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PC Game Review: Skyrim – Dawnguard

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Skyrim has gotten its first DLC and what a little cracker it is on paper. From the outset I am going to say that I enjoyed my play-through. There are certainly a few concerns but that is to be expected.

Besides the new storyline, the DLC adds a few bits of kit. One of them is a crossbow which I had no interest in since I didn’t bother with bows (they are slow bloody things, crossbows) and the other is dragon-bone weapons. I duly crafted myself a nice big vicious looking battle-axe. There are some quests to gather various explosive bolts for the crossbow, too. Additionally, there is a new shout to be had.

The big part of the DLC is the new vampire family quest. As with most things involving vampires, the story involves a power-hungry Vampire Lord parent, a young daughter who rebels, and lots of ancient family intrigue. There is even a hint of romance between your character and the daughter to complicate your life. Of course, this being Skyrim you can decide whether to become a vampire (if you aren’t one already) or to remain human (or werewolf) to join the DLC’s namesake. I did the latter and spent the rest of the quest hunting down the blood-suckers in the company of the daughter of one of the more important ones. There are new skill trees for both vampires and werewolves.

I do have a few gripes about it all. I found it annoying that I had to ditch my original female dark-elf companion in order to do the main quest with the new vamp-girl, after the dark-elf had been with me for over 150 hours of gameplay. I had to uninstall all my mods as you might expect to get it to run at all, and even then Skyrim was quite unstable for much of the early game-play.

The biggest gripe for many, and I find it justified, is the price. Considering there is not that much content compared to the original game, 1/3 of the price of the original ($20) seems a tad steep. It might be prudent to wait for a sale if you don’t consider it a must-have.

Dawnguard successfully dragged me back into Skyrim and continues to keep my interest in the game. If you liked the original game then this is just a bit of fluff on top, unless you are a vampire obsessive.

Skyrim – Dawnguard is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB. This game can also be found on: Xbox 360 (it is due soon for PS3).

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About Marty Dodge

  • sagesource

    Before I installed Dawnguard, my Skyrim was crashing once or twice a week. Nothing to write home about. After I installed Dawnguard, Skyrim was crashing once every five to ten minutes. A crash during the battle with Alduin has now effectively ended my game, since the scripting has been hopelessly confused. My advice about Dawnguard: Stay the hell away from it. The content is better than I had expected from reading reviews, but in some cases it just scrambles your Skyrim into a total mess.