Saturday, May 03, 2003

Xbox - Elder Scrolls III - GOTY review


Developer : Bethesda Softworks

A.) Being one of xbox's largest games. The first being Shenmue 2. Developed with the best attentions.

Publisher : Bethesda Softworks

B.) Play as any Dungeons and Dragons characters including Elfs, Orcs, Human.

Released sometime in 2002

C.) One of few first person RPGs seen only in Heroes of Might and Magic, DEUS EX.

D.) Quest around in a massive world doing favors for people. Although, some of these favors are from evil outlanders who don't look evil at all. For example, all aristocrats in this game are evil because they've got their hearts stolen from evil elves.

Type : "Massive Offline Single Player Role Playing Game"

Elder Scrolls III Morrowind is the sequel to Daggerfall. There is absolutely no comparison to the two games. Daggerfall was released on DOS in 1996 by Bethesda Softworks. The graphics best compare to Dungeon Keeper or Hexen for the PC. If you want to see what Daggerfall really looked like Click Here. DaggerFall first introduced a huge 3D game with entire lakes, dungeons, lands, towns, roads and country making it up. Much like what Diablo was when it first came out. Expect Diablo franchise from Blizzard didn't improve as much as this franchise. At the time in 1996, Elder Scrolls II was really awe inspiring. Anyway it's really old now and few people play it anymore. Seven years after the release of Elder Scrolls II : Daggerfall; Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind became a state-of-the-art RPG with a huge world to boot. And it wasn't originally released on Xbox. I could of owned the game either way because both my PCs can handle the graphically demanding PC version. I have never played a RPG in first person before except if you count Legend of Zelda 64. Morrowind is also the smash hit PC game. I guess I wasn't the only one looking for an Xbox RPG. Except I waited it out one year after the game was released. I don't have the PC game. But from what I heard the Xbox version look better and I wanted to play a RPG on Xbox. Although I've seen some nice textures on the PC. Regardless, Elder Scrolls III is a huge game. The closest game that comes in comparison is EverQuest.

So first in the game, you go through this process. You've just got out of jail and they want you to decide on what character your going to be and then they make you answer a lot of questions just so you have a signed release forum saying you've passed security. Now for the fun part. The part where you get to create quests and take what you want. Much like Dungeon Siege. The bigger / stronger the enemy, the more expensive loot he has on him. So you can loot anyone whom you kill. Except people / alien races aren't dumb in this fantasy world, the minute you steal something, who ever you steal it from will want to kill you. Except the aristocrats are amused and still try to kill you. They are amused only because their heartless fouls who got their hearts stolen from evil elves (the game tells me so...) Which brings me to my next point, the character your playing is wiser then you, so check the journal often. You might even discover what ways you can set apart a good elf from a evil elf. Your job is to kill all the evil elves. The journal is usually right. I almost wonder if this game will be similar to the upcoming World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft stepped aside from war strategy foundation and stepped up into the realm of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.

One thing that the PC has is Patches. This is relatively new to console games. Mech Assault is the only game that allows you to download new patches from the Internet to the hard drive. Even though the game is well designed and has amongst the best graphics on Xbox, it has slowdowns. The game usually goes a long the lines of 30 frames per second. That won't cut it for just any game, but I've been arrange by the size of each level. There just isn't any boundaries in this title. It's a very large world and it loads along the way. Which is OK. This makes me curious how Gas Powered Games managed to make Dungeon Siege a huge game without any loading times. It has something to do with the balance between backgrounds loading when some disappear. Everything in a 200 feet radius loads simutaniously. That's how the game engine works.

The infamous example of the half orc in Neverwinter Nights "He may be strong and reckless, but everyone tends to stay away from him because he's not too bright." This fact stays true with Morrowind as well. In the beginning, if your character doesn't have a very good score, that old guy won't say a word, however, if you are lucky to answer most of the questions right, he'll be overly friendly to you. The guard just grinds at you as if nothing seriously happened. But hey what can you do, you have no weapon.

There are evil creatures in this game like in all RPGs. In this game, the smart ones pretend to be friendly so they can lure you into a trap so they can kill you or just turn you evil. In this game, you have a choice of being evil or good from the actions you do. Your not evil when you fight back when someone is trying to kill you. The opposite is true. Some creatures are just born evil, while others become evil. This game gives off a whole new meaning of evil I've never encountered in a game before. Yes, there are many ways to die in this game, you can even die evil. An example would be, where a thief hands me a bag full of something expensive. Of course I'll take it! But if it looks like something evil, I'll just leave it. When you evil, there will be people who hunt you down to kill you. It's more trouble then it's worth. Don't think you can out last most of the guards from the beginning because guards are very well armed. Some evil in this world is better equipped with armor and magic then you. Once you have a weapon then you can explore the many towns. Some quests require you to go all the way back to the beginning of the game and explore a town opposite of where you are. Sometimes you'll bring items back and forth from town to town, while other times you'll bring people from location to location. Be careful though, some people will ask you to go one direction and you won't know what they're talking about? So when I offered to help this one person, it took me 45 minutes to find it. To be specific it was a farm near the coast line.

The level up system in this RPG is like others, in other words it's average. Most console RPGs have a high standard of it's level up system. In this case the new stats are displayed in text each time you level up. Instead of giving you stats points like in Diablo 2. The more your character uses melee weapons, the stronger he gets. The easiest way to get the weapon you want is to kill someone for it. Becareful who you duel because some guys are very well skilled. I tend to try to duel aliens with out shields. There are ranged weapons in this game, but 9/10 of all weapons used by everyone is melee. Glass type weapons are the most effective. All magical weapons have a green glow.

My favorite part is exploring the new world. I wonder if I compares well to Dungeon Siege. That was also a huge game. It had not 1 massive world, but 3 maps roughly the same size. From the beginning with a new gamer, the game looks endless. And the hundreds of quests makes it so you can cover the same ground that makes the game so huge several times.

Summing up Elder Scrolls III : Morrowind



Elder Scrolls III Morrowind is a good looking game. It renders graphics that surpass any Playstation 2 game. In this case I'm comparing Everquest to Xbox's Elder Scrolls III. The game one Xbox RPG of the Year from Xbox Magazine. Baldur's Gate was it's runner up. Morrowind is huge. It's full of countless characters to Interact with. The character models are average while, the world they live in is eye popping, like the PC version, although I seen some Internet sites say that the Xbox version looks better. The PC and Xbox versions of Morrowind are similar. The trees, plants are all 3D. And they look very high definition. There doesn't look like there's a odd placed pixel in the game. The water effects and reflections are awesome. You can even go swimming in this game if you like. Unlike some games where you just float, in this game, you swim for real! The game doesn't have smooth frame rate, a though its really good 90 percent of the time. Be worn that there is a lock up bug in this game wear the game locks up. But this could also be that Morrowind is way too graphically defined to be simple for Xbox to handle.



The game is easier to control then most first person shooters. At least most console First Person Shooters. The only ones I think that stay par to Morrowind is Unreal Championship, Timesplitters 2, and Halo. The reason why I compare it with a first person shooter is that these games share the same controls. The left thumbpad controls forward movement while the right joystick turns the character left or right. It's simple and effective. The left thumbpad could be the keyboard arrows, while the right thumbpad can be the mouse. The difficulty in this game is medium. Like I said above, you can equip your inventory with stuff you buy or steal. If you steal, you must over power the person who is trying to kill you first. But if someone notices, then there is not 1 but 2 or 3 people trying to kill you. So if your planning to buy this game, it's great fun. But don't get caught killing someone in public.



I can now see how this game can come with high expectations from anyone who plays it. It's perfect and I thinking that Elder Scrolls IV is going to be a whole lot better in this area. The game looks like it been worked on for 3 or more years just by looking at it. The developer, Bethesda, is new to me. I mostly known about Black Isles, Blizzard Entertainment and Gas Powered Games. I'm not much of a Might and Magic fan myself, so I never had a RPG in first person view.

Sound Effects


Morrowind has a less then perfect soundtrack. But the spoken dialog with every person you encounter makes up for the gap! Voice acting in this game is good.



Don't know yet. It looks fun and I've been playing it for a couple days, spending 3 hours at each setting. Not doubt, it's fun, just that this game is so huge.

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