The latest downloadable content (that’s what DLC stands for, boys and girls) for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Dragonborn, in which our hero travels to the isle of Solstheim in Morrowind on the trail of a mysterious ancient Dragonborn who seems to be controlling the minds of Solstheim’s citizens. Packed with plenty of all-new content, this is the first DLC for Skyrim that really gives you your money’s worth. Let’s get right to it.
Feed Me, Seymour!
Basically, if you loved Skyrim like I do, you’ll love this, because it’s basically just more of it. Solstheim is a huge place, with plenty of dungeons and quests and goodies to be unearthed. Just like the main game, the primary quest can be ignored for hours of random adventuring. There are pirates and dragons and Ewok things and much, much more! An accurate summary of Dragonborn (if “Walky-Roundy-Slashy-Shouty-Fantasy-Em-Up” is too verbose for you) is “MOAR!”
Gather ‘Round, Children, and You Shall Hear, of the Midnight Ride of Megalomania!
Dragonborn continues the Elder Scrolls tradition of epic storytelling. So many games tell you you’re a fantasy hero, but few other games than TES can actually make you feel like one. With plenty of new shouts, weapons, and armor, you really feel like the stalwart hero of the land you’re supposed to be. New types of dragons to slay and a more frequent spawn rate make dragon battles feel a lot more epic, something I’ve found rather lacking in vanilla Skyrim. The villain feels like a true antagonist and the final boss battle is truly a test of everything Skyrim has taught us up to this point. Which is to spam Unrelenting Force like a mofo.
Glitches Get Stitches
Quite frankly, like a lot of other Bethesda properties, Dragonborn could use a great deal more polish. Glitches abound and it is consistently immersion-breaking. I couldn’t even finish the final boss the first round through because he froze midway through his third Rule of Threes health refill. My dragon mount often clipped through the scenery. Perhaps it’s consistent with the rest of Skyrim, but that’s not always a good thing. You know who else is really consistent? A COMMUNIST!
Hi, Ho, Silver, AWAAAAAAAAAY! No? This Way? Fine…
The much hyped-over dragon riding is a huge disappointment. Basically it boils down to a World of Warcraft-esque fast travel system with the option to have your scaly chum fly in circles around the battlefield and spit flames at your foes. As stated above, this predetermined path often led to my dragon clipping through the world geometry. It’s a neat idea, but ultimately a letdown. A bit like most of my dates.
What, This Old Thing?
Dragonborn seems to continue a lot of Bethesda traditions: epic storytelling, clipping issues, and somewhat drab visual design. Aside from a few neat effects on the shouts and spells, the new armors and weapons have rather blocky and dull textures. Here’s a free hot tip for you: When you pick up the DLC, grab a high-res texture pack from your favorite modding website to improve your visual experience.
And Without Dragonborn!
Don’t let all these negatives trick you into thinking that Dragonborn isn’t worth your time and money, because it certainly is. This, to me, is the first true DLC for Skyrim, worth the money I paid for it. It wasn’t a glorified quest mod like Dawnguard and it’s not a pointless waste of time like Hearthfire. Fantasy gamers in general and Elder Scrolls fans in particular do themselves a disservice if they miss out. Don’t miss this one, folks. Little Timmy missed this one, and now he’s on drugs. Don’t let THIS happen to YOU!
Review Platform: PC