Review by ArkfellerKonan
"6 years later, and it plays as good as it did in its heyday."
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, better known as one of the best sandbox games in history.
Released in 2002, it featured an involving storyline and packed in superb graphics, a mellow soundtrack and fully open ended gameplay. Players were only limited to their imagination, and Morrowind allowed their imaginations to run wild in Vvardenfel.
Graphics, the thing that immediately strikes you when you begin a game! Judging by today's standards, the visuals are rather primitive, runable even on integrated laptop cards without lag (and we all know how much integrated graphics suck). But nevertheless, graphics aren't just about how much of your computer it will eat. Nine square miles of world space are sitting out there in Vvardenfel, lying dormant until you stumble across it. Though mostly a drab, coffee brown, Morrowind yields many possibilities. Make that many, many. Landscapes aside, the towns are filled with people you can actually talk to and kill (oh the joy!). Buildings look realistic enough, and inside they are furnished with... you know. For 2002 standards, graphics were highly advanced, and Morrowind should be rewarded for that.
Sound is probably what I like the most about a game. Though the sounds slip out of sync occasionally, it is not game breaking. NPCs lack any 'in conversation' dialogue, but are polite enough to comment on you when you pass them, for example 'get rid of that disease, I don't want to catch whatever you have', or, 'outlander scum.' Jeremy Soule's wonderful score brings atmosphere to the world, specially suited music for certain purposes, i.e. exploring and battle. The game's theme, which features one of the town melodies from Daggerfall. Soule successfully interpreted it and transformed it to suit Morrowind. While being one of the most major points of the game, sound (excluding the score) was a slight letdown, much like Oblivion.
Gameplay is what you expect it to be: open-ended do-whatever-you-like game freedom, the privilege to do something whenever you want to. That means you can practically cover every inch of Vvardenfel before beginning the Main Quest. Or any quests. Or you can choose to do nothing but explore. Bartering, if your character is a merchant. Shooting fireballs, if your character is a mage. Hacking and slashing, if your character is a warrior. You can do just about anything you want in Morrowind - just have to think of what to do. Transportation is provided through Silt Striders (giant bugs) or Mages Guild teleporters. (There was one more, but I can't recall it.) The combat system, which is actually quite simple, at least lets you kill (almost) anything you please, and the stealth system resembles real-life techniques (sneaking, etc.). Containers yield tidbits for you to pick up (ingredients, torches, you name it). All sorts of things can be found, which just adds to the fun.
In short: even if it's 6 years old, BUY THIS GAME if you haven't already. Renting won't do it justice.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/17/08
Game Release: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (EU, 05/02/02)
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