Thursday, February 16, 2012

Video Game Nerdout! 


 Morrowind is most likely the first game in the elder scrolls series that the current twenty something aged generation has played.  The Elder Scrolls series is a single player, role playing game (RPG) collection of titles that have been around since the late nineties. (With early titles such as Daggerfall and Arena, both of which I have not played) The series is set in the fictional realm of Tamriel, a Tolkienesque world filled with men, elves, Khajitt (cat-men) Argonians (lizard-men) and a prodigious amount of magic and steel.
Morrowind, was released in 2002 and it changed the entire rpg gaming scene. Anyone who has played the game at the time it was released will never forget the first time the player character steps out of boat in Seyda Neen and the game environment is revealed.

RPGs had always been a drop down and side scrolling affair with titles like Diablo,  Baldurs Gate and Fallout. With Morrowind, the first person view and graphics of a first person shooter were combined with the depth and story of an RPG. Whereas older rpg Titles were point and click affairs, Morriwind introduced a level of control completely immersed the player. At the time, fans of Counterstrike other FPS games would immediately recognize the similarity of control and experience.
The amount of freedom was immense. Morrowind was one of the pioneer games in introducing a non linear, almost sandbox type of RPG. There was a main story line which the character could complete yet the true enjoyment was in the side quests. Want to be an assassin? Join the Morag Tong. Want to be an imperial officer? Join the Legion. Want to be a priest? Join the imperial cult. There were so many factions, each with their own story and quests. You could be anything you wanted. You could do anything you wanted, from a sword and board warrior to a Battlemage levitating around the gameworld.

From the very start of the game, you are given the freedom to pursue any goal in any way possible. Want to get through a locked door? You could pick the lock, cast a spell unlocking the door, pickpocket the key from a NPC or simply jump around town until you reach a window to the same building. The possibilities were endless. The sheer size and detail of the game world was gigantic. A developer even commented that the ingame size of the gameworld was bigger than England.

With its size however, came many bugs and quest inconsistencies. All in all however, Morrowind is still one of the best RPG’s around and a truly revolutionary game. 

Ernesto Mario S. Mascenon Jr.
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