The lights are on
Ah, Dragonborn, the long awaited DLC for Skyrim that adds new areas to the game. My expectations for this particular DLC were heightened by the fact that I did not have enough money to buy it when it came out, and had to wait until Christmas to get it. All in all, I found this to be a rather pleasing edition to the masterpiece of fantasy role-playing that is Skyrim, definitely my favorite add-on to the game so far. So let's get down to business and go over the good and bad aspects of Dragonborn
One of the things that struck me most about Dragonborn is a surprisingly small detail, but made a large impact on me. This thing was the soundtrack, taken from the third installment in the Elder Scrolls series, Morrowind. Hearing this music sent me back to my childhood, when I fell in love with a game series called The Elder Scrolls. Anyone who has played Morrowind before they played Dragonborn will know what I mean when I say this DLC brings me back. The Silt Strider and the Telvanni settlement of Tel Mithryn also took me back. The nostalgia this DLC has for me, and would have for anyone who played Morrowind, is one of my favorite things about Dragonborn.
The main quest itself is satisfying, but shorter than it should have been. In case you didn't know already, it revolves around Miraak, the first Dragonborn (hence the title). The plot is well thought out for the most part, and the inclusion of Hermaeus Mora is intriguing, but it doesn't last long enough for you to get immersed in the game as much as you would come to expect from an Elder Scrolls game. I understand that Bethesda probably did this because they wanted a more detailed area and more side quests, but it feels like they were cutting corners, and I wouldn't have minded a larger download for a longer story.
There weren't many things wrong with Dragonborn, but there was one aspect of the game that disappointed me, even made me a little angry, was the dragon riding. When I first heard that Dragonborn was going to have Dragon riding, I almost jumped for joy. Dragon riding was something I thought Skyrim should have even before the game came out. Playing through the quest, I couldn't wait to ride a dragon, and when I finally did it, I could only think of one word to describe it: lacking. While you can technically ride dragons, the flight is on rails (usually the dragon just flies in a circle) and the combat is basically point and click. This brings me back to Bethesda cutting corners, and while it doesn't take away anything from the rest of the DLC, I don't see any reason that this couldn't have been done better.
The ability to use dragon souls to reset perk points was something that I found added to Skyrim's "no restrictions" play-style. If you get tired of playing as a mage, you can swap your perks onto the combat skills. Get tired of that, and you can move your perks onto the stealth skills. The perk resetting mechanic is a great way to add variety to your Skyrim experience.
The Black Books are also a very intriguing mechanic. You can use them to travel to Apothrica, Hermaeus Mora's plane of Oblivion. You go through very Lovecraftian levels and at the end, you get a perk that can effect your shouts, stats, or even give you a new ability.
All in all, Dragonborn is a solid addition to Skyrim. The world itself makes the game, and when you add on the quests, people, and gameplay, this DLC is well worth the twenty dollars it costs.
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