Friday, February 15, 2013

Skyrim: Dragonborn DLC (2012) Bethesda

Fus ra...oh here we go again.  Yes fine folks I finally picked up the Dragonborn DLC, primarily because there's fuck all else to play right now and even EVE gets tedious after a while.  If you have a good game to recommend or let me borrow that'd be cool.

Dragonborn is, actually pretty good, though for 360 it's still plagued with crap-ass load times, freezes, and glitches.  Last night the game froze on me about a half dozen times due to an auto-save bug.  This is the last time I play a Bethesda game on the console and quite possibly the last console I buy for a long time.

If it weren't for the glitches and bugs and the recurrent voice actors Dragonborn would be awesome.  Unlike Dawnguard, which was literally just more of the same, Dragonborn opens up a new island under the control of Morrowind.  Half of the island is a volcano ash wreck and the other is fairly familiar by this point.  The area design is different and while it's desolate there's some interesting stuff to look at.  There have been a couple of dungeons that actually surprised me by their design and puzzles.  There are new enemies which are pretty awesome and challenging if they take you off guard.  New armor, new weapons, loot, loot, loot...

What I am happiest about is simple - lots to explore and get rewarded for doing so.  I've spent two solid evenings of gameplay just wandering around.  Dragonguard has a lot packed into it and even more to reward exploration and patience.  There's a good number of sidequests (so far) based around treasure hunting and some tantilizing clues about further rewards for exploration.  In particular, it's not even a quest but there's a puzzle in a Dwemer ruin that can only be solved by going to the other Dwemer ruins.  Ancient ruins?  Treasure?  Fortune and glory?  Hell yeah!  However one of the puzzles in a Dwemer ruin took me about an hour to solve without a FAQ.  I said some bad words.

As for the DLC story arc?  I have no idea.  I haven't even started it.  You guys know me, as soon as I get the chance I book it cross country.  Story?  What?  Save what?  Huh?  Fuck you, I gots loots to find!  It drives some people nuts, especially if they are attempting to watch me play.  It's also part of the reason why I feel main story end game are often such a let down, I've done everything.  I'm basically a freaking God and then I just smash the end boss into a paste.  Personally I kind of miss the Dark World element in Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past or the insane time travel involved in Dragon Warrior VII (which I think is a better game than FFVII) - something to keep the game going to add some depth to it.  Oh well.

Is Dragonborn worth $20?  If it weren't so buggy, yeah.  All games have bugs, I know this - you know this, games freeze sometimes okay.  It's an imperfect world, screws fall out.  But at this point and for a company of Bethesda's stature, it's absurd.  In a way they remind me of the old joke about Jaguars, having to buy a mechanic when you buy a Jaguar or one of those super expensive dog breeds that's so in-bred it can't breathe right.  It's slovenly.

Basically, when Dragonborn is good, it is very, very good and when it is bad, it is awful.

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