Saturday, December 15, 2012

Skyrim: Hearthfire DLC review


    Hearthfire is the second DLC for Skyrim, though not a full-fledged expansion like Dawnguard. It's a delightful bit of fluff I haven't time to check out until now but am extremely glad I did. Basically, it allows a bit more customization of your particular version of Skyrim and the option of building a location to display all your various trophies from your adventures. There's also the option to adopt some of the many orphaned children spread throughout Skyrim. These children will thank you for your generosity, ask you for presents, and sometimes give them.

    And that's it, really.

Casa de Dragonborn, my beautiful kickass fantasy world pad.
    Really, Hearthfire is an opportunity to build yourself a massive storage space for all your goods and decorate it with the various hundreds of unique weapons you've probably amassed over the years. If you've sold them all off, well, then Hearthfire isn't probably going to be quite as fun for you as it was for me.

    One thing I really enjoyed about Hearthfire is that it allows you to reunite your favorite Companions with your spouse and children. For the longest time, Lydia and Ysolda lived together in my house in Breezeholme only for me to feel bad when I had to leave Lydia behind to go live in our new mansion. Now, it's possible to appoint Lydia (or virtually any other major companion) to be your Steward while you move in your new family.

The first daughter I adopted. She's ADORABLE!
    I will say, for those who aren't into in-game crafting or role-playing, Hearthfire isn't really going to add much to the experience. There are already plenty of treasure chests in the existing houses you can buy across Skyrim and the mansions you build are limited to the lesser holds which didn't come with them in the first place. There's no new quests, monsters, or weapons to be had in this add-on.

    Still, actually, I'm going to say that the developers went above and beyond what they could have with Hearthfire. There's a bunch of new orphans introduced in most of the major cities and all of them have stories. The "fetch quest" nature of the crafting means that if you want your Shrine of Talos, you're going to finally have a use for all of those amulets you've found of his but will also need dragon bone!

    It's a really distracting past-time to try and get your house just perfect. Really, by the time my mansion in Falkreath was done, it looked less like a place to live and my personal Dragonborn museum. This was actually a flaw since I had a bit of difficulty believing my newly adopted children and wife would want to live in a building which consisted of wall-to-wall weapons racks and display cases displaying my awesome.

    Do I recommend it? It's cheap, fun, and gave me hours of entertainment. Of course, I do.

9/10

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