The Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind Reader Review
As I stumbled back from yet another pounding blow to the chest courtesy of his glass long sword, I realised that the duel would not be as easy as I had planned. The legendary Lords Mail would refuse me any damage to my adversary. I knew I wouldn�t last long without an effective means of taking down this former imperial, so I had to think fast. I knew a head on approach would be pointless, as I would be caught in another flurry of pain.
I was heavily fatigued and running low on options. From the corner of my eye I spotted a ledge and I indulged in the opportunity. I gulped down a potion of levitation as my enemy charged at me with everything he had to finish me off. I took off and soured over his head and his sword ploughed into the former wall behind me. I knew I was handy with a bow, so I took advantage.
The potion wore off and my bare feet touched the cool cobbled cave floor. My arrow pierced the air and imbedded its cruel fang into the imperials leg. He fell onto his knees and screamed in agony, but before he had time to look up, my second arrow tore into his defenceless skull. He fell.
This was just one of my many awesome and cinematic experiences I have had in my time playing morrowind. From coast to coast, mountain to swamp, cave to palace I have enjoyed a vast sprawling world of adventure and freedom. The world of morrowind is the most stimulating, rich and believable that I have ever experienced in my time playing computer games. The game takes place on a very large island in the north of the morrowind province, called Vvardenfell. If you let yourself get sucked into it, you will never want to leave. The terrain is diverse, the cities are vast and populated, characters are memorable, locations are unique and the story is compelling and epic.
This primary feature that makes morrowind so unbelievably deep is that the game is completely open ended. You are given total freedom over what you want to become. You can choose to be a mage, a knight, an assassin, a monk, a vampire hunter, healer and the list goes on. You can also be anything in between. Morrowind�s class system is so clever that you could be anything you want. There are limitless possibilities. Train in your chosen abilities and you can become an extremely powerful hybrid class.
The developers have also implemented this within the game world. You and go anywhere and do anything. This is a feature however that has both its ups and its downs. The game can be quite intimidating and very hard when you start off. There are no specific guidelines apart from the main story quest to start you off. Most adventures will, of course, want to explore the seamlessly open ended and stunning world, only to find that they are pretty useless and will face death quite a bit. The world of morrowind can be a cruel and harsh place to habit. Unlike the elder scrolls 4: Oblivion, morrowind doesn�t accommodate the player with a smile. There level up system affects only you and not the world around you. (I find this to be a plus because as soon as you reach level 30-40 in oblivion, bandits start wearing deadric armour, which is the best armour in both games, and it gets a bit ridiculous.)
Another thing that�s great about the world is that everything in the game is hand placed, this means that no objects are generated by computer. This also means the game developers have painstakingly placed everything in this game themselves to make it fresh and original throughout, It�s a true feat.
Now we Move onto the more interesting subject: combat in the game. Unfortunately combat is one of the very few flaws within the game. Bear in mind that I love combat in games, and it didn�t hamper game play for me that much. Morrowind uses a roll the dice style combat scheme. This means that depending on your skill with a sword as well as other factors, determines whether you hit and enemy and how much damage you do. This doesn�t apply for magic however. This can be quite frustrating as you could be swinging your sword at an enemy and nothing happens a lot of the time. The thing to remember is that this works both ways; enemies will not hit you all of the time, and when you improve your agility you can hit with your weapon more and the enemies will hit you less.
The story in Morrowind is very compelling and when you get stuck into it, you will really enjoy it. However there are so many guilds and other side quests that detract from the story, you will find yourself jumping between quests a lot. A key feature for tracking these quests is your personal journal; Witch at the best of times is quite vague. It is vital but can get easily disorganised, and you may end up scrapping some side quests altogether.
Morrowind�s graphics are to a unique taste. I picked up the game for Xbox about 2 years after its release and a year later picked up the PC version, mostly for the modding community. Therefore I cannot judge the graphics properly. Needless to say it still looks unique; you can recognise regions in vvardenfell and whether effects are still believable.
Morrowind has an absolutely magnificent orchestral score by Jeremy Soule. It goes very well with the whole theme of exploration and aspiration in your own unique path you take through the game. The battle music is pounding and heavy to give you a sense of danger, whilst the exploration music is catchy and epic.
IN CONCLUSION� Morrowind is an engrossing game, it isn�t without its minor flaws, biggest of which is the combat. But you have to realise the true scale of the adventure that awaits you as you step of the boat in the small port Seyda Neen. The possibilities are endless in your exiting quest to do whatever the hell you want. I could write pages and pages going into detail about cities and guilds alone. But trust me when I say the game is epic and it will have something for you. For me it has been the best role playing game I have ever played, but for you? Well, find out for yourself�
I have awarded the game a 10, not because it is perfect, but because it has revolutionised the RPG genre for me.
10 / 10