Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall – PC
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: August 31, 1996
Nerd Rating: 3 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
I have reviewed 3 of the five Elder Scrolls games so far, and this one really blows my mind. For a MS-Dos game, this thing is impressive to say the least, and I had to get a Dos emulator just to play it. The up side is ES I: Arena and ES II: Daggerfall are both legally free from Bethesda as a gift to us RPG lovers to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Elder Scrolls Series. Starting this off after having just finished Skyrim is really hard, because, well it’s a Dos game, remember DOOM? Yea it’s kind of like that, where all the enemies and NPCs are paper dolls. Still some aspects of this title are standard setters for it’s time.
First of all, Bethesda claims the scale of this game to be the size of Great Britain, although most of the terrain is randomly generated, this is mind boggling. This world features over 15,000 cities, towns, villages, and dungeons. Morrowind is supposedly 0.01% the size of Daggerfall, but here you can traverse the lands of High Rock and Hammerfell. With over 750,000 non-playable characters to interact with, although not well detailed, there is always someone new to talk to. I don’t think I’ve even seen that many people in real life, O.K. I know I haven’t because I’m always playing Video Games.
The downside to all these awesome statistics, is the key to the elaborateness, two words: Random Generation. Almost everything, except for the like 20 or so real quests, is randomly generated. The only difference between one town and another is the rearrangement of buildings and people. The towns have almost zero to do or care about. The dungeons…my….God….these are the longest and most confusing places I have ever traveled in a game, and I love long RPGs. The monotony of this game never ceases, and unless you just love delivering stuff, as every randomly generated quest involves, then you will all but shoot yourself in the head.
Now if you just like to wander and explore miles and miles of country side with no point to life but just existing, then this is the game for you. I will admit I get where they were going with this game, but after about 20 or so hours you will have seen all your going to see. If you just keep expecting for something awesome to happen, don’t, because it won’t. I did get to see the King of Worms as I have read about in the Elder Scrolls books(in game) in the sequels, but the cut scenes are actually video footage of actors dressed up as the part, little weird. At least you don’t have to read anything though.
Don’t be to down, you can still become a vampire, werewolf or even a wereboar(pretty much a werewolf with a wild boar’s head), I personally didn’t do the boar thing, but it does sound cool. Factions seem to play a little more important role when pertaining to making friends and enemies, like this game actually has real time downsides to joining certain guilds and benefits of course.
I’m not even going to tell you where the player begins the game….k I will, prison, big shock right? The escape from this place proved difficult, and I died allot trying to get out of here. Initially it took me a while to get used to the controls, I could use the typical W,A,S,D for movement but turning must be done by clicking in the direction I wanted to turn and holding it. This makes attacking and moving impossible, and positioning my self to hit anyone with an attack really hard. With that frustration aside, I did like the way combat with weapons is handled, as I hold the right mouse button, I could slide the mouse left or right and that would determine the direction of my attack. And I got to use a mace and chain! What ever happened to that weapon in the new ES games.
The initial character choosing at the beginning of the game is still fun to me, I don’t care if I even play after creation for more than an hour, I could just keep making people. The creation point in this one is still good, you can even pick what you want the face to look like. Of course you have your Major(called Primary in this game) and Minor(called major in this one) skills to choose from, then you can distribute a small allotment of points to your attributes and skills. Not only does your Race have an effect on your attributes, skills and resistances, but your gender does as well. This is probably the only thing from this game I wish would be brought to the new games. It makes choosing a race and gender actually mean something, beyond what you look like anyways. This is where my “3 out of 10” score comes from, this and the mouse movement combat.
I had to play it because I am a hardcore fan of the ES series, and I needed to return to the roots, but I will be honest, I won’t be playing it again. I really wouldn’t even suggest anyone else play it for that matter. If you want to see where it all began then by all means go for it. Clicking this LINK will allow you to download a legal version that doesn’t require a DOS emulator, once there just click on the DaggerfallSetup.exe and click save, I’ve tried this one out and seems to work great, Arena is also available on this site. So here it is: Graphics, bad, Combat, OK for it’s time, story, boring, game world, repetitive, and re-playability, none. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet and Daggerfall is definitely one of those eggs, thanks anyways Bethesda, I still love you. I’m sure if I played this when I was 12 years old(which I was when this was released) I would have undoubtedly loved it, but I didn’t, so I don’t.
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