We have rounded up a few more reviews for Dawnguard, the first downloadable expansion for Skyrim which adds even more (vampire-themed) content to the already massive open-world role-playing game from Bethesda. Unfortunately for fans of the title but in line with other titles' DLC, reception so far has been considerably less favorable than that of the main game.
1UP, B+, takes a novel approach to the reviewing format.
Back at Fort Dawnguard, the vampire hunters ask for my help. This consists of me running errands and fetch quests. I agree to contribute to the cause, but with no real enthusiasm. I don't have a problem with vampire, but I do get tired of every single person in the country assuming I have nothing better to do than run their pointless errands.
Hour Seven: Turns out hunting vampires involves werewolves. Yeah, those jerks again. Whatever, dudes. I signed up for "Dawnguard," not "Breaking Dawn."
But no matter. This is still Skyrim, and that means plenty of things to kill and lots of loot to pilfer. And if that includes vampires, well, all the better.
Regardless of the all the negative things I’ve talked about here, Dawnguard is still a pretty decent value at 1600 MS Points ($20). Its campaign is lengthy, clocking in around 15 hours on the first playthrough, which could be easily extended if you pursue the new side quests as well. It fits somewhere between Oblivion’s Shivering Isles expansion, and any of the Fallout 3 expansions, in terms of overall scope. It just needed a bit more…newness. Hopefully future DLC will feature more variety and won’t take so long to produce.
The final decision on whether or not Dawnguard is for you depends on how much you liked the main game. If you couldn’t get enough of the adventures of Dovakhiin and just want more — even if it’s the same thing — you’ll probably be satisfied with the expansion. If you got burnt out exploring the coldest part of Tamriel, then you won’t find a refreshing pint of mead to reinvigorate you inside Dawnguard.
As Skyrim's child, Dawnguard carries all its parent's merits and follies. Gorgeous vistas, uneven quests, endless exploration, and boring characters. Dawnguard will change no minds as to the strength or weakness of Skyrim and neither will it appeal to any but those who have racked up 100 hours or more on the core game. Vampires are a waning trend, and Dawnguard offers little in the way of extraordinary content. Still, this is better than those nigh-infinite radiant quests, and Skyrim lovers will be too busy draining life to think: why vampires?