Dragonborn is available on the Xbox 360 now and some reviews have come in. Keep in mind that these reviews are for the Xbox version so some of what they have to say technically might not apply when the PC version is released.Forbes
has some initial thoughts about what it is like to go back to Solstheim for those who have been there in Morrowind.
Shortly after booting up Dragonborn, the new DLC for Skyrim, I cautiously took a longboat out to Solstheim the (sort of) new island for the game. As soon as I pulled up, there was a familiar, if bizarre, white structure off in the distance. I recognized it immediately – a House Redoran building from the old days of Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. Off in the distance there was a giant mushroom serving as a mage’s tower. It’s nice to be back.
Skyrim missed the mark on its previous DLC, Dawnguard. Instead of a whole new world to explore, we got a series of linear quests, a few new items and a scant number of new enemies. That’s not the case here. Dragonborn gives us more of what we fell in love with in Skyrim in first place – caves and crags to explore, fancy items and monsters to kill them with. The landscape is mostly what we remember from Skyrim – frozen wastes and barrows, anybody? But everything else feels new, and it’s a welcome change. It took a little while, but it looks like we finally have a proper expansion pack for one of the best games of 2011.
thinks it is pretty good, and much better than Dawnguard. But notes that the problems of Skyrim are also present in Dragonborn.
More importantly, Dragonborn re-evokes that feeling of excitement, that rush of untapped whimsy that massive open-world games like Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas are so good at offering. A new map brings with it new places. New dungeons. New quests to discover and rewards to unearth. It's an explorer's wet dream.
Sadly, with a game like Skyrim—and consequently, with its Dragonborn DLC—the potential is often more exciting than the results. Unlock a particularly tough door, for example, and your only reward might be a couple wheels of cheese and a chest with some worthless armor. You might find that an enticing-looking fortress holds nothing but a bunch of generic bandits. Quests might end abruptly and unceremoniously.
The main quest's conclusion is similarly underwhelming, but in that as in all of Dragonborn, what matters is the journey, not the reward. It's the little moments of joy when you find a new location, or when you're exploring a corner of the map that nobody else would even bother exploring, only to find a hidden treasure or easter egg that you know the designers threw in just for you.
thinks it is expansive, and provide some details about the things that people can look forward to doing when it is available for PC (or when they buy the Game of the Year Edition and get all the game add-ons in one go).
There's a secondary quest line, almost as large and important as the primary one, that finds you investigating a plot against the Dark Elf family that rules the island. There are mines full of Draugr Deathlords and hidden “black books” that lead to yet more Apocrypha realms to explore, each one a navigational puzzle in itself. There's a treasure map and several archaeological expeditions to tag along with. If you're a werewolf, there's something just for you up in the mountains. Thieves Guild membership pays off in another quest. Even something as esoteric as knowing about The Lusty Argonian Maid can lead to fresh content, if you rummage in the right place.
There are new creatures to fight, such as the eerie floating Netch which resemble Mass Effect's Hanar, lumbering Bristleback boars and the fearsome Ash Spawn, who attack en masse with heavy melee attacks and fire magic. There are new crafting materials - Heart Stone and Stalhrim, a tempered ice that can be used to make armour and weapons. There are even new plants and ingredients to add to your recipes.
Any game that demands hundreds of hours from the player must build a long-term relationship, and relationships must remain fresh if they're to endure. With discoveries around every corner, Dragonborn just gave Skyrim fans the perfect excuse to lose themselves in the wild for another winter.
are in, but if you pick them up then they turn into big arrows >:.