Fangs for the mem­o­ries, Skyrim

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - EGuide Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

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.

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