Review: Skyrim DLC (Dawnguard)

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Dawnguard. Now that is the way DLC is supposed to be. For a while there, I wasn’t sure that this day would ever come. Dawnguard was released for X-Box 360 on June 26th, 2012. There was only supposed to be a month of exclusivity for the 360, but Bethesda had trouble getting DG to work on the PS3. Yet, Bethesda didn’t give up, and half a year later, it was finally released onto the Playstation Network. So, was it worth the wait? Hell, yeah it was!

Dawnguard is the kind of fully-loaded DLC that we’ve come to expect from Bethesda. There are twelve quests in the questline and many side missions. It’s only $10 on the PSN this week, so  you may want to act fast and grab it before the price goes up to $20.

Official description from Bethesda:

“The Vampire Lord Harkon has returned to power. By using the Elder Scrolls, he seeks to do the unthinkable – to end the sun itself. Will you join the ancient order of the Dawnguard and stop him? Or will you become a Vampire Lord yourself? Featuring an all new faction questline and locations, the ultimate choice will be yours.”

As the description mentions, Skyrim faces a new threat in the Vampire Lord Harkon. He has read of a prophecy that foretells of a way to merge night and day, a way to end the “tyranny of the sun”. Well, even if that’s possible, that’s just crazy. I chose to join the Dawnguard to stop him. They call the Dawnguard an ancient order, and that’s a very true statement. You’ll find that when you join the DG, that you’re it’s 2nd member. Isran, the leader of the DG, has decided to rebuild the order inside of the old, Fort Dawnguard.

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This is the beginning of a journey that will take you places that you never imagined you would go. Along the way, you’ll meet plenty of interesting characters. You’ll even meet a friendly Falmer! Early on in DG, you’ll befriend a beautiful vampire, Serena, who turns out to be the daughter of Lord Harkon. Is she friend or foe? One would think that she’d be an enemy, since she’s a vampire and you’re in the DG, but you’ll have to find out for yourself! By the way, I’m a married man/werewolf in Skyrim. I would never cheat on Aela the Huntress. However, the next time I play the game, I’m going to be a vampire and marry Serena. She is one of my favorite characters in the game.

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There are new locales that you will visit. There isn’t one specific new world, as I believe is the case with Dragonborn, but there are plenty of new places worked into the current world of Skyrim. Well, you’ll be in Skyrim for the most part. There is one part of the DLC that you travel to another dimension. I want to say more, but I can’t do so without spoiling anything. Here’s a screenshot of one of those places, as a tease:

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Dawnguard adds new enemies such as creepy death hounds, gargoyles, and more. Also, 3 new dragon enemies, and one new dragon ally. There were some pretty intense fights, even for this level 50 Nord, but nothing is too difficult! I thought the final boss fight was especially good!

Gargoyle

In Dawnguard, you’ll discover: two new sets of of words of power, new armor, new pets, new werewolf and vampire perks, new weapons, new conjuration spells, and even an undead horse! There is also a new facial surgeon in Riften, if that’s something you’re into. Personally, I’m pretty secure with how my character looks. One of my favorite new additions? The crossbow. I wasn’t a big fan of archery in the game before, but the crossbow is a LOT of fun.

Crossbow

From beginning to end, this is just a perfect DLC. Let me tell you why. Dawnguard by itself would score a 4.5 for me. It’s really fun, it’s challenging, and it adds on a ton of content. 4.5 is a near perfect score, but what is it that pushes it over the edge to perfection? It’s glitch-free. That’s how it should be. It may have taken them longer to prepare DG for PS3, but to have it glitch-free on the release date? That goes a long with me. I understand that glitches happen, but what I’m trying to say is that you can SEE that they put hard work into it. They weren’t jacking around for 6 months. They were making a perfect DLC. Bravo, Bethesda. I can’t wait to play it again as a vampire the next time around.

Oh, and one more thing. The Vampires have a moon dial. That’s clever right there. It made me laugh, at least.

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Rhodes Rating: 94/100

Source: Official Skyrim Website

PS. Here’s what’s coming soon on The Rhodes Review:

-Skyrim: Dragonborn Review

-Texas Rangers Preview

-MLB 13 The Show Review

There may be more than that in the very near future, but those are definitely coming very soon.

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