Quantcast
E3: Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion goes gothic on my ass - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- Dawnguard  



E3: Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion goes gothic on my ass


5:45 PM on 06.08.2012
E3: Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion goes gothic on my ass photo



Stuff you should know: I am not a vampire, I am not employed by Bethesda, and I didn’t complete Skyrim, not even the main quest. That’s okay, though, because Dawnguard isn’t more of the same. It’s a 15-20 hour expansion based around new ideas in new areas that are tied to new characters.

Whether you want to become a Vampire Lord now or later is the player’s call to make. Whether they should make that call at all is an entirely different discussion, so let’s talk!

The hands-on E3 demo of Dawnguard starts five hours into the expansion. I am already a Vampire Lord with abilities that make Morrowind’s lycanthropy seem like child’s play. By activating the power (right bumper/shout button), you change into vampire form which grants you access to a new vampire perks tree, including some of the game’s most outrageous spells.

As a vampire, you can transform into a group of bats and quickly warp across a room, lift characters off the ground and choke them Darth Vader-style, and even summon a gargoyle to join your winged, bad self. As cool as these spells are, being a vampire has its downsides. Some technical, others mechanical.

The third-person view of Skyrim was a vast improvement over previous Bethesda games, but you’d still be hard-pressed to find players who prefer it to first-person. It’s baffling to me, then, why the vampire form restricts the player to third-person combat. When I asked the developers about the decision-making process behind this, they sheepishly replied, “Well ... it’s what we did for the werewolf in Morrowind.” Making the same mistake twice is a defining trait of Bethesda, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.

No matter what, third-person will be less immersive than first-person, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Dawnguard is bad because the animation, combat, and movement of the vampire is incredibly awkward -- a few steps back from what Bethesda achieved in Skyrim. The vampire shuffles forward with his hulking body obscuring most of your view; his hand-to-hand combat has a considerable amount of lag on it; and transforming in and out of vampire form is awkward. Then there are other annoyances, like losing the ability to check out your map or manage inventory in the form. Because, you know, vampires are just too evil to stop and read maps.

Another big concern with the vampire form is that it doesn’t complement all character builds. The vampire has some of the strongest spell-based attacks of the game, but he will quickly drain your magicka resources. As a result, you’ll want to jump into hand-to-hand combat until your magicka refills. But what if you are a mage? Or what if you are a rogue and find the vampire form often blows your cover? Bethesda didn’t really have a good response to this. It seems the vampire form will be used for brute-forcing your way through some nasty encounters. If that doesn’t work with your style of play, well, tough luck.

As in Oblivion’s Shivering Isles expansion, Bethesda is building a new area in Dawnguard that fills a void within Skyrim’s world. The demo took place in Soul Cairn, a nightmarish, gothic land of skeletons, lost souls, and other things that come straight out of a heavy metal album cover. It’s definitely something new. I’m just not sure if Dawnguard is something good. Gliding over the terrain as a vampire is cool, and I like the new powers, but there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed until this expansion meets the high standards Bethesda has previously set.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- Dawnguard



5:00 AM on 06.06.2012
E3: Be a Vampire Lord in Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC

Bethesda is expanding the realm of Skyrim with the game's first piece of downloadable content, Dawnguard. You've seen the trailer and screenshots, and now you can watch The Destructoid Show's Max Scoville give you his though...more



5:05 PM on 06.05.2012
E3: Bring out your broadsword! New Dawnguard screens

Truth be told, I have yet to finish the main quest of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, mostly because I'm just far too busy with exploring random caves and dungeons through out the land. But after seeing the trailer for its first...more





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

Role-Playing Games

6:30 PM on 07.22.2014
NIS doing another erotic Vita RPG, Great Edo Blacksmith

Nippon Ichi Software's new PS Vita title is Great Edo Blacksmith. It's coming to Japan on November 27. Gematsu reports, "players spend the remaining one year of their life as a blacksmith, with the goal of earning both a livi...more



5:30 PM on 07.22.2014
Dragon Age: Inquisition pushed to November

Battlefield Hardline, and now Dragon Age: Inquisition -- it's delay day at Electronic Arts. BioWare has moved Inquisition from October 7 to November 18 (Nov. 21 in Europe). Considering how stupidly packed with high-profile re...more



5:15 PM on 07.22.2014
Persona Q coming November 25, let's loop the opening until then

Persona Q, the chibi 3DS amalgam of Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters, has a North American release date: November 25. The opening is still amazing. The premium edition is pretty nice, too. Shadow of the Labyrinth has won me over since its announcement -- or maybe it's just the dearth of Persona -- so I'm pretty ready.more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more