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PC Review : 'The Elder Scrolls III - Morrowind'

by Rainier on May 9, 2002 @ 1:10 p.m. PDT

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is the third chapter in the epic, award winning RPG series and a game designed to redefine the genre by presenting the most detailed virtual world ever created. Five years have passed since the release of the last epic role playing game set in the rich fantasy universe of The Elder Scrolls. Now the acclaimed series that includes Arena and Daggerfall is poised to take the world by storm again. Does the game deliver what it has been hyped up to be ? Find out for yourself .. Read More!

If you are a role playing game fan, this is the game you have been wanting for a long time.How about a game that allows you to explore the whole game area at your whim? How about having the game play change according to your actions? Morrowind from Bethesda has it all and a lot more.

Morrowind is the 3rd game in the Elder Scrolls series. Around 1991 Elder Scrolls Arena was released and was impressive. Hours and hours of exploring and questing. Then in the late 90's came Daggerfall, the much ballyhoo'd game that was a lot of fun, but filled with bugs. Now comes Morrowind, has Bethesda learned from past mistakes? From the limited time I have played it I can say YES they have!

The game starts off with you as a prisoner in the hold of a ship. The ship is taking you to the island of Morrowind where you will be released. It appears this release was arranged by the king, but for a yet unknown reason. The way you create your character is a lot of fun. you don't just sit at a character creation screen and plunk out attributes. You create your character through role play. When your released from the boat you are questioned by a couple of different people about who you are, what sign you were born under etc. There are several templates of characters that can get you going quickly, or like me you can take your time and create a custom class that has thousands of possibilities and you can even write up a name and description of this custom class.

I made a Nord (barbarian type) that was skilled in the long blade and security (picking locks, disarming traps) and sneak. I also have magika (magic) at my disposal and can heal myself along with some damage spells. I am then free to roam the town and world at my whim. You can talk to all the Non player characters (NPC) and get information from them ranging from rumors, advice and even where a specific person is located. TALK TO EVERYONE!!! It adds to the information you gather in your journal and opens up even more information from these NPC's as you can then inquire about a specific topic.

Right away I am asked to help with a quest. A town official thinks one of the commoners is holding back tax money and hiding it somewhere, he asks if you will help him find where he is hiding it. I agree and head off to find this low life. I find him in the main area of town just standing outside. I ask him about rumors and advice and he is very short with I pull my sword and begin to whack him with it...haha. Bad move, the guards come and tell me I've committed a crime, I can pay a fine, go to jail, or resist arrest....I chose to resist and was promptly killed by the guards. Lesson 1, SAVE GAME OFTEN!!!! I hadn't saved yet and had to start over. F5 is the default for quick save, learn it, live it , use it often. I recreated my character and this time wasn't so brash. I went to the lighthouse where I could watch the man from up high. When it got dark he started wandering around and soon went to a tree stump, then wandered away. I ran to the stump after he left, and sure enough, there was his stash of money and a magic ring. I grabbed them and headed back to the man who had asked for help. He asked if I had found the money and this is where the game is awesome. I could either say I had found it, or choose to say no and keep the money and ring. I told him I had found it, he gave me a money reward and let me keep the ring. The man also stated he would let the townspeople know of my good deeds. The shopkeepers would now give me a better price for goods I buy and sell.

Having waited from dusk till dawn you can REALLY see how brilliant the maps and everything in it really are. The sunset, the nightfall and all of the lighting in the game makes your jaw drop and its truly impressive to watch.The shadows, the fog, the distant view ... its breathtaking!

You can be as bad as you want also, but it comes at a cost. Your reputation will precede you and you might also have the guards with a bounty on you. I broke into a house, killed the owner, stole all his stuff, and when I left the house the guards arrested me. I paid the fine, but my reputation was damaged.

You can raise your skills as you use them, your primary and secondary skills raise much faster than the non-designated ones, but they all raise with use. You can have the skill in Alchemy to make potions, you can create custom spells, enchant items and weapons.....the skills are truly amazing.

I've heard that if you stick to the story and follow it directly it will take you 100 hours to finish the game. I believe it as I have spent about 4 hours in the first town wandering around and talking to everyone and still have some quests I haven't done. There is so much other stuff to do though that to me it would ruin the game to follow it strictly.

Morrowind is only single player. Normally I frown upon single player only games, but this is an exception.

Ill give this game a 9.0 so far and its absolutely WORTHPLAYING! I haven't seen any show stopping bugs yet. Run out right now and grab this one, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

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