318 of 320 people found the following review helpful
Quite Possibly THE most Fantastic CRPG Ever!
, June 28, 2004
This review is from: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Game of the Year Edition (CD-ROM)
This game will redefine the computer role-playing game genre forever. If you have any interest in CRPGs then this is the game for you. I picked up the original two years ago and still play it to this day. The replay value is astounding. What Morrowind has that no other CRPG comes close to is open-endedness. You literally can wander anywhere your heart desires on the island (which is massive to say the least). The graphics are fantastic, the experience system is very realistic - you learn by doing - the more you do something (successfully), the better you get. The world created is so atmospherically saturating and immersive that you literally feel like you are walking through a swamp (or wherever). Almost every single shortcoming of this game has been overcome through the massive modding community that supports Morrowind. Thus the potential universe for you to explore is quite literally limitless. The original game promises over 200+ hours of gameplay to cover each and every possible quest (I honestly think this is conservative given that you cannot possibly do a all the quests with any particular PC). Each expansion adds at least 100+ hours of gameplay each. Then there is the mod community. Morrowind ships with a construction set that allows even the most novice of us to learn to create whatever worlds one desires. Some more clever people in the modding community have gone well beyond the initial scope of the construction set to enhance various aspects of the gameplay experience. Quite frankly, as you are playing the game, if their is something you think that should be improved, it has probably already been thought of and their probably is a mod out there that can do it. If not, pull up the construction set and go onto the chat bullentin boards to get some help. The mod community for Morrowind is second to none and supports people at all levels.
That being said, what kind of game is Morrowind? As I said before, it is extremely immersive, extremely detailed, extremely open-ended. What are the weak points?
Although it is possible to gun through the primary quests in much less time than the entire game encompasses, but why? If you want a game that can give you a fast fix (say 30 minutes of action) then this is NOT the game for you. The biggest hurdle most people face is getting familiar with the game. When I first played the game, I initially became quickly frustrated at the lethargic pace of progress my character was making. For people who like fast action-oriented games, they will likely abandon this game after 30 minutes because the pace is too slow and their character is too weak to even handle a rat. It will likely take hours of gameplay before your character has enough fortitude to wander through the wilderness at night and not get killed by even the most benign of critters. However, once you get past this initial hurdle, you will most likely be hooked for life.
The other limitation of the game is combat. Despite whatever weapon used, there are really only three different moves a character can make: chop, slash, and thrust. For fighter oriented characters, this gets quite boring after a couple of hundreds of hours. However, this also offers up a new opportunity. If you max out your fighting skills (say 100% with long swords) then why not take up a little bit of magic with the same character? Unlike other games, you are not restricted in any way in which skills you can pursue. Another limitation this game has is the repetitiveness of dialogue, voice acting and character graphics (I must remind you that what becomes boringly repetitive for Morrowind is not on the same scale of most other games as you will likely play the game several orders of magnitude longer, as a result even the most creative aspects of the game will seem a bit boring after, say 500+ hours of gameplay). However, as I mentioned before, there are mods out there that add a great deal of diversity to all of these constantly keeping the game fresh.
The other significant limitation to the game is a lack of multiplayer. The game was never designed with multiplayer in mind. Although some people have tried modding it to be multiplayer, none have been successfull. What makes Morrowind great: a completely immersive single-player experience, is what keeps it from becoming multiplayer.
All in all, a fantastic, unparalleled, single-player CRPG. A game that will redefine the genre. For people who are willing to become immersed in a limitless, unique world for hundreds of hours at a time. Not a game for people looking for quick, fast action. This game truly takes time and dedication to enjoy. It is addictive at some level, but you can also leave it for months, come back to it and enjoy it anew. Any when you finally think you have seen everything there is to see or would like to change something to your liking, just hop onto the bulletin boards and start downloading some mods. Quite limitless gameplay and probably the most entertainment bang for your buck in gaming. Morrowind will likely have replay value for years to come, since the mod community is still growing strong.
On a side note: picking up the strategy guide is a must for most fans of this game. If for nothing else than the maps that show exactly where certain quest tidbits can be found. It is far too easy to spend hours looking for the precise location of something in several acres of terrain. After spending 6 gameplay hours looking for a specific person in the vast city of Vivec, I gave up and bought the strategy guide and found them in 10 minutes. Plus the fact that there is SO much detail in the game that you can quite easily miss 90% of it just by rushing through certain areas. I have revisited some areas 10 times and found something completely new (to me) each time.
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