This mountain isn’t big enough for two Dragonborn.
By calling their second DLC adventure for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, ‘Dragonborn’, Bethesda aren’t really giving you any hints as to what it might be about. If you ask me, this is a good thing because I like when DLC adventures surprise me, and are a departure from what happens in the main campaign. The Dragon Born DLC didn’t really surprise me, and it isn’t that much of a departure, but it is a good solid expansion that offers you a great reason to head back to Skyrim.
The Dragonborn DLC gets started when you are so rudely attacked by a group of cultists claiming that you are a false Dragonborn. Being, as we all know, the real deal, you’ll have to set off on a journey to find out just who is trying to kill you and, possibly, why they are trying to kill you. This journey will take you out of the main world map of Skyrim, to the island of Solstheim where you may run into some familiar people, and architecture, if you’re a longtime fan of the series, and have played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
Solstheim turns out to be a sizable island, with a couple of towns, and miles of new terrain to explore. A mountain dominates the landscape and when you’re on its slopes you’ll feel like you’re right back in Skyrim, but the rest of the island will look much different. The coastal areas resemble the Ashlands of Morrowind and one of the island’s current occupants has even brought in some of the huge mushrooms you may remember from that game, along with some imported wildlife.
When you arrive in Solstheim you’ll notice that everyone gets a little weird when you ask them about the man you suspect of trying to have you killed. Upon further investigation you’ll find out that something strange is going on and I’ll leave you to unwind things from there for yourself. I will say that the story is one of the better written adventures you’ll play through in Skyrim and it will also take you to some interesting places.
The Dragonborn DLC contains a number of large dungeons that range from the familiar, but fan favorite, Dwemer ruins to some of the more twisted environments you’ll see anywhere in the Elder Scrolls universe. If you think the island is big, wait until you’ve played through a few of the missions before you really judge this add-on’s size.
The Dragonborn DLC will run you about six hours of play time, if you simply speed through the main story. However, there are a ton of side quests that can be pretty lengthy on their own and that isn’t even to mention the huge amount of land there is to explore. On top of the new areas, you’ll get a whole host of new equipment, crafting items, and dragon shouts, in case you were looking for more than just some new missions to complete. Even though it carries a hefty price tag, when it comes to DLC, the Dragonborn DLC will be well worth your hard earned dollars if you’re a true fan of the game.
The Dragonborn DLC does not add any multiplayer content to Skyrim.
Expansion packs should have one main goal; to give you a reason to start playing the game again and the Dragonborn DLC is that reason. The island of Solstheim gives you plenty of reasons to stick around, once the main story is done, even if it isn’t the ideal vacation spot. Where lots of DLC adventures feel very self contained the Dragonborn DLC left me hooked on Skyrim, as a whole, once again.
Release Date: December 4th (Xbox 360) / TBA 2013 (PC, PS3)