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Skyrim: Dragonborn – Improving An Already Great Game

Some of my Steam friends would have noticed I was playing Skyrim again recently, where I set out to do as much of the game as I could. I just wanted a change of pace, so it was great picking Skyrim back up. But one thing I had never done in the now-classic RPG is play the DLC, Dragonborn, Hearthfire or Dawnguard. I decided to have a go at the DLC and boy, was I ever in for a treat? How had I not played these before? More importantly, why hadn’t I played Dragonborn before?!

Dragonborn

Having completed the civil war storyline, followed by the main quests, I set off to unlock all of the achievements for the different guilds. Weirdly, I remembered playing through all of these in the past, so it was odd to me that I hadn’t unlocked these previously. Nevertheless, I went through and managed all of it, as a bit of a sneaky spellsword Argonian lady wearing light armour. I went for a typically weird name, Ar’thita (‘Ar-thee-ta’), then away I went!

I randomly stumbled into some cultists who tried to kill me, which was strange. I had never encountered them before, but this was my highest levelled character. I picked up the note they had, then went to find the boat to take me to Solstheim. This was my first time stepping over there, the half-Skyrim, half-Morrowind DLC. Originally, I didn’t even realise it was a Morrowind DLC of sorts, so that was a bonus.

The game got me to go and find some people building some weird stuff – And so you inspect the shrine itself and it takes control of you, making you help build it. I loved this interaction, as already I felt a reason to hate who was causing this. It wasn’t long before I had my first vision of the boss of Dragonborn, Miraak, who we’ll go into more detail later down the line.

The armour in Solstheim was excellent, the new Dragon Shouts were awesome and the theme was exciting. This is already a good start. If I had to make any complaints, it turned your character from a composed quester to… A bit of a ditherer. It reminded me of Batman screaming “Where’s Harvey Dent?!” over and over again. The player would literally ignore everything, just to say “okay, but where’s Miraak?” “How does this relate to Miraak?” “Where can I fight Miraak?” Good grief, that’s some bad writing.

However, the rest of the Dragonborn DLC was incredible. The Black Books were genuinely great fun to go and collect. I ended up getting all of the books, because the rewards are so worth it – Especially the one that lets you summon a Dremora to trade stuff to. Honestly, that was a godsend! He has 2000 gold to trade, he’s amusing and all in all the best reward you can get from any quest in the game.

Dawnguard

Won’t lie, didn’t like Dawnguard nearly as much as I did Dragonborn. The Dawnguard DLC focuses on a group of vampire hunters who are really angry and angsty against vampires, so naturally you end up finding a vampire who wants to help you. Serana, who is actually the best follower in the game bar none, I’m sorry, is a vampire who had been locked in a cave, buried and was kept with an Elder Scroll!

Upon returning Serana to her home, you can either become a vampire, or continue your story as was. I was a werewolf at the time, so decided to just fight the vampires. Upon returning to the Dawnguard, Serana comes to ask you to help her find her mother and to really put things into perspective. Turns out the Dawnguard had to learn a lot about the feelings of vampires, as well as vampires learning how to work with the Dawnguard.

In any event, some of the armour in this DLC is amongst the coolest in the game, but the story was pretty much a fanfic if Twilight crossed into The Elder Scrolls. Sorry.

Hearthfire

You build three excessively oversized houses by carrying weight up to 1000 over your encumbrance limit, then stand at a desk so you can say you worked hard to build said houses.

At least they’ve got useful stuff which you can customise.


And thus my time on Skyrim has finally come to an end. That’s it. I’ve got 100% Steam Achievements on the game, so I’m sort of out of any real need to continue playing it. I mean sure, mods may be the only reason to go back, but hey, I can officially say I took out a level 78 Legendary Dragon – As hard as it was getting there. Over 200 hours of gameplay, finally done. Time to call it a wrap. Did you ever pick up Dragonborn, Hearthfire or Dawnguard? What did you make of the DLC? Let us know in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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