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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Publisher: Bethesda SoftworksDeveloper: Bethesda Softworks
Reviewer: Brian CavnerReleased: May 2002
Gameplay: 86%Control: 100%
Graphics: 97%Sound/Music: 95%
Story: 92%Overall: 96%


The Imperial authority is weakening, and a great curse below the volcano Red Mountain known only as "Dagoth-Ur" is beginning to awaken. With this sudden turn of events, the world seems to be heading toward revolution with the evil Dagoth-Ur at the helm. But now, a prophecy is being fulfilled. An outlander who is marked by the stars and was born on a certain date to uncertain parents is arriving at the coast of the province of Morrowind. A stranger and an outcast to the majority of a world into which he has been thrust by no choice of his own, he may eventually grow to become the nation's most enduring legend. Whether or not the prophecy is fulfilled is now in your hands. The time of Dagoth-Ur is rapidly approaching, and you, the Outlander, are now stepping off the boat into Morrowind…

Straight as a curl

One of Morrowind's biggest selling points is its massive, open-ended world that allows you to play as you see fit. Available are six different guilds ranging from fighters to mages, temple followers and city guards, and everything in between. A player could become part of any or all of these guilds based on his particular playing style. Advancement through the guild's ranks is dependant on completion of quests given by one several guild masters who preside over each guild, and fulfillment of certain skill requirements. Due to the latter prerequisite, a fighter would very obviously not advance too far in the mages' guild unless he also specialized in magic. However, should he feel so inclined, he could always still take an active role in the happenings of the mages' guild.

On top of the six guilds are three houses that a player can join as well. Though limited to only one selection, the player could easily find himself at home in either the aristocratic and warlike Great House Redoran, the mercantile Great House Hlaalu, or the sorcerer-controlled Great House Telvanni. These three dominant houses of Morrowind are always feuding with each other over certain political beliefs, and thus the player may chose the side with which he or she would want to follow.

And if a player cannot find enough to do with any of his guilds or with his house, there are also NPCs scattered all over the region that will assign quests that may yield great items or even a open specific opportunity that may have not been available prior to the quest.

But if the intrepid player still cannot find enough to keep his time in the world of Morrowind occupied, he could also create his or her own tasks by hunting through the terrain and looting various bandit hideouts or exploring ancient Daedric shrines and Dwemer ruins to search for treasure.

And if a busy player somehow manages to complete every quest of every guild, house, and NPC, and explores every inch of the world, he can still find more adventures in one of many homemade, downloadable mods that are available from a number of sources on the internet. Ranging from mods that modify the way the actual game is played, to mods that add areas and quests to be explored and completed, there are a number of different add-ons with which the player can experiment. (Please see the final category, "The Elder Scrolls Construction Set" for more information on mods and mod making).

And even with all these activities, Bethesda still provides her players with a main storyline to follow. Similar to the way one of Morrowind's guilds is played, the main storyline revolves around questing for the Blades, the spy organization that works for the empire, and finding out buried secrets about your past and future. But whether or not you actually chose to follow the so-called main story is completely up to you, but I highly recommend following this path at least once to experience the secrets of the land and of yourself.

And though this system of total freedom and independence allows the player to make a game completely his or her own, there is one problem that I have found with complete free will: lack of special interaction. Advancement or even participation in guilds or houses yields no special treatment or hostility with any NPC in Morrowind. Even upon being named Knight of the Imperial Dragon, the highest possible rank available in the Imperial Guards, the town guardsmen will still command you to "move along" as if you were a commoner. Even as the highest-ranking member in the Great House Redoran, any Hlaalu member (who should logically dislike you quite a bit) will speak to you as if you had just stepped off the boat onto the mainland for the first time. This lack of recognition is extremely disappointing, and Morrowind would benefit quite a bit from adding special interaction between the player and the NPC based on rank or participation in certain guilds.

What would be far more realistic and fun would be if ranking officials in opposing houses were to hire mercenaries to try to assassinate you. Or if you could declare war on other houses or guilds upon reaching the highest rank. Or at bare minimum that a member of the same faction would treat you with more respect if you outrank him or her. But some system of NPC interaction should be implemented.

Though I admit that the incredibly deep and interwoven system of recognition for which I lust would be unnecessarily complex to code and implement, the world of Morrowind seems to be severely lacking without it. Though the open-ended story is quite fun, something is lost when quests are merely tasks that exist in a bubble rather than being something that actually changes the way that different people in the world perceive you. Having a known thief and assassin greeted in exactly the same way as a benevolent and goody-two-shoes paladin is slightly unrealistic and mundane as I see it.

It's hard to get by living in a fighter's world

As the gameplay category of this review is unbelievably long and complex (mirroring the depth of Morrowind's gameplay), I have decided to separate this section into several subsections to allow for better organization and readability.

Movement

Morrowind allows movement through its world by using first-person perspective. However, a third-person view is also available at the touch of a single key if you should decide that you prefer it. I find that third-person is, however, cumbersome and difficult to play, and do not recommend it if the first-person view is a possibility. Bethesda obviously intended Morrowind to be played in first-person, and has even directly said that they designed it as such, thus play in this perspective is highly suggested. Though I personally have always disliked the first-person perspective being used in role-playing games, the smooth control and ease of use supplied in Morrowind has made this view quite attractive and easy.

Combat

Morrowind is also successful in the area that is often considered to be one of the most important in role-playing games: the battle system. I find battles in Morrowind incredibly fun, especially when I am paired against a difficult opponent, or even multiple opponents.

When a weapon is drawn, a specific attack is made based on the way you are maneuvering. For example, if you are moving toward your opponent when you activate your weapon, you will attack using a thrust, whereas if you are moving from side-to-side, you will slash, or if you are stationary, you will chop. Obviously, certain weapons such as a spear will be much more effective using a thrust attack then using chop. Likewise, an axe will be more effective when a chop or slash is used rather than a thrust. This variable attack system could easily be turned off and replaced with the "use best attack" option, where the best possible attack method is always used, however I find that this variable system is far more fun and much more realistic.

As an alternative to this melee combat, you could also chose to fight from afar using a traditional bow and arrow or a crossbow. The way the arrow flies is surprisingly realistic, and the player will find himself having to target slightly above a distant opponent in order to properly arc the arrow toward its target. I recommend playing with marksmanship at least once, as it is a surprisingly fun and thought-out system.

And, of course, for the weapon impaired, the magic system of Morrowind has been made deep and innovative. Whether you are using a spell that you purchased from the local mages guild, or using magic that you made yourself using Morrowind's in-game spell creator, a sorcerer has a variety of decisions to make before an attack should be initiated. The first is the element of the spell you will want to use. Obviously, a frost spell would be favored over a fire spell if attacking a monster that is already enflamed. Second, the mage should chose whether he would like to use a spell that has the ability to target a distant enemy, or a spell that relies on the mage's touch. And finally, the daring wizard must select whether he would like to use an area-effect spell, or simply damage a single opponent. Obviously, a more powerful spell capable of targeting a distant foe and affecting a large area will use far more magicka (the unit of magic points in Morrowind) and have a much larger percentage for failure. This system is not nearly as complex as it seems, and the mage will often hotkey his favorite spells to a certain number on the keyboard (a feature that will be discussed later) for quick access. And even for the spells that are not hotkeyed, a quick browse through the spell list for a certain richly named spell does not prove difficult in the slightest.

As far as being hit in combat goes, you can either chose to play as a more dexterous character that can move around and jump to dodge blows, or as a tank fighter that can stand and absorb damage. Eventually, you will become more skilled with predicting what attack your opponent will use and will be able to move accordingly to avoid the blow. Likewise, you will quickly learn how to properly weave to avoid being targeted by an enemy mage's spell or an archer's arrow.

Status windows

In battle, if you need a quick change of weapon or spell, or feel the need to swallow a healing potion, you can simply right-click your mouse to bring up the equipment/status/map/magic windows to make your changes. When these windows are active, the game is effectively paused allowing you to change whatever equipment you would like or perform any healing that you need. And just like with spells, a certain weapon or item could be hotkeyed for quick access and use. Some players may accuse a game that allows one to change his or her equipment on the fly of being unrealistic. I, too, thought this at first. But the battle system of Morrowind sometimes requires a quick change of weapon or spell, and without the ability to pause and do so, the player would often find himself being pounded by an enemy with no real way to strike back. Likewise, it may appear that being able to use items when paused would make battles overwhelmingly easy as a player could simply stop the game and heal while the opponent stands looking stupid. Fortunately, healing (or almost every effect in the game achievable by drinking potions, for that matter) does not occur instantly, and instead requires time to pass before the effect is fully achieved. For example, a healing potion will heal 4 points of damage every second for 10 seconds rather then simply restoring 40 points instantly. Thus, a player cannot repeatedly halt the game to heal, as actual, un-paused game time must pass to be healed.

Magic

Magic, of course, does quite a bit more then just smite your foes in battle. There are several different schools of magic in Morrowind that each has different spells that have different effects. Attack spells will fall into the destructive category, but also to be found are healing spells in restoration, summon spells in conjuration, shielding and unlocking spells in alternation, among others. There are also two other 'special' categories: alchemy and enchanting. The former allows you to create your own potions using certain tools found in the game to mix some of the several dozen ingredients found all throughout the world. The latter allows you to add certain special effects to weapons (such as one that casts a shock spell upon striking) or on pieces of armor (like a ring that casts shield when used). In total, there are eight schools for specialization, and thus even when playing a totally magic-driven character, you will have to pick and chose what spells and effects you would like to master.

Character creation

In character creation, you select five skills or spell schools in which to master (options range from acrobatics to heavy armor, and from sneaking to spears) and five in which to minor. The remaining skills become miscellaneous skills, and can still be performed by the player, but the chances of failure are enormous until the player pays for training or the skill is practiced. In addition to skill specialization (which basically takes the place of classes in Morrowind), the player must also chose his race and birthsign. A player's race will make some modification to skill points as well as points in the character's main attributes (strength, endurance, etc.). For example, a dark-elf has a bonus to the destructive magic school and to intelligence, while an orc has a bonus to the use of axes and strength. The birthsign chosen by the player further customizes the character by adding certain resistances or vulnerabilities, as well as adding certain powers. Characters born under the sign of the lord, for example, will have the ability to regenerate health, but will also have a weakness to fire. Between the skill specializations, the race, and the birthsign of a character, it is very feasible to play through the game several times and never play exactly the same way.

Leveling

Gaining levels in Morrowind is very different from the traditional system found in most role-playing games. Every time a skill is used, you gain a variable amount of experience points toward the leveling of that skill. At higher levels, a skill will become more powerful and more reliable. When ten of these skill levels are achieved (which can be obtained from any single skill, or any number of skills), your character gains a level. Then, based on the skills that "leveled-up" during that specific character level, you may receive bonuses to certain attributes upon leveling. This whole system is far more complex, but once you get used to it from playing the game, it becomes far clearer.

The system of skill-based leveling is an interesting one, and was done, according to Bethesda, to allow characters who are not combat-based (like thieves, for example) to gain levels without having to rely on killing monsters. Though a logical choice, it definitely has its pitfalls. Because you can gain levels from being skilled in speechcraft and thievery, a high level does not necessarily mean you are a skilled fighter. This would be no problem if it were not for the fact that the difficulty of enemies you encounter is based on your level. Meaning that if you reached level 10 by being sneaky and stealing everything in sight, you do not necessarily have the combat abilities to defeat a level 10 opponent.

Bethesda gets around this problem two different ways, though. Unfortunately, each workaround suffers from the same problem. Their first solution is inherently coded into the freedom of Morrowind. For example the thieves guild only give jobs that need the ability to be sneaky and unseen, thus the lack of combat ability does not really inhibit a thief character from completing thief quests; exactly the way it should be. Also, quests that are given by random NPCs or are a part of the main storyline often have more than one solution. Therefore, if you cannot recover the amulet from the ancient Daedric Lord by killing him, you could instead use your pickpocket abilities and sneak out with the amulet.

The second solution implemented by Bethesda is simply to make opponents all around easier. Therefore, a foe that you meet when you are level 10 does not necessarily require level 10 combat abilities to defeat. Because of this, even a thief who focuses solely on thievery can kill enemies that have the potential to be many times more powerful than he is.

Thus, it appears as if Bethesda made the ideal changes and made the game perfectly playable for any class. The only problem is that the game now inherently favors those of a fighting class. If one puts all their effort into mastering, for example, heavy armor and the long sword, he becomes incredibly powerful. Not only can almost every single quest in the game be solved by simply killing the target NPC and taking what you want, essentially eliminating all need for stealth and fancy speaking for a warrior, but by making the enemies in the game all-around easier, the combat-oriented fighter will have no problem destroying anything and everything in his path. This is why a number of Morrowind players have complained that the game is far too easy. However, if the game were not too easy for a great fighter, it would be far too difficult for a lowly thief. Instead, Bethesda had to compromise and hope that no one played a completely combat or a completely non-combat character.

Concluding statements

The obvious, and really the only solution, is to be made at the player level. One must opt to play using major and minor skills that have a diverse amount of uses. For example, combine some fighting skills with some thievery skills and some magical skills. Unfortunately, this causes even more complaints from players that they should not have to be told how to play; Bethesda should instead make the game completely balanced for all possible character combinations. This is, of course, impossible and the biggest problem that is faced by games that utilize a system of complete non-linearity and diverse character selection. Though Morrowind does these two things extremely well, it cannot help but suffer from the same weaknesses inherent in the use of them.

Heaven isn't too far away

Never let it be said that a game with beautiful graphics cannot have content. Likewise, never let it be said that a game with good content should look elementary. Morrowind oozes substance and still has a beautiful exterior that could please almost anyone.

I say almost because Morrowind suffers from the same problem inherent in all PC games with graphics that tend to push video cards to extremes: those will poor hardware will inevitably have poor graphical experiences. Morrowind is, of course, no exception.

According to Bethesda and several players of the game, anything equivalent to or better than a GeForce 3 card works perfectly. Not to say that lesser cards stumble over Morrowind's beauty, just do not expect an outdated card to deliver as a more modern one will. My video card (a 32MB Radeon) handles everything sufficiently, but does not support pixel shading. This means that I cannot experience the much-praised water in the game as someone with a newer video card could. A fair assumption is that if your video card supports said pixel shading, you should be fine. Otherwise, as long as you are not using a particularly out-of-date card, you should get along fine albeit short of a few of Morrowind's more breathtaking graphical displays.

However, even on a system where quality suffers, the finer aspects of the game's graphic design will still show. Morrowind features incredibly realistic textures and polygon counts, real-time shadows, skeletal based animation, and a weather system with almost constantly changing wind intensity and visibility.

Thus, as far as scenery and the like go, Morrowind scores quite high. The only bittersweet area is character design. As far as the technical aspects are concerned, the game did beautifully. Armor and clothes fit perfectly onto each model regardless of gender and race, which is very pleasant to see. The very same helmet will fit the narrow head of a high-elf as snuggly as it fits the wider Imperial head. Likewise, weapons fit snuggly into hands, and do not appear to be gripped 'loosely', giving a very unrealistic look. Even with hands and weapons of varying size and shape, Morrowind handles well and makes each weapon look custom fitted to the character model. Arguably a small detail, but it really does improve the overall look and feel captured by the game. Without meticulous attention in this area, even supposedly form-fitting clothes would appear unrealistically baggy.

What I disliked about character design is the way faces were drawn. Again, in the technical respect, facial features were done nicely. The player's face and hair selections always fit well together and fit well with the body, however the options that you as the player are given are downright ugly. More selections are promised to be included in the upcoming patch, and many are available through use of a downloadable mod, so this issue is a very minor one, and barely affects the score in this area. However, it is one detail that I find needs improvement, as having consistently monotonous and ugly characters with which to interact gets tiring extremely quickly.

Overall, I was able to find very little to complain about in the graphics department, and often find treks through Morrowind to be quite beautiful. Sometimes it is extremely enjoyable to take a brief break from adventuring and simply stare at a river or at the sky. The night sky, in particular, is very wonderfully done with its two moons and constellations that match the aforementioned bithsigns. While some may accuse Morrowind of being too graphic-oriented or tailored solely to those with above average systems, I believe Bethesda made the correct choices and did wonderfully in this department. This is one player who takes time to enjoy thoroughly the breathtaking scenery prevalent through the land of Morrowind.

"What do you need, Outlander"

I have always believed that neither music nor sound should ever overshadow actual gameplay; that they should, instead, complement it. Morrowind does an excellent job in keeping the music soft and subtle and using it to build and enhance the mood, rather than just be there. From the mellow, flowing music that carries you from one town to the next, and the suddenly upbeat composition that accompanies an attack, and finally to the soft, yet eerie music that echoes in the far reaches of the damp tomb, there really ends up being a selection for every possible encounter. Though the same tunes are played repeatedly (there are only four total "normal" melodies, and four "battle" songs), they never seem to become boring or monotonous. The selection of music is always appropriate and never bland, and makes for an overall pleasing experience regardless of your location in the Morrowind world.

Sound effects are rich and varied, and the quality in the playback is apparent. There is no slight rustling or feedback during sound effects, and each is incorporated wonderfully into the Morrowind atmosphere. With the addition of the 'Bitter Coast Sounds' (an official plug-in available from Bethesda), wildlife sounds are incredibly real and make the surroundings come alive. Every detail down to the increase in the intensity of a sword's 'whooshing' sound when the strength of the swing increases has been carefully implemented. Even effects such as supernatural chants that can be heard if you venture too close to the burial site of an ancient Lord have been added to improve the overall ambiance. Again, just like in music, the sound effects do a wonderful job in complementing but not overshadowing the actions that you see playing across your screen.

And, of course, to pull the player even more into the game, three-dimensional sound has been utilized. An assassin sneaking up behind you is actually heard from the rear. The sound of a crossbow being engaged from the right is actually heard from the proper location and at the proper distance. Though I would have liked to see this feature improved upon slightly, it was incorporated wonderfully and really helped to pull me into the game and make the world feel that much more enthralling.

Probably one of the greatest aspects in the sound/music department of Morrowind is its use of voice acting. Every NPC you encounter has a (somewhat) unique voice and demeanor about him/her. Of course, every NPC that is critical to any quest (read: Everyone except people that randomly wander the streets of cities) has his or her own personal voice. And, dependant on the race of the person speaking, a specific dialect or accent is also apparent. Races such as the cat-like Khajiit even have their own unique slang. There are literally thousands of sound files for voice snippets alone, and upon playing the game and hearing the diversity in voices depending on race and region, it becomes apparent why all these files are necessary.

However, if you add up the number of NPCs in Morrowind, and multiply that by the number of unique greetings each one would need (many specific greetings also contain the race of the player, tacking on another bunch of files that need to be added per NPC), it quickly becomes apparent that a unique voice for every NPC would be impossible. So, yes, there is some overlap in voice and greeting. Actually, to be quite honest, there is quite a bit of overlap in what commoners say. Coupled with the fact that NPCs tend to shout their greeting at you from quite a distance, you may end up with a string of, "What do you need, Outlander" from a simple hike through a busy street. Now, I in no way condemn Morrowind's reuse of certain voices and greetings, as I cannot even begin to imagine how much the game would have grown in file size and production time had a separate voice actor actually be used for every NPC, nor would I want to compromise by giving up quality in some other area. But I could sometimes do without hearing, "Quickly, Outlander, I haven't much time" echo behind me as I make my way through a crowded city.

However, if it means having to ensure some repetition among commoners in order to get superb voice acting and interesting dialogue from major NPCs, I am willing to make the sacrifice. Time was put in to making the voices sound be representative of the race from which the voice is coming, and it definitely shows from the quality of the product.

For ultimate control, use both hands

Combining the keyboard and the mouse is an excellent way to simplify controls in such a complex world. It seems that having to look around, cast spells, swing a sword, jump, talk, and run all at the same time would be incredibly difficult. However, with proper task allocation to each hand, control becomes fluid and intuitive. Movement and target activation takes place on the keyboard. Looking around and spell targeting/weapon use occurs with the mouse. Menus are driven using a point-and-click system, and almost everything else can be quickly done using some combination of both the keyboard and the mouse.

I am still shocked at how complex a control system Morrowind has, and how simply it is presented. From the beginning, you are slowly taught how to walk around and use items, and gradually become more adept at everything. Of course, as with any system, practice is the key to getting everything down fluidly, but within my first gaming session, I was already able to fully utilize more advanced movement procedures, such as sidestepping and the like.

Shortcut keys are available in the form of the function keys at the top of the keyboard. Quicksaving, quickloading, and all their quick-brethren could be accomplished with a simple press of a key. I, always being careful never to lose anything in my game, constantly quicksave and find it very convenient to be able to do so by barely moving my hands from the standard position or having to take my eyes of the action on-screen.

Hotkeys can be assigned quickly and easily in game to the 0-9 keys on the keyboard. Fighters can quickly change their weapons in the heat of a battle, mages can easily access their favorite spells, and all-around adventurers could swiftly swallow a restore-health potion all without ever having to search through the menus for your equipment. Hotkeys are also great for those who do not believe in stopping time to change a spell or a weapon and prefer to have to do so quickly in the heat of battle without a pause to use as a crutch

.

All keys are, of course, fully customizable and allow you to create your perfect playing pad that makes the already intuitive control system even easier. Though I usually change around the control structure to fit my playing style, I found Morrowind's default setup to be perfect already, and played the entire game with the arrangement as is.

The only difficulty in control (and I do mean the only difficulty) is in properly aligning the target. All through the game, there is a small, translucent crosshair-style target in the middle of the screen that represents your center of vision. This target is used to (obviously) target creatures for attack or to point out NPCs with which to interact or objects to take. Since the target is small, one may have a tendency to target accidentally the wrong thing, especially if you have a shaky hand. Combined with the unforgiving system of out-in-the-open thievery in Morrowind, you could find yourself having to restore a save several times after having accidentally stolen something when meaning to speak with a shopkeeper. Though not a common occurrence, it is quite an irritation in the beginning when the controls and the game are new, and you cannot quite understand why everyone would suddenly turn hostile and try to kill you when you meant only to speak to someone.

The controls of Morrowind will quickly become second nature after only a few minutes of playing. Within the first hour or two, you will have neared mastery to the control setup, and know how to issue even the most complex of commands. Though somewhat unforgiving at first, the setup is easy to learn, easy to understand, and easy to use. I have yet to be in a dangerous situation where I accidentally sidestepped into a lava pit rather then fleeing in the proper direction. It is hard to make such a powerful system be so easy to control, but accomplishing this is just one more thing that has made Morrowind such an enjoyable experience.

The Elder Scrolls Construction Set and modding

Using the powerful tools included by Bethesda, anyone can create any number of high quality, quest intensive areas to add to the Morrowind world. Whether you create a mod to add certain NPCs or houses to an already existing town, or use an uninhabited area of the region to add your own town, The Elder Scrolls Construction Set will give you the ability to do anything. Let it go without saying that you first need a bit of practice and experience with the system before you can create deep and complex mods, but once you get the hang of it, almost every feature of the construction set will be mastered.

I have seen people use the construction set three different ways. The first is to modify the way that the game is played, for example to reduce the frequency of certain enemies, or to make opponents stronger and more aggressive. Second, some people like to change the actual structure of the world either to get certain equipment earlier then it would normally be provided or to add balance to some grossly unbalanced items, or to change certain dialogues given to an NPC. And finally, probably the most enjoyable additions to the game come in the form of quest mods. There are many of these mods available on the internet from a variety of sources devoted to providing mods to Morrowind players. These specific mods add locations to the game where quests can take place where secrets can be found or special items can be made available. One mod actually furthers the story on how the Dwemer race disappeared and shows a great deal of insight into the actual story proposed and hinted at through the entire game. There is no doubt a great deal of quality to be found in many mods, and these only serve to add on to an already excellent game.

Whether you want to get your feet wet in the world of game programming, desire to create mods for personal or societal enjoyment, or just want to download some add-ons to make the game even more fun, you will thank the existence of the Elder Scrolls Construction Set. It most certainly is one of the better and more powerful designing tools to be shipped with a game that I have seen, and I highly recommend tinkering with it to elongate the joy that Morrowind delivers.

The Whole Deal

Morrowind is, without a doubt, one of the best games I have had the joy of experiencing to date. This may very well be one of the games that helps to pull people into the exciting world of PC gaming. Whether you are looking for an innovative and interesting storyline, beautiful graphics, enchanting music, or just plain fun, Morrowind will be able to please you for hours on end.

Morrowind is, of course, not without its faults. However, it is wonderful to see a game done this when only on its first version. I have no doubt that upon the release of the much-anticipated patch, the missing four percent in the overall score will be made up.

I can honestly say that I fully recommend this game to anyone that has even the mildest interest in taking a step into gaming on his or her PC. The sheer depth of the Morrowind world alone should be enough to entice even the most anti-PC gamers. If played to its fullest, Morrowind will be utterly time-consuming with every second increasingly more enjoyable. The only recommendation to anyone who may want to pick up this title but is scared away by any negative comments I have made is to play the game simply for fun. This seems like a rather elementary idea, but it is surprising how many people play with the goal in mind to get the best equipment, raise their stats to the max, and slaughter any pitiful foes that lie in their path. Unfortunately, it is very easy to get to this point, and the fun tends to die out quickly when this point is attained so early in the game. However, if one opts to play realistically and think out the decisions to his or her problems rather then always rushing in, axe swinging, Morrowind will be indefinitely deeper and much more fun.

This is one game that I can promise will be displayed proudly in your gaming collection for years to come.

Brian Cavner

The graphics are absolutely beautiful and leave very little to be desired.

The Elder Scrolls Construction Set that comes with the game allows for even more fun and diversity through the creation of mods.







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