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on 20 December 2007
Morrowind is one of the finest RPGs I have ever played. The biggest draw is the sheer size of it - the world is absolutely huge and you have the freedom to go wherever you please. There are so many side quests that often the main plot becomes only a minor consideration. The level of detail that has gone into every little aspect makes it simply addictive. While the game is now a fair few years old, the graphics still hold up well and the game runs smoothly without anywhere near the level of hardware that Oblivion requires.

The levelling up process is generally well done and intuitive. The main quest is suitably epic, when you finally get around to it. The learning curve is such that even a complete novice at RPGs would soon be able to get the hang of things.

It would be easy to talk endlessly about the good points of the game...but it isn't quite perfect. Sometimes travelling can become particularly annoying, especially when you're running through the harsher, dust-filled landscapes. Some quests are plagued with poor path finding - I often messed up quests by losing track of somebody who was meant to be following me. In certain places, the number of identical wandering monsters who attack you is tedious. I also found that the single-player system in Morrowind means that you lose out in the joys of having a party. This is something that D&D based RPGs have done well over the years, but in Morrowind it just feels like you against the endless wilderness. It also means that your character has to master several different disciplines if you like to rise through some of the different guilds and make use of everything on offer.

Still, for anyone who likes RPGs at all and wants a new way to spend their hours, then you can't go wrong with this game. While in many respects it has now been outclassed by its successor, Oblivion, it is still a great game in its own right and in my opinion is still superior in some ways. The GOTY edition has eliminated most of the bugs and includes the two expansion packs - both of which are good and add yet more hours of entertainment.
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on 8 July 2017
arrived on time, was as shown.
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on 31 December 2012
I recently reviewed Bethesda's 'Dishonored', which I regarded as a return to form for a company that I thought had lost its way slightly with Oblivion, Fallout and Skyrim. Personally, I regard Morrowind as by far the best game produced by them, in fact it occupies a podium spot in my Best Games Evarrr Top Five. Whilst Oblivion, Fallout and Skyrim all went on to make more money than Croesus, I think Morrowind is the creative high water mark and with that in mind I'd like to explain why. Pointlessly, as it happens, because no doubt you've already played it and made your mind up so you'll either be agreeing with me or voting this down as a load of soggy bog roll.

My first experience with Morrowind was probably much the same as many others. I got off a prison ship, picked a class, race, name and a head. Having done all that, and robbed a tax office of just about everything including their wares, I ventured out into the village of Seyda Neen. I spoke to some locals, followed a few dialogue trees, wandered out into the local countryside and was nearly killed by a rat that my character seemed unable to stab to death, or even tread on. With my health dangerously low, I then turned tail and fled as fast as my asthmatic level-one-no-stamina character could muster on his brittle legs in the direction of the guards who managed to save my life... just. I then found a bed, had a sleep and a cry, and decided to use the public transportation system until my character had learned which end of a knife was the sharp bit.

Yes, Morrowind is a game that doesn't treat you like a complete idiot - it simply allows you to be one under your own foolish steam. Unlike Grand Theft Auto, where you are given a sandbox but then only allowed into certain bits if you misbehave yourself, Morrowind gives you full access to a vibrant and sometimes hostile world and lets you take your chances. This is good for the story arc of your character. Whilst it wasn't the first game to allow you to level up as you go along, not many games gave you this much freedom to make mistakes. You want to try and climb the Red Mountain at level two, asks the game? Well on your own head be it. You fell in a river full of killer fish running away from a bandit who had a huge axe when you had no armour other than a cloth shirt? Tough. The beginning of Morrowind, when you are still a pup, is genuinely terrifying at times - it almost becomes a survival horror. It also makes your eventual leveling up more rewarding. As most of the monsters and people are a fixed level, you can have your teeth kicked in by a level 10 Orc one day, but a few training sessions later go back and show him who is boss.

This all adds to the immersion of the game, which is by far the strongest card in its' deck. The 'realism' of your character's initial ineptitude means you are encouraged to join various factions and guilds who ease you into the world through menial tasks at first, building into harder missions as you grow stronger. The NPCs handing out these missions will even stop you from doing one if they feel you are not up to the task. With the various guilds and factions, not to mention the races (some of which are persecuted, some of which are the persecutors), Morrowind grows into more than a game arena filled with objects for your own amusement; it becomes a proper society, complete with political strife, bureaucracy, and even xenophobia and out-and-out racism, and if that sounds vaguely familiar to you then you've probably read a newspaper in the last three hundred years. If I sound pretentious comparing a game filled with wizards, goblins and other fantastical creatures to a modern democracy with its power struggles, suppression of the working classes and fawning, self righteous excuses for such behaviour then you can knock off my beret, throw my coffee in my face and mash my fingers with a hardcover copy of Jean-Paul Sartre.

Although the island itself is small compared to the maps in Oblivion/Fallout/Skyrim, the different areas with their own geology, weather and architecture help make it seem larger than it is. The uniformality of the other three games is not evident here with distinctive styles for the powerful Houses, and all manner of locations from swamps to grass plains and the arid volcanic areas around the Mountain. Also, setting this sandbox on an island, and the presence on all four sides of a wide sea, makes for a less claustrophobic experience than the invisible-walled sandboxes of Oblivion/Fallout/Skyrim.

With this freedom to move around (once you are strong enough of course) coupled with the drastic clash of cultures and races and the bickering that accompanies it, what you are left with is an ability to build yourself up in whatever way you feel like - completely at the expense of the main quest. All of these factions will require a certain set of talents, and you can pick and choose a pre-set character if you so wish (Warrior, Mage, etc), but the bewildering array of skills that you can pick and choose for your character means you can create just about anything. Some of my previous favourite characters have included a religious zealot who behaved abominably to anyone who wasn't a member of the Temple, a pacifist monk who went out of their way not to kill anyone but instead used Calming Spells before running away as fast as his habit would allow, an Orc who couldn't swim and was terrified of water and a Wood Elf who channeled the future spirit of Corvo from Dishonored in totally silent assassinations of authority figures. The potential is limitless, and it is a shame that all these individual skill sets have been largely lumped together in one gelatinous mass in the subsequent Elder Scrolls games.

Since I've been dribbling on about stuff that is completely intangible for a number of paragraphs, I suppose I should talk about the technical stuff. It isn't the greatest looking game in the world, although any number of easy to download mods can partially solve this. The draw distances are going to look utterly antique to us now, but honestly you really do get used to it, and that is not the poor excuse of a whining fanboy (well... not much.) The music is somewhat limited in terms of variety and so it is remarkable that the main theme of Morrowind doesn't irritate at all; the music soars with a majestic sweep of strings, interrupting itself with some tense cello when an enemy approaches. In terms of the controls, combat can be a bit fiddly in the heat of the moment and you would be well advised to set various things to Hot Keys and then, for the love of Azura, Remember Them. For dialogue there is very little in the way of voice acting; you are given topics to click on, which I prefer over having the character stare at you in that intense way whilst you listen to someone phoning it in. Further to your interactions, there is a bar which tells you the disposition of a character towards you (from 0-100); this will be the catalyst for how much or little they feel like telling you. You'll never create a character with whom everyone will get on with - all the NPCs have their preferences and prejudices - but hey, that just feels more realistic. If you stopped one hundred people in the street and asked them a random question some might answer happily, some will distrust you and answer tentatively, a few may simply brush you aside based on a fear of being mugged or the fact that at first glance you are old or young or male or female or black or you have hair down to your belt or a yellow and green mohawk. Likewise, if you are sided to Hlaalu don't expect any love from the Redorans. If you are a Dark Elf, don't expect love from any of the beast races. If you are a Telvanni, don't expect love from anyone... not even other Telvanni.

Morrowind isn't a perfect game. The game is weighted very heavily towards combat. Spells, even the more powerful ones, are quite weak in comparison to the various melee weapons and many enemies are able to resist or even reflect them back at you. Only after a good few years of playing can I now successfully navigate the world as a character totally biased towards magic with no weapon specializations, and it's still reliant on you keeping that mana bar topped up which is a mean feat in itself. Also, you might be tempted to create a self-sufficient character, specializing in Alchemy, who uses the natural fauna to create potions. Don't, because the vast majority of the more commonly found foliage will only help you with fatigue. So you'll just end up with about one hundred Resist/Restore Fatigue potions of dubious quality. Useful for raising gold but a bit ineffectual when you are pinned down by a monster and need a shot of health or a surge of strength to barge past.

There are probably loads more things I could talk about but this review would become an essay. I've missed out the creepy tombs that can be explored, or the mysterious Dunmer fortresses or the Dwemer steampunked forts, the vast tomes of literature that are actually worth reading and give more insight and background, the bizarre quests to save naked Nords or the anti-slavery campaign you can instigate. Over and above all this though, I just love the total freedom that this game gives you. My favourite kinds of games are the ones where you get a sense that the world you are inhabiting could get along just fine without you, thank you very much for your help notwithstanding. You are a small cog, a minute speck of dust in a much grander and larger time line. Morrowind reminds you of this all the time in the ruins, the settled towns, cultures, races, factions, politics, shipwrecks, tombs and cities, and the fact that you really do have to work at becoming someone in this universe. I don't think it has ever been bettered, and given the way the Elder Scrolls series seems to be sliding towards a grey mundanity, I don't think it ever will.
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on 7 March 2012
Dear heavens...is this game long or what! If you have too much free-time on your hands, say, 3 days and 3 nights worth of nothing to do, Morrowind is the game for you! The moment you pick your name, race, class, appearance and abilities at the beginning of the game, when you're just a blank slate in a Census Office, you have literally hundreds of "game days" to spend on side-quests and the main quest. It's THAT huge.

I still haven't finished it, and I play RPG's like there's no tomorrow. There's just sooo much going on, it's hard not to take up a miscellaneous quest on your way to solve another quest, and then jog miles of terrain of foot to complete the new quest, but then take up yet *another* quest...Phew. Yep, that's Morrowind in a nutshell. Highly recommended for those who have trouble sleeping at night.
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on 7 October 2011
Considering even how old this game is now I dont feel like Im playing an outdated game, in fact after playing the 'sequel' Oblivion (4th in the Elder Scrolls series), I feel the 3rd game is actually much deeper, more full of story, character, intrigue and naughtiness! And bigger on the map and 'dungeon' areas you can explore, as well as more open; with cities and towns not cut off into seperate loading cells, and the dynamic fun of levitation for one.

One of the few flaws that irritated me is the 'miss-miss-miss-miss-miss-HIT!-miss-miss-miss-miss...' physical combat, but even that is irrelevant once you gain a few levels and build yourself up. This version has the add-ons of the Tribunal and Bloodmoon which I missed out on the first time around, and for the price of my copy its worth it for these alone, to find out the rest of the story.

After playing again from the beginning for a while I discovered I had an old save file, and to compare what you get as a reward for building your strength through questing and leveling (and not to forget kleptomania and tomb pillaging), I found my long forgotten super-Nord, complete with every armour piece glowing and entire houses full of well displayed booty. She could leap house to house and laugh at deadra, while my newly made character was fit as an invalid and gets killed by anything that blinks.

Ah Morrowind...
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on 1 February 2009
This is an expansive game, lots to do, lots of places to go to.

I prefer Oblivion, but not by a huge amount, and Oblivion is ridiculously great.

I spent quite a bit of time on this game (10 hours? 20 hours? more? I couldn't say for sure), but I don't feel I got very far.

It may be that as the game goes on your character gets stronger, but while I was playing I never got beyond the situation of my character running for a bit, having to walk, and then after walking for a while being able to run again. Since having to walk also means its more difficult to fight, you have to be careful how much running you do. The walking is subjectively very slow.

If you have done with Oblivion, and you want something similar to play, this could be it, the graphics are more alien that Oblivion, the trees particularly look very Sci-Fi.
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on 13 March 2011
Morrowind, I've wanted to play this for a while having previously played Oblivion and lost countless hours to its addictive gameplay, and yet with this title I can see a good if not great game I'm not blind to that but having played Oblivion and indeed the first Boulders gate I see lots more I like in those two titles whether it be Oblivions straight forward combat yet interesting or its simple management of skills and exc. to Boulders great story and immersive world.

Graphics/ fair not bad but getting a bit dated now, there's always some fog which blocks your vision from seeing everything in the distance, not to say it's a bad looking game just considering the date it came out it seems a bit bland with lots of greys and browns which kind of ware on my spirit a bit.

Gameplay/ as mentioned many times the combat sucks tapping the mouse button over and over again with little success in hitting your desired target. The combat does improve however if one you use a bow and magic as well to mix things up but also by level five you seem to hit your target a lot more. Traveling isn't easy, you can travel from city to city on some weird bug thing but most of the time you'll find yourself walking ,this wouldn't be bad if you didn't have to hold sprint to get anywhere fast which drains your fatigue and you need fatigue to land good hits on enemy's . While this is realistic in some ways it's very frustrating to someone like me who just wants to get where I'm going; I hate to bad mouth Morrowind in favour of its child Oblivion but in that game you can fast travel anywhere you've previously been and have a horse to speed things up. With that negativity over the game is still a RPG with quests and guilds which if you let it will draw you in just be prepared to do some journal checking to where you have to go and why, I do like the gameplay, combat didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, just bear in mind if you sprint to much like I did you may run into a hard fight and have no fatigue to get away (so save often).

Story /Morrowind for me is just too hard to get into and I expected as much, when I first played Oblivion I was lost in its sheer depth and the multitude of routs and quests to go on, giving it time I did however find it fun. I don't know what it is about Morrowind maybe the story I found a bit hard to get into with the limited choice and motivation for my character to follow some guy with his top off who was just telling me what to do, that's of course not all the story I didn't finish the whole game simply because I would see how much time I was spending getting anywhere e.g. one quest took me 3 hours simply because I died unaware that the auto save only works when you sleep that and getting lost the landscape . In a way that's credit to the game that it takes a while because the world is so big there's so many guilds and people to meet so it gets points for that.

Closing points/ I did have some fun with this but after around 10 hours of gameplay I was struggling to find the motivation to carry on. It comes down to having fun and if I find myself simply playing something for the hell of it I'll stop because there's no point in carrying on playing something that isn't all that fun to me and just ends up feeling like a grind. Like I said before credit to the game for the amount of the things to do which is mind boggling and if you're into that then this is perfect for you, also if you haven't played anything similar but are interested then this is a good starting point. I would give it 6 out of 10 but considering the amount this game has to offer il give it a more fair rating based purely on my impatience for this game which is clearly a good game maybe great game given time .
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on 27 August 2011
I purchased this game to try to understand the hype when people told me that this was better than Oblivion (the latter elder scrolls game). To begin with the unfamiliar combat system and dated graphics struck me but as you pursue with the game you will find a rich vibrant fantasy world with a buffet of loot, NPC's and quests. This game is certainly a challenge worth the time put into it and as it runs on nearly any system with a patch or two I would certainly recommend this to anybody wanting to escape to a seriously large adventure.
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on 2 March 2010
Played on Windows XP SP3/Windows 7 SP1. Recommended mod: Morrowind overhaul 3.0 (requirements: Morrowind + Tribunal + Bloodmoon + 1.6 patch) add's patches to fix bugs, new gameplay mechanics, beautifies the game. Takes about 1 hour to download & 20-30 minutes to install. The installation gives you many choices on which mod options you'd like to use. The time it takes is worth it, trust me, the game looks amazing, albeit MW is still a bit glitchy, so save often & use multiple save files. I found WinRar the best tool to unzip the mod, it's free from downloadCnet.

There is allot to discuss, and i will cut it down as much as i can.Apologies now for the Morrowind/Oblivion comparisons, but most people have played that one, here goes.

Morrowind passed me by sadly, and it wasn't until i took a punt on something called, Oblivion, that my eyes were opened to the world of Role Playing Games. Oblivion was stunning, and as i know now, a very simple introduction into RPG's. By that, i mean it wasn't overly difficult nor was it overly easy. I enjoyed it so much, i decided to go to the previous game in the series, Morrowind.

Morrowind is more or less the same concept as Oblivion, set in a different location (Morrowind)you play a prisoner released by the Emperor for as yet, unknown reasons. The races are still the same, and for the most part, so are the pros and cons for each race/birth sign. But this is where Oblivion & Morrowind start to differ.

Graphics/gameplay: With the advance of graphics, Oblivion was stunning and on a larger scale(buildings scale etc), but Morrowind has a more niche look to it, like say, Deus Ex, has. The gameplay in MW is allot more difficult too, in that for example there is no map arrow telling you where to go like in OB. You have to use your journal info & map to figure out where locations are. Enemies aren't leveled with you either, so you could come across a cave with level 20 creatures while your only level 1. Further more, the combat in MW is on a rock, paper , scissors system. Where your skill level & how full your fatigue bar is, determines the outcome of suceeding/failing in casting a spell or landing a hit with a sword for example. Where as in OB, you always hit, and its outcome is determined purely on your strength/skill with the weapon or the strength/skill of the spell, obviously the better the weapon/spell the higher the damage too.

Interaction: The characters in OB talk to you in/out of conversation selection with lots of verbal dialogue. But in MW character interaction is done through a text dialog where they don't talk to you in conversation interaction like they in OB, but they do talk/comment when you are near them in open play, as in OB.

Voice acting/sound: Both games have the same actors (mainly) doing the voices, so the quality is top notch all round & you get that welcoming feeling of listening to familiar voices no matter which order you play the series in. Audio wise, OB has the latest tech and sounds great, but MW is still very good, and has its better sides IMO. like some aspects of the weather effects are better in MW IMHO.

Weapons/skills etc: Morrowind has a larger selection, variation, of weapons and armor, compared to Oblivion's simpler/compressed version. For example, MW has long/short blade, spear, axe, blunt, crossbow etc.. OB meanwhile has just blade, axe or bow. Similar thing for the armor, MW has many pieces of armor, left/right gauntlet, pauldron etc... OB just has Gauntlets and the main body of armor.

In conclusion, although i have enjoyed both games equally for their different approaches, i kinda lean towards Morrowind as the better game in a RPG sense, with its depth and unique look. Obviously MW will appeal more to the pure RPG appreciative players, where as Oblivion was aimed at the mix of RPGers & casual gamers too(that was me). GOTY edition has two add-ons, Bloodmoon & Tribunal, i would recommend NOT installing them if you are new to MW. Explore enjoy and complete the open ended main quest, where the game continues, then play the add-ons, IMHO(you will need the add-on's to play most mod's). last note if in doubt, Check out Morrowind on Youtube, and get a better look at it, that will probably be a deciding factor after all my guff ;-) Highly recommended.
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on 4 October 2009
When I first started playing this game, I admit I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. After going back a second time, something inside of me just clicked with it and I haven't been able to stop playing it since. I recently completed the game (with the strategy guide as I can't see how there would be a way of knowing where everything is without is) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

All 3 parts of the game (Morrowind and then its two expansions Tribunal and Bloodmoon) each had something better in it then the others did. For Morrowind I found it had the most depth to the story / world with Tribunal having the best layout to explore and finally with Bloodmoon having the best main quest.

So..

Plot: I can't really explain the plot in Morrowind. It's so deep with lore, you really have to play it to get an understanding for it. You can basically do whatever you want in the game. Upgrade your gear, explore the surrounding areas, invent your own little missions, side quests, main quests, the list is just endless. What you decide to do shapes your game. Kill a member of the thieves guild and they won't let you in. Steal a sword from a shop and they will turn on you and attack but yet if you go upstairs where nobody is there to watch you, you may just get away with it. Endless possibilities.

Graphics: Maybe not great anymore compared to some games but still amazing what they managed to achieve then with the water rippling as an example

Sound: A bit repetitive and annoying with the constant greeting from anyone you bump into but if your like me and want to turn the sound off, you won't be missing much apart from the sword slashes and shield blocks.

Controls: A bit fiddly but wont take too long to get used to and if you don't get on with the default you can always set your own keys to match your style of play like I did.

Lifespan: Now here's a game that will keep you playing for a long time. Really it can be as short or long as you like. You can either use the strategy guide to get everything you can out of it or just try and make your own way round yourself.

Plus when you add in the mods that have been made for this game it could honestly be the only game you would ever have to buy.

Overall:
It may be too deep for some but if you enjoy a deep RPG this is the game to get. It's a game that reminds me of marmite - you either love it or you hate it. It may take a while to click but once it does you will have to be prised off the computer.
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