I remember viewing many PC sites revealing how amazing the graphics were on this game when it was first released. People sharing statistics and what kind of character they controlled all added to the appeal of the PC version. Now The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has come to the Xbox platform which I’m sure has brought many a glint in people’s eyes with the promise of things to come.
Basically this is an epic adventure where patience and skill are a must. This is not a game you can play for 2 minutes and grasp what the game is about. Instead it requires a rather slow playing pace to get to grips with the story, controls and the vastness of the area. To start with you can choose from a multitude of characters to choose from Wizards, Elfs, Orcs and all manor of other races.
Basic instructions are given at the start to help you to learn the controls and this is done fairly well. All characters you interact with at this point speak to you, but unfortunately this is not the case throughout the game. Granted there are masses of information that people give you and this would be a huge undertaking to add dialogue to it all, but it does impact the game realism when sometimes you feel like you are reading a book rather then playing a computer game.
After this apparent easy ride, you are then catapulted into this vast world to find your own way. After such a generous start you wonder what you need to do, but with a little bit of searching and patience you soon get back on track. The graphics in Morrowind have captured the atmosphere of the PC version very well, but as for resolution of course we can’t expect the Xbox to compete.
After all Televisions aren’t as crisp as monitors but do offer other advantages such as playing on a much larger screen.
Features like the water with that fantastic lighting and reflections haven’t been left out of the Xbox version and look superb in the game. Lot’s of detail in each room and area is staggering and you can’t help but gasp at the ideas and time it must have taken. As you progress through the game, certain areas require combat. This means you take up your weapon and try to stay alive. This is a very difficult system and just defeating what appear to be small animals on your travels can become a difficult challenge.
An area which hasn’t had as much detail put in is the character animation. They move like puppets and you wonder if you look close enough you can see the strings above them. Detail on the characters clothing and tattoo’s are very pleasant and worth a look now and then.
Other graphical niceties include variable weather conditions, character shadows and I have to mention again that lovely water. Even things like day turning into night and vice versa makes it all that more realistic. As you can imagine for a game of this complexity loading times at first are very long, but as you go from town to town loading times are relatively very quick. If graphical atmosphere wasn’t enough, you also have the haunting theme of the game played which really gets the emotions going.
With such a vast game attempts have been made to make it a much smoother journey. With a journal that is constantly updated with progress and requirements it is certainly a much read resource.
If this game was scored on just atmosphere it would be a sure winner, but if long games and slow progress aren’t a winning factor in your game collection, then this game is surely not for you. However if you have time, patience and the willingness to avoid certain meals of the day, you will get plenty of enjoyment.
To get any satisfaction out of this game you need oodles of patience. Satisfaction is in bucket loads in graphical amazement and epic story line, but lose your way or your patience and an abyss of boredom will follow.
Rating: 3.5 / 5