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Skyrim: Dragonborn Review

Ma'idah Lashani | 11 Dec 2012 16:00
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You'll acquire a couple interesting new shouts, too, like Dragon Aspect which gives you some pretty nasty looking flame armor and builds up your physical strength. Unfortunately, this ability can only be activated once per day which severely diminishes its usefulness. You also pick up some new conjured creatures to help you along your way. The Seeker is a particularly menacing one, a ghastly miniature Cthulhu that hurls potent draining spells, phases out of visibility and projects mirrored clones of itself.

As well as all the exciting new stuff you get to explore, you'll also be able to return to some unfinished business as you enter Hermaeus Mora's library of forbidden knowledge. If you do manage to pass the trials he sets before you, you'll wind up with a few new abilities to choose from including an incredibly useful one that prevents companions from taking friendly fire damage. If you've ever had to explain to your would-be wife why a dead body suddenly spawned in the middle of your marriage ceremony, or even just to reload from a previous game save because you accidentally burned Aela to death with a fireball, then you'll appreciate this perk. You can now hack away with your sword indiscriminately, knowing that only your foes will feel its sting.

While it's true that dragon taming isn't as personal and interactive as one might hope, the really entertaining part of this DLC is the thing Elder Scrolls has always done best: the storytelling. Even in the face of unspeakable horror and impossible odds, the inhabitants of Solstheim have chosen to stay and fight for their lives, evoking strong feelings of both pity and admiration, and making them feel totally worth saving. Adding to that the host of new abilities, spells and creatures to interact with and acquire, Dragonborn is well worth your time.

Bottom Line: Dragon taming doesn't feel very engaging, but because of the story's depth and the host of new items and abilities, Dragonborn is still a thoroughly charming experience.

Recommendation: If you're already invested in Skyrim and want to play the next chapter in the Dovahkiin's story, buy this DLC. Because of the end-game content, however, this expansion probably isn't suitable for new or fledgling Skyrim players.

What our review scores mean.

Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Genre: RPG
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK), Play.com(UK)

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