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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Windows)

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Written by  :  Sam Hardy (76)
Written on  :  Aug 04, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Summary

Never since Ultima 7 has a game been so expansive

The Good

STORY You are a captive, onboard a slave ship that has docked at the Island Vardenfell...off the coast of Morrowind. Having no idea what you are doing here you must start off greenlimbed and form a life for youself in this new world.

The main story also revolves around a few aging gods, plots to end the world amongst other many many sub plots...

GRAPHICS Probally some of the best I've seen for a RPG...there's so so so much detail in this game - and if you have a good graphics card to boot - well you're in for a treat!. Firstly the island is chock full of details - you are not just wandering around a blank plain with a few trees here, a rock there...no you are wandering around an incredibly varied enviroment that is filled with many sights and sounds...from giant mushrooms, to rolling hills...it's pretty much all there (save snow and forests). There are plenty different races living here and each have their own style of accomodation...Some races like the Imperials live in large impressive fortresses that dot the sky, others may live in the ancient massive city of Viviec where the tiered cantons reach into the sky...or some choose to grow their homes out of large impressive fungi. The details on these dwellings is very impressive...from the simple Tudor style house to the massive intricately twisted and spirialing plant homes the textures are just incredibly done, the same goes for objects and characters. Each character has a different face...though some faces are more commonly repeated - mainly on guards...and some races don't have many faces to choose from...which kind of spoils it a bit...also there are different hairdos for each race as well that adds to the viarity. Lighting is also well done, there's just something wonderful about seeing the sun slowly set and the stars comeout...you can even see the birth signs in the night sky. There's just so many more things graphcially that make Morrowind so wonderfully immersive...you can't really explain them all.

GAMEPLAY Ok this is very different from most other RPGS...other RPGS offer the usual - kill more things...get experience...Morrowind...does it differently...the more you use a certain weapon the more skill you get with it...after you fill around 200 experience points of whatever (be running, using a sword...etc) you gain a level...it's a bit confusing.

Acessing something is done by using space, attacking is by the right mouse button...then comes accessing the inventory.. The inventory, map and stats are all one one screen...this is really irritating because there's not much room for it all - unless you are running the game at a high resolution. It would have been better to have the map and so on a different button. Sword fighting is a bit too dull - you move in a direction and you strike in a direction - a but too limited in my opinion - and it's made even more limited by ticking the "best attack" option in the menu.

AI is pretty lax...they either attack when provoked, or just attack...no real tatics involve - just run up and whack the crap out of the offender. Also the crime system is a tad weird as well...when you loot or kill someone - you can either pay the guard, go to jail (lowers experience) or fight (making yourself an outlaw).The things to do in Morrowind is large and plentiful...you can even become a vampire - adding a twist to the game as you can only travel at night - and most people want to kill you outright.

There are many many quests that you can partake on - and some are simple, others are just weird...but all really involve just either killing someone, or retreving an object (usually by killing someone). There's alot of walking involved as well, while there is transport to and fro areas...most of the time you are on foot power...which comes to another game flaw...you walk like you have had your legs bound! It's very slow and irritating...even when you're constantly running.

The Bad

It's hard to get into. You start off with no idea what to do...or really where to go, not many people like you, and you have next to no cash...and you just got beaten up by a rat. Also the scope of Morrowind is just massive, there's so many things to do in the game it's just crazy...and you kind of get bored in the end because you end up doing so many side quests that you never get around to the main story. Also the Journal is just not very well done. It records many little notes and conversations in there and is a good book of reference...but...it gets too messy fast and you are constantly flipping backwards and forwards trying to find information about something...there's an index - but that does not really help as well. Also the game is bit of a resource hog...after a while the game starts to slow - so you have to close the game to clear the memory a bit. Also the game is prone to just crashing...no warning...just *click* boom back to desktop...which is very annoying if you have not saved.

The Bottom Line

Morrowind does have a few weird gameplay flaws in this in comparison to the other RPGS out there...but there are so many things to do in this game world that you will rarely get bored.