Show of hands: who hasn’t had the opportunity to play Skyrim yet? If you’re one of the unlucky ones who aren’t able to raise your hand to this question, then you don’t know what you’re missing…or you know exactly what you’re missing, but you just don’t have the money available to not miss it. Either way, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an absolutely fantastic game. As with any game in The Elder Scrolls series, there is DLC. Skyrim’s first DLC, Dawnguard, arrived on XBLA in June, and became available for PC players yesterday, during QuakeCon. At 1600MSP/$19.99, it comes at quite a price. Does it live up to the cost?
The Dawnguard DLC fits in to the land of Skyrim seamlessly; you can either jump into it with your current character or start a new character and work your way up to it. The DLC introduces a new faction quest path, similar to the Stormcloak vs Imperial line. The Vampire Lord Harkon has claimed an Elder Scroll, and plans on blotting out the sun itself, ushering in a never-ending age of darkness and vampire supremacy. Your choice is to stand against him as a member of the Dawnguard, or become a Vampire Lord yourself.
Dawnguard introduces new locations, weapons, creatures, and more, but isn’t available in your quest log until you find it. The quest path becomes available by happenstance; it may take you hours to be invited, and it may happen in the blink of an eye. For me, as soon as I went into the first town after loading the DLC, there was a fight, and I was invited into the quest path. Lucky me, eh? With Dawnguard, you’ll visit new locations that feel like a part of Skyrim, instead of a separate area tacked on as DLC. While you were already able to become a werewolf, you now have the option of becoming a vampire, and as the quest path continues, you’ll be given an option to become one or the other. I chose vampire. In the end, both paths seem to follow fairly similar structures, with the enemies and the end result being different.
As with Skyrim in general, the voice acting becomes very annoying when you hear the same voices coming out of multiple people. Hopefully, future DLC can expand the voice acting to create more variety. Visually, it was on par with the main title, as it should be. Is it worth 1600MSP/$19.99? For those of you who have put hundreds and hundreds of hours into playing Skyrim, then I would say it is. You can expand your available gameplay with an entirely new faction quest and play for hours and hours more. It is a steep price, however, and your own judgment should be used when deciding if you will buy it or not. Who knows, by early next year you may be able to get a GOTY edition of Skyrim for $29.99 with all DLC included.
|Adds hours of gameplay to Skyrim|
New skill trees to work through
Ability to become a vampire
Seamless and organic integration
|Could have included more side quests|
Voice acting needs more variety
Price is hard to swallow
The Dawnguard DLC was provided for review purposes. For more information on Skyrim or the DLC, please click here.