Well, it’s been a long time coming, folks. But DLC for Skyrim has finally arrived on PS3. While Xbox 360 users have spent the last eight months slashing and bashing their way through expansion content for Skyrim, PS3 users like myself have had to wait. Microsoft was initially meant to get a thirty day head start on competing platforms thanks to a timed exclusivity contract, but technical issues and seemingly endless delays have caused a much longer wait than anticipated. So instead of a thirty day countdown for content like Dawnguard, users of Sony’s platform ended up with an eight month aggravating slog through PR bullshit. But hey, who’s counting, right? Besides myself and millions of other loyal customers.
But that’s all water under the bridge now. I’m here to talk about Dragonborn, the first DLC to arrive on PS3. Hearthfire and Dawnguard will hit PSN on Feb 19th and 26th, respectively. And as an added bonus/apology for PS3 users, all three packs will be 50% off during the first week of availability.
Just to give you an idea of how enthralling the new add-on content is, I spent six hours delving head first into Dragonborn last night, and only finally emerged to grab some food and shortly thereafter fall asleep. Dragonborn is massive, and fully deserving of classification as a full-blown expansion. It adds a whole new island land mass, populated by multiple towns, dungeons and landmarks, each occupied by a whole slew of new unique NPCs, bad guys to fight you’ve never seen before, new monsters, new weapons and just about anything else you could want.
The staggering number of new art assets alone should impress players. Bethesda didn’t just take the existing materials from Skyrim and build a new place to explore, they built this sucker from the ground up. Not only is the terrain completely new, so is the plantlife and alchemical ingredients you’ll run across, the town buildings, the clothing people wear, and even minor details like doors and clay pots. Everything looks totally new and exotic.
The culture on Solstheim, the new island in question, is primarily Dunmer. And the main body of the populace is composed of Dark Elf refugees who fled the eruption of Red Mountain. So instead of just getting more Nord culture slathered on top of the heaping portion you already had, you’re going to get a taste of something entirely exotic, and far more reminiscent of Morrowind’s aesthetic than Skyrim.
I had a blast in my first six hours with Dragonborn. Like I mentioned, everything looks new and exotic, right down to the tiniest details, and I only experienced one brief crash in my playtime. So the performance seems to be really solid as well. I barely left Raven Rock, the first town I encountered, and only explored one massive dungeon as part of a quest, so I feel like those six hours barely scratched the surface. And if that’s any indication, Dragonborn should be pretty damn huge.
Check it out, folks. This is one that Elder Scrolls fans won’t want to miss, regardless of how long they had to wait for it. Dragonborn is now available for download via Playstation Network with a limited time price tag of $9.99. Expect to pay double that after the first week when the discount ends.
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Zenimax Media
Release: February 12th, 2013 (PS3)