Part two of my Skyrim DLC special two part review. I hope you enjoyed my review of Dawnguard. Up next is Dragonborn.
Dragonborn is more in keeping with previous downloadable content i.e. Shivering Isles for Oblivion. It’s all set on an island called Solstheim. A Dumner (Dark Elf) province, so the architecture, creatures and landscape are very much reminiscent of Morrowind. It’s rather pleasant, for an ash-blighted wasteland. There is a greater focus on exploration than in Dawnguard. The whole island is about the size of a regular Skyrim hold, but there are loads of caves, mines and tombs to raid (I made a pun.) There are also some Dwemer ruins to explore too. They have some particularly good loot.
The plot is centred on Miraak, the first Dragonborn, basically he has got his panties in a bunch because he thinks he owns the copyright on the name Dragonborn and doesn’t like to share. So after slaughtering a few of his cultists it’s off to Solstheim to shove a spanner into his evil schemes. To do this you have to find black books that are sources of forbidden knowledge and power. They transport you to the aptly named realm of Apocrypha. Hermaeus Mora is back in his tentacle ridden, gorge rising, glory.
But main quest lines aren’t why we play Skyrim. There are plenty of new weapon and armour sets to make and craft; including the new Nordic gear, which has similar specs to the Elven weapons and armour, but looks awesome. There are of course plenty side quests on offer as well. There is a brand new smithing element to play with: Stalhrim it’s bright blue and shiny. It makes some interesting looking gear, and it has a rather decent damage output/ resistance. It wasn’t really to my liking as my main character is all about the black knight look. Hell there are even pirates and buried treasure to be fought and found.
There are also lots of new powers (plenty of these), shouts and spells to acquire. It feels like Bethesda have gone all out on Dragonborn. After you’ve played the main quest line and explored Solstheim and Apocrypha a bit your character is going to be way more powerful, rich (this is important to me as I horde gold like crazy) and better equipped than he/she is already.
Without giving too much away; get ready for a birds eye view of Solstheim and Skyrim as the new shout, Bend Will gives you some interesting transportation options. If, like my character, being a werewolf is an integral part of his/ her persona then seek out the hidden clan of werewolves who have some interesting trinkets to boost your beast form.
If it came down to a choice between getting Dragonborn or Dawnguard I would probably go with Dawnguard, mostly due to the awesomeness of the crossbows and Dragonbone weapons. However Dragonborn has way more playability and ‘hang time’, as it has a whole new island to explore. According to the Elder Scrolls wiki there are over 90 new locations to explore. It does what a good DLC should do. It enhances and lengthens the player’s experience while bringing something new and different to the ‘table’.