DLC Report: Skyrim-Dragonborn
In this little foray into DLC, I will check out (in my opinion) the most rewarding DLC Bethesda put out for Skyrim . Old gods beyond the realms of comprehension, books with green hued backgrounds, what’s not to love?
Dragonborn offers a good amount of content. A whole new island to explore, a well thought out plot line, spells and abilities. Unlike Hearthfire, Dragonborn provides so much more content. It is an immensely satisfying DLC that does suffer from some drawbacks.
Some sinister not-Cthulhu cultists try to assassinate the Dragonborn. Said victim of attempted murder finds himself going to the strange new world of Solstheim, A small island nearby Skyrim and Morrowind. Once there he encounters the first Dragonborn Miraak, who seems share a link with strange not Lovecraftian forces.
There are multiple quest lines in Solstheim. However, I have not been able to play them all due to time constraints. I will say however that you will get your money’s worth. 13 and a half hours on average.
The main quest, however is surprisingly good. Miraak is a pretty threatening as villains go, sometimes interrupting your well earned dragon kills to seal their souls. The player is always reminded how Miraak is always getting stronger, how he is always in control. The story is unashamedly Lovecraftian , complete with books of forbidden knowledge, green, tentacles and more. The big bad (Hermaeus Mora) is classic Lovecraft in his omnipotence and indifference to humanity.
While not scary, Solstheim is very memorable with its Lovecraftian undertones. That sense of being in a place where you don’t belong. That feeling that something is rotten at the core; you can only defeat an avatar of the greater evil, never the evil itself. I love how the local populace are indoctrinated into building shines to Miraak. (another reminder of his influence over the island) following the cult like motifs of the source material. It is brilliantly Lovecraftian in execution as a result.
The boss fight with Miraak is rather fun too. This is due to it not overly challenging, but decent enough to where it feels like a boss fight and not a normal minion (Alduin). Three stages with escalating challenge (keeping away and toss out fire balls) until death. The Miraak boss fight is suitably bombastic-audiovisual funfair. Plus, fighting another DragonBorn is fun in of itself.
You cannot use horses in Solstheim. There is a perfectly understandable reason (map size is too small for horses to be necessary). As a result it can be moderately annoying, if you are a hoarder (like me). However Solstheim’s smaller size is not wasted. There is always something to do, a quest, an encounter with some new monster, a ruin to explore etc. Much like Skyrim, Solstheim is a highly rewarding sandbox. A sandbox that is not only tightly packed but utterly beautiful to look at.
Riding a mother##***ing dragon!
Over at the climax of Dragonborn’s plot, you gain the ability to take control of a dragon. I might have shouted “I’m flying a mother****ing dragon boys!” when this happened. I was excited to say the least.
So imagine my disappointment when I discover that controlling a dragon is about as fun as controlling a car in thick sand. Controls are stiff with unresponsive prompts; these contribute to creating a deeply annoying experience that should have been appealing to my male fantasy.
It ends up as a gimmick; you are only required to fly a dragon once in the campaign. You can tame dragons at your leisure. But there is not much really to do with them unfortunately . You can fly around and maybe burn things. But asides from that, it is disappointingly pointless. I wish there was more to do with the dragons, or that they were less annoying to control. I would say that dragon riding is not really worth it.
I would say that the only disappointing thing about the Dragonborn DLC, is how disappointingly gimmicky the dragon riding turned out to be. What could have been a bad ass addition was in reality a pain in the ass to control. But never the less, Dragonborn is well worth the time and money. Pick it up and I hope you enjoy it.
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