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The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind

Developer: Bethesda | Publisher: Bethesda
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 05/01/02 | Genre: RPG

Sorry, folks, it's been awhile since I've had a review. But don't blame me, it really wasn't my fault this time. If you're going to blame something, blame Morrowind. The biggest news at last year's E3 is even better than the hype, as the dozens of fan sites around the 'net will tell you. If you're looking for a cookie-cutter RPG, save the princess, kill some baddies, then go somewhere else. However, Morrowind is here, and hopefully it's here to stay.

For years, RPG gamers have been getting cheated. "Do this!" "Do that!" "Save him!" "Kill her!", while the pen-and-paper cats were living like kings, the masters of their own destiny. With Morrowind, the line is blurred to a nondescript speckle of pencil lead. Your character is finally YOURS again, class, race, and all. You want a Half-Cat Half-Man Knight? It's yours. A lizard-man mage? Done. You want to make yourself super-strong from the get-go, and wage war on the world? Suit up, Bruce Willis. This morning, I broke into a guys house, killed him, AND SOLD HIS PANTS. What could drive a man to such extents? It's the nature of the game, man. The freedom intoxicates you, and you can never go back.

Oh man, the construction set. When the guys who developed Morrowind came up with this idea, they called them crazy. Some called them stupid. But I say... STUPID LIKE A MOOSE. The tools that come with the game are the EXACT tools that the creators used to make the actual game. You can alter anything you see fit, drop weapons into wherever you want, right in front of you character. Hundreds of "plug-ins" have been created by fans already, and one Official Mod. You can add new NPCs, change the script for existing ones, or just get rid of them completely. You can add new places, new quests, in short: whatever you can think of, you can stick into Morrowind with a little elbow-grease and scripting know-how. It's so liberating. And if you don't believe me, ask the PA boys what they think. Tyco will talk your ear off.

You can't imagine the fun you'll have with this and if you can, why haven't you bought it already?

Detractors on the internet have cited the lack of a 'real' combat system in Morrowind, being that it isn't based on any of the existing RPG stuff, such as D&D. Personally, I find this a relief, after customizing all my character traits and such. If you want tabletop gaming, go play tabletop gaming. Morrowind is the half-lings next best thing. Sometimes magic is sticky, sometimes you can't shoot your arrows, but the real problem is most likely your dated PC hardware. Morrowind is a lovely game with a literally open-ended storyline, which is something I've been waiting for since I played Final Fantasy for the NES. Sure, with other games you have 'freedom' to choose party members and locations, but only in Morrowind (and the coming-soon Neverwinter Nights) do you have real freedom to traverse the continent and become the wandering bard you always wanted to be. How this game and Neverwinter stack up will be a colossal battle in and of itself, but until them, just slide Morrowind into the CD-tray and boil up a pot of coffee. Your social life is about to go bye-bye, and you've only Morrowind to blame.

Now if you will excuse me, I am heading back to Morrowind...

By Phil Nelson - 06/17/06
ESRB Details: Blood, Violence

Screenshots for The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind

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