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Skyrim: Dawnguard – Preview

Developer/Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Dates: Summer 2012 (Xbox 360), TBA 2012 (PC, PS3)

by Matthew F. Hibben

Bethesda has just released the first information on an expansion for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  The highly anticipated expansion will be named Dawnguard and feature a heavy vampire theme.  This Game Tech article will give players a glimpse at what is in store for fans of Skyrim, as well as analyze the released information.

The Themes

The theme of Dawnguard seems to revolve around vampires, bringing in the classic theme of conflicting factions so prevalent in Skyrim.  Based on the video released we have the vampires on one side and the Dawnguard on the other.  It is safe to assume players will at some point be able to venture down one path or the other.  What is not clear from the preview is what will become of players that became werewolves. 

Players that progressed down the Companions storyline eventually were given the option to become a werewolf and consequently lock themselves from becoming a vampire.  I am sure Bethesda will create some mechanic to address this in the expansion, however only time will tell how well the implementation performs.

The Story

The story seems to be a clash of the forces of Vampires and the Dawnguard in a struggle picking up after the events in Skyrim’s main campaign.  The narration describes the central conflicts that transpired and suggests the world being ripe for yet another.  Based on the footage it seems the vampires are somehow trying to reshape the face of Skyrim so that they can once again travel the world unhindered.

New Features

Many new features are shown in the video footage of Dawnguard including new items, monsters, and mechanics.  New items coming with the expansion seem to be a new weapon type “crossbow”, monsters in the form of variations on trolls and dragons, as well as a transformation of the vampire form akin to that of the werewolf.

Final Thoughts

I for one am very excited for the first expansion for Skyrim, and hopefully this is not the last.  Dawnguard brings to the table elements that felt lacking in Skyrim, mainly the lackluster presence of vampires that had been more prevalent in previous titles. It will be exciting to see how this next chapter in the story unfolds this summer.

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