Monday, July 28, 2014

Skyrim Mod Review - The Secret of Dragonhead

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Mod Review:
The Secret of Dragonhead (version 3.0)

Score: -4
Summary: Go from one room to another and fight levelled enemies. Waste of time since you really don't need to download a mod to get challenging fights. Just rush straight into a giants' camp.
- Featureless rooms. Early rooms have some trash. Later it's just corridors or rooms or caves. Even if they cut and pasted fully-decorated rooms from vanilla Skyrim they would have done better to make the environment interesting, but even that has problems because...
- Implausible layout. What starts as a fort quickly descends into caves and Nordic ruins impossibly deep down. The feeling is "WTF?" But if you are still with the mod more than fifteen minutes, then you really don't care about interestingness or story. You just like meaningless fighting, which is what this mod is about.
- Boring - Just one fight after another, and in each region you pretty much get the same enemies.
- Time wasting - From long winding corridors with nothing at all, to a huge maze filled with nothing but which forces you to run around looking for keys.

This mod lacks all of the basics of even a decent dungeon crawl for treasure. People complain a lot about vanilla Skyrim, but it is really actually very good and tries hard to give you an interesting experience at every location. This mod lacks a lot of basics to hold interest.
  • Rooms that are featureless make them not just visually boring but lacking.
  • Layouts that are implausible also work harder to hold your attention and fight against our natural tendency to make sense of things. There are ways to transition into implausible locations but it's not here.
  • There is no story. At the start you get a journal about soldiers taking the fort, only to be overrun by Forsworn. After that the rest just really doesn't make sense.
  • The mod is basically a linear sequence of fights with monsters just waiting to fight. Vanilla Skyrim is like that too, but it is disguised in various ways, such as having a story, laying out a place so that it looks like it has purpose or reason to be there, and having NPCs have a schedule so they look like they aren't just on sentry duty 24/7.

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