Morrowind in my honest opinion is the quinessential entry in the Elder Scrolls franchise. Easily better than the previous installments, and its direct sequel, and a good debate on whether or not it is better than Skyrim. I would be in the camp to say it is better. Skyrim is nothing to mess with though, as it is an amazing game in its own right. Both have their strong points. But the weak points for Skyrim are mainly only things that were not introduced yet until later Elder Scrolls titles. The weak points for the followups would be things that sadly got nerfed later on, to make the games more console friendly. In any event, I think Morrowind is fantastic. And it has after 11 years aged wonderfully.
So what Morrowind, and its brethren are, would be best described as a massive open world single player role playing game. A game with a world so massive you could spend hundreds of hours, and still discover new things. Virtually every building and room can be entered. There are full towns, castles, keeps, crypts, dungeons, temples, and a wide assortment of other places to explore. There is a nice lengthy 20 hour main storyline, and a number of side quests that could add hundreds of more hours onto the main quest. There are guilds and factions to join. Friends to make and even more enemies to take on.
The other great thing that helps flesh out how huge the game can be would be the player. You can be pretty much whatever you want in terms of class. You can use a wide variety of preset classes, or create your own from scratch. And from there evolve it into something completely different. And there are many races to choose from, each with varying impacts on quest lines and character interactions. You can be a pure warrior. A thief. A magic user. And much much more. You can rob people. Help people. Be the local hero. Be a fiend and murder an entire town. Become famous or notorious. It's all up to you. And of course, like other Elder Scrolls games, you become shunned by being a vampire, werewolf, or carrier of a disease.
The level progression in The Elder Scrolls is handled through a number of ways. You can level up by a wide variety of skills. Not just for killing things. You could level up merely by boosting your sneak skill, or acrobatics, or whatever else. And each time you level up, the world scales with you. So enemies become more fierce. But so do you. And not to worry, as along the way you'll discover many new weapons, and magical abilities to mix and match to complete your personal arsenal. One thing I enjoy about the magic is that Morrowind allows you to custom create spells, giving you a near infinite potential to creating the perfect spells.
Visually, Morrowind has aged decently, but with the use of visual mods, the game can look on par with even Oblivion in terms of world detail. Which is not at all bad I must say. In the sound department, there are only a few tracks, but they get the job done right, and are easily going to be memorable for those that play for more than a few hours.
11 years later, and this still remains as one of the best Western RPGs to date. It's never too late to get into Morrowind.
Posted: November 25, 2013