devoted to making a good proper-length main quest. I guess that is fine since the nostalgic return to Morrowind combined with those side-quests make up for it.

Overall this is a worthy product, though the main story is distractingly bad.

Now please, please add the rest of Morrowind to the game. The landmass is already there….come on.