Score of the Game
by Kurt Johnstone
The sequel to Morrowind is now available for Xbox 360 and PC. Amazing graphics, improved battling system, more variety and an immersive RPG experience will likely draw gamers around the world to possibly the best RPG ever created.
Graphically the game is stunning. Not only is the game massive but it never disappoints in the visual department. Not even on a low definition television. Nearly all textures are displayed at a high resolution and characters are always highly detailed. Some animations are lacking but considering the large world, that is tolerable. However, mostly in the Xbox 360 version, there is framerate stuttering and long load times.
Like previous Elder Scroll games, this is an open-ended large game. You could be visiting the world of Tamriel for more than 200 hours depending on what you plan on doing. Basically you can do whatever you want. There is a main quest but it is never forced upon you, leaving choices up to you. In fact you do not have to do the main quest at all. The possibilities are almost endless. You can join guilds such as a thieves guild, mages guild, fighters guild, etc. or all of them if you wish. You can become a knight to protect the lands. You could just randomly search for dungeons and caves to find amazing treasure. Whatever you choose, it is hard to not get sucked into this interesting world. There are hundreds upon hundreds of characters to interact with, all of which go about their daily lives. You could literally follow one character around all day, from the time they wake up, go to the store, go to work, to the time they go to sleep. Gameplay is fairly simple and easy to learn but the variety is immense. You use one button to attack and one to defend (such as a shield). You have a jump button, duck button, and a magicka button. There are hundreds of weapons and spells to be found. As you gain enough experience, when you go to sleep you can level up and improve abilities such as strength, personality, willpower, intelligence, agility, etc. Once you start the game you can choose what kind of character you will be —a mage, fighter, thief, sorcerer or a mixture of any of these. You can even create how your character will look.
The music is memorable but unfortunately the same tunes are played in similar areas making them turn boring. Sound effects ranging, from sword thrashing to character footsteps, sound very impressive. Best of all is the voice acting, which is very good. It is unfortunate but expected that you hear a lot of similar voices throughout the game, considering the large variety of characters you will interact with.
This is the best RPG released so far this year. The best part is the variety and how you can do what you want to do. The biggest flaws are the framerate issues (mostly in outdoor areas) and the loading times. Other issues are more personal preference. Don’t expect an involving storyline with fancy cinematics and character development. This is a must play for any RPG or even adventure fan.