Here we are again on the eve another DLC release for Skyrim, aka “Baby’s First RPG.” (And by “we,” of course I’m referring to PC and 360 users.) Sorry about that, PS3 fans. Your day will come… or maybe it won’t. To put it frankly, I’m really not sure Bethesda really even knows you exist. Unfortunately, ye Sony faithful still have been denied the experience of Dawnguard or “Barbie’s Dream House: Skyrim Edition.”
Don’t blame Bethesda, though. They had no way of knowing about the PS3 being able to run their games smoothly. Oh, what’s that? Fallout: New Vegas on the PS3? Right, almost forgot.
The truly tragic fact of the matter is that the Bethesda of the past would’ve undoubtedly pushed back the release date of Skyrim in order to spend more time working out the kinks for launch… but surely a quality game isn’t nearly as important as a neat-o “11/11/11” release date, right?
But I digress; as I mentioned before, a new Skyrim expansion is upon us: “Dragonborn.” At this point, most of you who even remotely care about The Elder Scrolls have seen the trailer. If not, here it is for your viewing pleasure:
My only positive reaction to the trailer was that the content looks somewhat promising for the nostalgia factor alone. Big fans of Morrowind will immediately spot Telvanni towers, Redoran architecture, Netch bulls, Solstheim, Rieklings, Stahlrim armor, and ash zombies among other things. It’s a good thing to see these old places and faces again that once captivated my imagination way back in 2002. However, doesn’t Dragonborn just scream rehash? Isn’t this just The Shivering Isles all over again?
“But what ever could you mean by that, Brandon?” Well, let me clarify. I’m referring to the practice of Bethesda pumping out boring, generic content for the original release of a game (Oblivion) and then mooching off of Morrowind’s imaginative style and design for the add-on (The Shivering Isles).
That being said, I will say that The Shivering Isles might’ve been one of the few cases in which I enjoyed an expansion more than the original game. Hell, at least it presented us with a brand new built-from-scratch landmass that was a joy to explore, rather than revisiting old content from Morrowind and Bloodmoon, which is what Dragonborn appears to be doing. [PROTIP: I really hope I’m wrong.]
In Bethesda’s eyes, I’m sure Dragonborn is a win/win though. Satisfy past Elder Scrolls fans with content from Morrowind while also giving fans who are new to The Elder Scrolls series more Skyrim fluff to swoon over.
You don’t have to agree with me, and I’m fairly certain a lot of you won’t… but Bethesda’s creativity as of late has struck me as downright lazy. There’s no other way to put it. This DLC even suggests a lack of imagination by its name alone — “Dragonborn.” Hold on a tick, Bethesda… wasn’t Skyrim about a Dragonborn in the first place? And the DLC is about a Dragonborn? Got it. Very original. Maybe even as original as the vampire quest chain we’re presented with in Dawnguard. Yes, Todd… We get it — vampires and werewolves exist in Tamriel. I believe we’ve established this thoroughly through Morrowind, Bloodmoon and Oblivion. Now let’s move on and try to think outside the box for once.
For what it’s worth, it’s great to see the series harken back to the more fantastical style of Morrowind. As I’ve said in previous articles, I didn’t find anything in Skyrim to really be all that interesting. It might as well have been “The Elder Scrolls V: Norway.” However, I’ll wait until Dragonborn is released to fully pass judgment on it. God willing, they’ll prove me wrong and it’ll be the best expansion I’ve ever layed eyes on.
Dragonborn is out on Xbox 360 December 4th. PC, I assume to follow a month later. PS3… Possibly some time in late 2016.