I thought that it was a "ok" DLC. I thought that's there should have been more content for the vampire lord. I played thee DLC two times through , I played the Dawnguard vamp hunters, and the vampire lord. By far: the Dawnguard has way more crossbows and the armored dogs and trolls have way better stats than the hell hounds. anyways...... GO SKYRIM ;P
I know, it has been a while since I blogged or reviewed, but I've been busy. I'm still writing my book, I turned 16 on the 27th of October and I got plenty of cool prezzies.
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - DAWNGUARD - For PC - Review by Bamul
Dawnguard gave me a reason to go back to Skyrim, which was enough for me to accept its flaws and embrace its strengths.
Time Spent: 10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line: "Surprisingly good"
Bethesda Game Studios have always been known for their great, open world, role-playing games with massive worlds to explore and plenty of things to do while you're there. However, the tracked record of quality of the downloadable content that they have released for some of their games is mixed. From the glorious madness of the Shivering Isles to the ridiculous absurdity of paying for horse armour, Bethesda have both succeeded and saddened time and time again. As if it wasn't already huge enough, the developer has decided that the world of Skyrim has to be expanded through more DLC. Originally, they had planned expansions comparable to that of Shivering Isles - so you can imagine how disappointed I was to hear the word "DLC" coming from the mouth of Todd Howard. As always, I refused to succumb to the seduction of Bethesda's promises, and my wallet thanked me for it at first. Funnily enough, I received The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard as a birthday gift. Now that I have been given a chance to experience its quality (or lack thereof) for myself, let's see if it is truly worth the price of £14 or $20.
The story revolves around the return of Vampire Lord Harkon, the leader of clan Volkihar, who seeks to end the sun by using the Elder Scrolls; executing an ancient prophecy, thus creating a world where vampires dominate all. As soon as the main quest of this DLC begins, the player is introduced to the Dawnguard - a reformed order of vampire hunters who strive to destroy the bloody menace of Harkon and stop the prophecy from turning into reality. Once the first introductory sequence of questing is completed, two important things happen: firstly, we are acquainted with one of the best characters to appear in any Bethesda game - and secondly, we are given a choice whether to join the pureblood vampires (therefore becoming one of them) or continue working for the Dawnguard.
Either way, the plot itself - although very interesting - is nothing extraordinary. However, Serana (an NPC and companion who plays a crucial part in the story regardless of whose side you pick) and her constantly evolving relationship with the protagonist makes everything even better. This is also one of Dawnguard's biggest stumbles - as the quest itself ends very abruptly & suddenly, Serana's unique dialogue finishes in a similar manner and her fascinating relationship with the player is not taken any further.
Assuming the player has chosen to ally her or himself with Harkon, she or he will turn into a pureblood vampire just like her or his bloodsucking brethren. This is something completely new in the Elder Scrolls lore, which has not appeared in any of the previous games. As a pureblood vampire, the player can change into a Vampire Lord, where your appearance, stats and powers are all affected. In Vampire Lord form, the protagonist is transformed into a tall, grey, muscular and gargoyle-like figure with wings. As a Vampire Lord, the player can hover above the ground or walk, by using the sneak key to switch between the two modes of movement. When hovering, you can use two spells; one for draining life energy and the other for reincarnating dead enemies to serve as your minions. When walking, you can use the Vampire Lord's deadly claws to rip your enemies to shreds. There is also a perk tree for these new vampiric powers, which comes with some additional bonuses.
Werewolves are also treated to their own perk tree, but it's no secret that the Vampire Lord is the star of this DLC, so doggies don't get anything else. This may sound very disappointing to gamers who play as werewolves, and it is, but fortunately there are plenty of opportunities for the player to switch from lycanthropy to vampirism. Yet even if you choose not to do so, you can still experience most of this DLC's spoils - including the entirety of the quest and adventuring with Serana, but from the Dawnguard's point of view. Still, improving the Werewolf transformations would have certainly been a welcome feature.
Another important element added to the world of Skyrim by the Dawnguard DLC is the inclusion of crossbows. Crossbows are fantastic weapons that feel more powerful & satisfying to use than normal bows, with their own unique set of animations. At the beginning of the quest, you are given a crossbow and a few bolts as ammunition. If you side with the vampire slayers, you may choose to pursue a series of side quests from a member of the Dawnguard, which will eventually yield the most powerful iterations of enhanced crossbows and exploding bolts. Crossbows have not been seen in a Bethesda game since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, so they are a welcome addition to the world of Skyrim and definitely one of the DLC's stronger points.
Things that made me enjoy playing through Dawnguard very much were its environments. As it was with most of the DLC released by Bethesda in recent years, many of Dawnguard's locations are located outside the boundaries of vanilla Skyrim's map. However, unlike Point Lookout or Mothership Zeta, Dawnguard tries to integrate itself more with the default gameworld - so the quest may even take you to places you have already been to. Be that as it may, the completely new locations separate from the open world of the original game are the most exceptional.
The Forgotten Vale is a perfect example of that; it is a smaller open world cut off from the land of Skyrim. It shows you the remains of an ancient civilization, with some extremely beautiful sights, and allows you to battle with two dragons at the same time - introducing a new gameplay mechanic, where the dragon dives underwater (breaking through the icy surface) and ruptures through at a different part of the lake. Lastly, the Forgotten Vale contains within itself an interior setting with possibly one of the best & most dynamic boss fights of any Bethesda game. Apart from this, Castle Volkihar and Fort Dawnguard are both spectacular structures of stunning size and awesome architecture. Each of these locations has a set of new NPCs; some unique, some filler; some friendly, some hostile. With all of this also come new items and equipment, though nothing quite powerful enough for level 50+ characters.
Here comes the final question: is Dawnguard really worth the money it costs? Well, that's a tough one to answer. Dawnguard does many things right: it finally gives the player a worthwhile reason to turn into a vampire, introduces an amazing character with clever and entertaining dialogue, brings back crossbows and does so in style, offers a quest of decent length and shows us some gorgeous environments. However, for almost everything that it does well, there is an area where Dawnguard stumbles: werewolves are treated unfairly, both the quests and the relationship with Serana come to an unsatisfying end, plus there is not much to reward higher level players with besides the experience itself. Furthermore, the quests provided by the DLC do not take that long to finish. Depending on how many of the side quests you will want to finish, Dawnguard might take anywhere from 5 to 15 hours to complete.
In the end, the fact that Dawnguard gave me a reason to go back to Skyrim was enough for me to accept its shortcomings and embrace its strengths, but that may not be enough for some.
OVERALL RATING - 7.5/10 (Good)
If you liked this review, please give me a thumbs-up at:http://uk.gamespot.com/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-dawnguard/user-reviews/802431/Don't hesitate to leave a comment if you want to. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
The recent DG patch has me in a tiff. It seems that while in third person I strike two times for every one attack. I know that it sounds great but its actually pretty awful. It might be mod related conflict though. :(
†@Iffy350†Hasn't happened to me. Could be a mod-related problem like you said, or maybe something is up with your mouse/controller?
Nice review! To be honest, I'm quite surprised you liked it given your usual disposition towards DLC, but I agree with pretty much everything you said. To me, Dawnguard was somewhere inbetween an expansion and a DLC, but more importantly, I thought most of its content was very worthwhile. The missions are great for the most part, Serana is one of the most interesting NPCs in the game, and the crossbow is easily the best ranged weapon in the game once fully upgraded. Dawnguard got me right back into Skyrim and I spent quite some time exploring the main game after I had finished the Dawnguard campaign, aided by Serana and my trusted Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow. 8)
†@DraugenCP†I was surprised I liked it as well, but you're right - it was most probably due to its size and quality, more like a mini-expansion than the typical DLC it seemed at first. :)