Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition


posted 1/7/2004 by Ben Zackheim
other articles by Ben Zackheim
One Page Platforms: Xbox
How does one review a game that potentially has no end? I’m not talking about an MMO here. I’m talking about a single player role playing game that just keeps on going for as long as I want it to. And I want it to, believe me. If I could just plug myself in to the computer and wander the world of Morrowind forever I might seriously consider the idea. Morrowind Game of the Year Edition is a collection of all the Morrowind releases we’ve seen in the last couple of years. The regular game is complemented by the expansion packs, Tribunal and Bloodmoon. In the end Morrowind GOTY is not as much a game as it is an experience that any role playing fan has to have for their Xbox.

For those of you old enough to remember 1994’s Elder Scrolls: Arena you know how out-of-control the people at Bethesda can get when it comes to designing HUGE worlds. They practically invented the idea that a virtual reality can be so large that you’ll never have a chance to even see half of it. Arena wasn’t a graphics powerhouse but it allowed you to walk and walk and walk forever. It gave you hundreds of towns and characters to interact with and endless quests to keep you occupied. Morrowind offers the same open-ended feeling but this time the graphics are astounding.

Morrowind plops you down in a ship on its way to the port town of Seydan Neen, where you’re left to fend for yourself. Some water and a simple quest is all you get to start with. The perfect launching point for any adventure, right? The game goes open-ended from the moment you register yourself with the local authorities. The registration is where you create your character, in one of three ways. You can just choose the class and skill set that you want from a list, fill out a form or you can answer a series of questions and have your character’s specifics laid out for you. I prefer this method since the designers do a good job of gathering the complex data and recommending the kind of character I like to play, but with small tweaks that I wouldn’t have thought of by myself. There are 10 races in the original game: Brentons, Imperials, Nords, Redguards, Argonians Dark Elves, High Elves, Wood Elves, Orcs, and Khajiits. Each race interacts with other races with your standard distrust and fear (of course) to add that spice of reality that you need to make the game feel real. Once freed from the registrar you can do whatever you damn well please. Kind of like an MMO -- except without the interaction with real people and the 14 buck subscription fee.
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