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Summary'Many Fall One Remains...'
The GoodThe Elder Scrolls franchise has always been one of debate. Some love it others hate. With it 3rd installment Morrowind, we find a game that not only lives up to it’s predecessors, but surpasses them. This was the best of the series until Oblivion that is.
“Each Prophecy Is Preceded By The Coming Of The Hero, If They Fail To Appear…”
Morrowind opens with a somewhat cryptic montage. You awaken from your dream, or was it a vision? To find that your are on route to Morrowind, the newest province of the Empire, it is the continent of the Dunmer, or the Dark Elves. You have been released by writ of the Emperor himself. You have been instructed to travel to Balmora, and report. Of course you do not have to. That is the point and fun of Morrowind. You can play 100 hours with out ever completing “Main Quests”. Or just breeze through the campaign and finish under 40 hours.
The main plot, should you choose to except it, is very good and very well written. It involves you being the reincarnation of The Nevaraine, an ancient hero of the Dunmer. Upon his death Lord Nevar, said he would return again when his people needed him most. That time is apparently coming. As Dagoth Er, is also being resurrected, he means to crush Morrowind under his heel. And is a former friend of Lord Nevar.
The story is filled with twists and turns. As you try and fulfill a ancient prophecy. And the conflict between The Nevaraine and Dagoth Er, is the classic Hero/Villain conflict. The plot is very rich and has everything. Prophecy, revenge, betrayal, conflict, and everything in between.
Who Are You?
Character Creation in Morrowind, is astounding. You have control over everything. From your race, there are 10 total. Your class, there are tons, and you can create you own Multi-class, by mixing and matching, or by using the editor. Speaking of the editor, Morrowind, for the PC includes a Tool Set disc. With this you can create quests, classes, weapons, structures, and even NPC’s. It is incredibly easy to use, as even I was able to use it, and I have no experience whatsoever designing games.
Leveling up is handled a little differently than most RPGS, as you do not gain EXP. Instead you learn by doing. If you want to be a master thief, you must pick locks, a swordsman, you must use your sword, or ply your other various trades. It makes for a more realistic gameplay experience, but may turn some players off.
“Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting….”
Combat in Morrowind, is visceral, and can be great fun. With various implements of destruction, you can slash, stab, and chop your way through various enemies. Blocking is a passive skill, which sort of sucks, but what can you do? The real fun is when you do battle with humans and humanoids, as dueling a fellow swordsman is more fun, that cutting down a monster.
Crime and Punishment
Will you be a model citizen, a thief, or even cold-blooded killer? However beware, unlike some “open-ended” games. Ahem, GTA. Crime can gain you actual punishment. From jail-time, which can lower your hard-earned stats if you gain a long sentence. To banishment. Or even death.
But remember, it is not a crime if you are not caught.
When It Comes To Graphics This Game Steals The Show
The visuals in Morrowind are excellent. The continent of Vvardenfell, or Morrowind. Manages to look alien and realistic all at the same time. As tall trees and enormous mushrooms, fill dense forests. Strange and familiar creatures wander the landscape. Small villages and monolithic cities abound, as well as dark dungeons and tall mountains. The human and non-human inhabitants look real alike. The lighting effects excellent, the sun lights the sky and depicts realistic shadows, as does the glow of the twin moons. The changing time of day and weather also effects the look of the game. And the torch-light cast on your avatar looks stunning.
The sound and music is excellent as well. Combat sound effects are loud and reverberate. Voice overs sound great. But are not that common. Monsters roar, and spells sound eerie. There is lack of ambiance, but that can be solved by downloading a quick add-on.
The music steals the show here. With an epic score composed by videogame maestro, Jeremy Soule. The tunes range from, epic, heroic, to frantic as your engage in combat.
The BadThe Bad and The Ugly
Well, the leveling system, is not for everyone. And Bethesda could have taken measures to make the world seem more populated. But this is a flaw in most games like this.
It can be very difficult getting started, combat will be very hard, and the game can overwhelming. Yet towards the end the game is too easy. Other balance issues abound.
The game also tends to very buggy. But at least updates are common.
This game has fairly low system requirements considering how impressive it is. Yet still may be too much for some systems, and others may have trouble getting it to work properly, despite the fact that they meet all the system requirements.
Passive blocking is the bane of this game. Why do you have no control over your shield, and weapon when it comes to blocking? At least Oblivion remedies this.