For those who have been following Bethesda games, they’d know that DLCs come by every now and then, but in incrementally-increasing time gaps. But with what is perhaps one of their last DLCs for Skyrim, they brought in the big guns and made the game even bigger, one that even the most hardcore of old-school Elder Scrolls fans will like. The Dragonborn DLC offers a whole lot more than what most people could ever have bargained for.
The last big DLCs for Skyrim, namely Dawnguard and Hearthfire, mostly added some big side quests and expanded certain features like homes. In comparison, what the Dragonborn DLC does is doing both of these things and add a bit more to top it all off. Some would think that the previous DLCs have added too much needless gimmicks and flash to the game, while some have liked it. But with the Dragonborn DLC, it’s either going to make detractors pop veins in their brain or make fans weak in the knees.
Dragonborn is one of those DLCs that will make people come back to the game for a good while. Since Skyrim is now over a year old, most players would have stopped playing after having cleared all the quests, explored all the places, and cleared out all the caves and dungeons. This DLC is so big that it can be seen as a second game by itself, so it’s already quite good in terms of value. What must be assessed at this point then is the quality of the additions to the already expansive game.
The campaign for this new DLC lasts for a good six hours, with over twenty hours of material on the side. You head to the island of Solstheim to investigate a Dovahkiin cult headed by an individual named Miraak, who is immensely powerful. Later on, you learn of his true identity, who he serves, and his intentions. You must then do what you can to get strong and defeat him to put a stop to his machinations. A clue to who he is lies in the title of the DLC, which is something that your character should be in the first place.
What you get for your money is a whole new land to explore. The thing about Solstheim is that it has a lot of Dunmer living in it, which means that it looks a lot like Morrowind. For those who have played that Elder Scrolls game, they would say that it was the best game in the series. For those people, they get to have their own little piece of heaven in Skyrim in Solstheim. With a new area, you get new dungeons and a lot more things to do, with lots of content available, including new items.
Another feature you get in this DLC is being able to ride a dragon. These powerful and majestic creatures that were once fodder of myth and legend are now at your disposal with this DLC. This by itself should be enough reason for anyone to get it in the first place. Once you do get a hang of it, you then realize that while it’s still pretty awesome, it’s not as exciting as you may first expect. Other than being able to ride it as it flies, there aren’t other mechanics that let you take advantage of this. Perhaps Bethesda will work on it further with a future DLC or modders can make this better on their own.
Overall, the Dragonborn DLC is perhaps the best reason so far to get back into the game, as well as new players to give Skyrim a try if they haven’t already. With such a game as Skyrim, wherein exploration and combat are both emphasized with the great environmental design and the sheer number of characters you may encounter, this DLC definitely takes it to greater heights.
Tested in Xbox 360. Final Score: 9/10