The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The mother lode has been struck, and you, my fellow RPG lover, are about to become wealthy. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has been unleashed on a very deserving people and if you've got the mettle, then I have got arguably one of the finest RPGs ever made.
Morrowind is a classic RPG with uncommon realism and staggering replay ability. A single player game that is viewed in the first person, Morrowind has you select what race, class, birth sign (yes, it affects the game) along with attributes and skills that let you know you are in for a long, long ride.
Once the game begins and you have created your character, it's off you go, into a massive gaming environment that breaks all the rules of traditional RPGs. Do you choose to start your quest, or do you choose to start robbing people and drinking in the local bar? Will you travel the main road, or prowl through the forest in search of villains and their treasure. The game's choices are literally endless and you could arguably play for as little as 100 hours or for as many as 300, maybe even more! Yes, this is the closest thing to an alternate reality I have ever had the pleasure of playing. What makes it even scarier is the game also includes a construction set to make your own quests. But let the numbers do the talking:
- Over 3200 NPC in the game.
- 316,042 hand placed object found in the game.
- More then 300 dungeons to explore and conquer.
- Over 480 Billion different character you can create and play as.
This game IS the game to play, but only for serious RPG players. Casual players and peasants will get the holy living bejeebers slapped out of them. The challenge has been issued, do you dare venture forth?
Download The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
As an RPG lover, I have been waiting for this game to arrive on the XBOX for months. At last, I have finally got my hands on Morrowind. Questions raced through my mind, can this game possibly live up to all the hype, will it be buggy, and could we finally have a decent RPG out on the XBOX? Let me tell you what I found.
Morrowind is a hugely ambitious game. Everything about it makes us RPGers salivate: non-linear game play, huge variety of character classes, countless NPCs to interact with, completely immersive interactive environments, an engaging plotline, as well as a seemingly endless number of quests, dungeons and lands to explore. You have complete control over whom your character will be which is where the replay value really shines. You can choose to be play a good character, helping those around you in need, or you can play as a self-seeking rogue looking to enhance his wealth and power, stealing items when others aren't looking. It's your decision. It's your life.
This could be the last game you need to buy for the year! After playing only the first several hours, I began to realize how detailed this world really was. I stumbled across a murdered tax collector (pocketed the taxes, that he no longer needed), helped bring the murder to justice at the end of my sword, assisted a guard to locate the hiding place of a stash of treasure and by then I was hooked, totally immersed in the world of Morrowind. From this point on, you only go in deeper.
I will continue to log some serious hours into this game. This game is fantastic in its detail and depth. While I love this, the level of depth may also be a discouraging factor to anyone who isn't a die-hard fan of this genre. To play this game right, you will need to interrogate the citizens of this world, join some guilds and make contacts and develop relationships with key players in each town, follows clues and wherever possibly continue to develop your skills and gain wealth. This game is not just about hacking and slashing monsters, although there is a lot of that, you have to strategize and plan your moves carefully. Above all else, save frequently! Be prepared to take some time just getting to know the controls and familiarize yourself with the world, in the starting town. There is no time limit so take your time and when you are ready, then move on to the next town, because this is when the action picks up and the real game play starts to shine, and there goes any free time you once had.
The first Xbox RPG has finally arrived, and it's a doozy. Forget what you know about console role-playing games--Morrowind changes everything. This PC interloper invades the realm of console gaming with a style of play that bears little resemblance to that of Japanese RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior. You won't find any spiky-haired youths, turn-based battles or linear, one-truck storylines here. In this game, it's just you, alone in a massive fantasy world with complete freedom to do as you choose. You determine every aspect of your hero's appearance, attributes and abilities. If you're unhappy with the available character-class options, well then design your own custom class. When you want to take a break from the main storyline, embark on one of over 400 optional quests. These miscellaneous tasks will score you lots of cool items and status aides.
But sometimes you might need a respite from questing altogether. Try some sightseeing. The world of Vvardenfell provides excellent hiking grounds with 10 square miles of terrain to explore. Or maybe you're not cut out to be a heroic do-gooder. If that's the case, start systematically slaughtering townsfolk and stealing all their loot. It's all up to you, and the adventure could literally go on for months.
I'm not sure if you guys are ready for this one. I've played nearly every console RPG from the past 20 years, a few PC quests and even a multi-year live-action D&D campaign (did I just admit that?), and I was still overwhelmed by the enormous scope of Morrowind. This game thrusts you into a complex, living world that's also a bit daunting. Following the tenuous main quest can be tricky, as optional side-quests constantly lure you away from the path. It's all so open-ended and freeform that you can easily get lost in the world and forget about the "game" proper. It's enough to make your head swim, which is itself pretty impressive (and scary). At least all of this monumental adventuring looks fabulous. Traditional swamps, forests and plains look great, and the more creative areas will astound you. Exploring a Venetian-style canal town or a city filled with insectoid buildings is simply awe-inspiring. If only the gameplay could match the quality of the visuals. To put it simply, Morrowind's battle system sucks. It's slow, clunky, vague and boring. Luckily, combat isn't too terribly frequent, so the game's not completely ruined. Even so, I do think Morrowind deserves a caveat--it's so dauntingly huge that the average gamer might not have the fortitude to stick with it through the first day, much less its entirety. However, for a certain type of player...say, a bored dude with no summer job, it's a fabulous time-waster.
Holy hell, am I exhausted. Morrowind's easily the biggest, most hardcore behemoth of an RPG I've ever played. It's so open-ended that you actually feel lost right from your babe-in-the-woods beginning. Once I learned that grilling every villager for info was the key to getting jobs, joining guilds and political factions, eventually establishing an identity and reputation for myself, things came a lot more easily. But between the awkward PC-RPG combat, having to cover a veritable Nebraska of ground to complete even small jobs, and trying to absorb alt the prattling of the townsfolk, I can't imagine anyone but the hardest of hardcore appreciating Morrowind.
This is as close as a console RPG has come to pen-and-paper games like D&D: deep, non-linear and H-U-G-E, with more characters, towns and dungeons than you can imagine (all that's missing is the dice and Mountain Dew). It's way too much to go into here, and honestly at times it's overwhelming--the intricacies for the (very cool) abilities to make your own spells and magic items alone could fill a book. Combat isn't so hot, and you spend way, way too much time reading the same text talking to people. But if you have the time and are wilting to commit to a seriously in-depth RPG (Final Fantasy it ain't), the freedom Morrowind allows will astound you.
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