Skyrim, one of the biggest games to release last year today released it's first DLC for PC, Dawnguard. I can imagine that many people would be ecstatic to get their hands on the anticipated DLC but is Dawnguard really worth that $24.95 price ticket? Promises of vampire lords, new monsters and weapons seemed all too good to be true and in this writers opinion very little of the DLCs promises did not live up to the expectation of long term elder scrolls fans.
At the start of Dawnguard I am invited into a 'club' of vampire slayers after combating some random enemies in Riften. After I decide that it seems like a good place to check out I make my way over fort dawnguard at which I am greeted by a seemingly rude captain of the dawnguard and hastily told to go kill some vampires in a cave. I was originally going to be playing the dawnguard side of the quests but after meeting this guy I decided that he was a bit of a tool and that I wanted to be a vampire. Not knowing how to join the vampire side of the questing scene I decided to clear out the cave I was told to to see if that got me anywhere, and it did.
After clearing out the random cave that wasn't there before in the middle of skyrim (as apposed to a new area) I was greeted by a strange puzzle which upon solving revealed what seemed to be a stasis chamber holding a vampire named serana who then will basically offer you a choice between dawnguard and vampires. The story then pans out into rather steamline quest chain that is no different to any other things we've all seen before.
After being transformed into a vampire lord I decided to immediately give it a try on some enemies, having not read anything about it from the 360 version I was keen to have a go only to realize I was being forced back into 3rd person just like when I became a werewolf, After about 3 minutes I decided that the transformation was completely useless because in 3rd person the camera just didn't want to work and as we all know the combat system in 3rd person elder scrolls just doesn't work. Many people still wonder why it's even there.
The landscape in Dawnguard is as per all elder scrolls games and stands out among many other titles with it's beauty but this normal beauty and immersion is broken 25 minutes into dawnguard when we are brought to the rooftop of a vampire mansion. The errors on this rooftop are not discreet and upon normal browsing of the area it is very noticeable that the development team had not finished their work on the area before release. Overlooking this rather major oversight I continued on through the main story line hoping that I wouldn't see many more overly noticeable graphics bugs, and I didn't for a few hours. Nearing the end of our campaign we are quested to move through a huge cave, possibly the largest in the game to date however are greeted with massive chunks of the cave simply not loading until we were right on top of them which makes for a very anti-immersion effect.
Overall i'd say this DLC is all hype little substance but it did keep me decently entertained.
Graphics: 5 / 10, some parts of the new content is unfinished despite having over a month to fix bugs from the xbox version.
Story: 8 / 10, The story does well but sometimes you feel like it's not what you signed up for (at least on the vampire side of things)
New game aspects: 2 / 10, I'm stumped as to why the dev team decided to go with 3rd person for vampire lord after the hate werewolf got for that exact reason
Overall: 5 / 10 with game aspect ruining it. The new transformation had so much potential but was ruined by a clunky camera and weak abilities.