Fangs for the memories, Skyrim
AS IF most fans of Skyrim, the latest chapter in the Elders Scroll saga, hadn’t already invested months into the game when it was released last year, along comes this expansion pack filled with new areas to explore, missions to complete, and more.
The Dawnguard expansion offers between 10 and 20 hours of gameplay, along with new equipment and abilities, and also presents you with the choice to play as a vampire.
This gives you the ability to teleport, re- animate the dead, detect nearby creatures and use your razor- sharp fangs as a weapon.
I found the best thing about playing as a vampire was the balance between power and weakness. You don’t die when exposed to sunlight, but you do become weaker. And the only way to recover strength is to find and feed on sleeping humans.
You also level up your existing vampire powers through feeding. However, you only gain access to more powerful vampire abilities by skipping meals. This creates an interesting tension between straightup power versus versatility.
The storyline has some fantastic elements, including visiting a castle filled with vampires and finding out where souls go once they’ve been trapped in soul gems. There are fresh Elders Scrolls to read and, on top of all this, you’ll be fighting to keep the sun from being extinguished.
Without giving anything else away about the story, I liked how accessible it was. However, if you haven’t explored much of the original game already, be prepared to spend a lot of time travelling back and forward searching for isolated caves and cabins out in the wilderness.
My main gripe with the storyline is that it plays out the same, no matter which side you decide to take at the start of the game. You visit the same places and talk to the same people.
Just for the chance to play as a vampire alone, though, this is a nobrainer for Skyrim fans, especially for the price tag.