Ah...Morrowind. I hope our ongoing relationship (12 years now!) never ends. I remember our first meeting. I went to GameStop in 2002 with a little extra Christmas money. I was holding you and another game, Shenmue 2, and having a hard time deciding which to take home to my Xbox. I ultimately decided on you and I'm a better person for it.
I still think about the first time I stepped off the boat onto Vvardenfell and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. No quest arrow pointers, no direction. I was just supposed to do whatever I felt like. The very idea was mind-boggling and so hardcore. My first trip down the road toward Pelagiad, then on to Balmora, Caldera, and Ald-Ruhn. It was days before I even started the main quest. I rolled a few characters and we had a lot of fun times, but then you changed. Yes you changed, for the better, when you decided to show me so much more with your Game of the Year release on Xbox.
The game I had already spent hundreds, possibly thousands, of hours in had nearly doubled in size. I still hadn't even done everything there was to do in the base game, but I knew I would come back evetually, so I moved on the expansions. We had so much fun together. I never imagined it could get any better.
But then, I got a PC. Oh, how I never even dreamed of the possibilities. Mods. Mods everywhere. The Unofficial Patch. Better Bodies. Morrowind Graphics Extender. I was never very shallow and didn't mind how you looked, but these and hundreds of other mods, no thousands, showed your true potential.
We've had our ups-and-downs. There's been times I have looked through old saves and realized I haven't spent time with you in over a year, but I know you'll always be there waiting. I'll admit I've cheated on you with your younger siblings. I know I'm a terrible person.
I fell victim to the sway and promises of Oblivion, but it was too easy. It showed where to go and what to do. It gave me less armor and weapon choices. It tried to limit my experience. It was cold-hearted. While it was fun, it was really just a fling.
I went back to you for awhile, but then Skyrim released. Sure it was new and flashy, it looked gorgeous, but that's not what it's about. It was even easier than Oblivion. So after another fling and another lesson learned, I went back to you yet again.
I've purchased you 4 times over now (Xbox vanilla, Xbox GOTY, PC GOTY, Steam GOTY) and I've still never experienced all you have to offer.
Environment: 10 - From the shores of Dagon Fel to the sprawling city of Vivec. From the streets of Mournhold to the Clockwork City. Very few words can describe the magnitude of the environment - sprawling is the first that comes to mind. Go anywhere you want. The sky's the limit. No really, it's the only limit.
Controls: 7 - Look up, look down. Strafe left, strafe right. Pretty basic setup. Combat may be clunky, but mods exist to make it better if you want. It's an action RPG, but an RPG none the less. Stat based combat means not everything willl hit every time.
Gameplay: 10 - Essentially, Morrowind allows you to do what you want, when you want. Play the game however you feel like. Don't feel like ever completing the main quest line? No problem. You might even forget it's there like I did. Want to kill off an important NPC that's part of the main quest line? No worries there either. There's even a work-around quest line that will still allow you to finish the main quest line if your prefer.
Entertainment: 10 - Become a member of the Thieve's Guild and steal your way to the top. Rise through the ranks of the Fighter's Guild and earn your place. Join one of the three political houses for some intrigue. Go on a walk-about and see what there is to see. You might run into a naked Nord that has been bewitched or you could possibly encounter a group of bandits. There is so much going on in this game, you just have to explore to experience some of the random and crazy things out there.
Replayability: 10 - I've spent many, many hours in this game, and have only played a total of four characters. I still want to start a new character at some point. I hope that explains the score well enough.
Graphics: 7 - At release, it was gorgeous. Compared to modern games, it's not much to look at. If you're a shallow Hal, there's plenty of mods available to spruce things up a bit.
If you've never played an Elder Scrolls game before, you have no idea what you're missing. If you started with either Oblivion or Skyrim, you have no idea what you're missing. A lot of gamers agree (no source) that Morrowind is the pinnacle of the Elder Scrolls series and I agree. Do yourself a favor and get the game.
Most important is give it some time. After the short intro scene, you're on your own. You decide where to go and what to do. You decide how to play the game. The learning curve can seem a bit steep, but believe when I say say very simply, it's worth it.
- If you're questioning my listed hours on record, I just purchased this on the Steam 2014 Holiday Sale (12/22/2014). However, as listed above, I have spent quite a bit of time with Morrowind outside of Steam. Give it some time and the hours will begin to climb substantially.
-No, I'm not truly in love with this game nor do I have some sort of abnormal gamer fetish. It's just a game I love to play that is the top of my personal "best games" list. Suprisingly to some, I do actually have a wife and kids.