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Summary: Dawnguard is the tale of some mystical clash between vampires and vampire hunters, and has some reference to the vigilants of Stendarr seen previously throughout Skyrim. Two new places are accessible - the Vampire castle and the Dawnguard castle located in opposite parts of the world. There are some new dungeons which are located inside the original Skyrim map. Comes with some new armour, new weapons, new vampire abilities and all that jazz.
Story - There some grizzly old veteran guy who controls the dawnguard, some depraved rapist/murderer/head vampire who controls the vampires. I went with the dawnguard simply because fuck vampires that's why. The Vampire side is shown to be extremely evil (at least the ones at the castle) so if you're the villain sort it'll be great for you. There is some underlying plot as to why the vampires have decided to show themselves so far, it involves a pretty girl, an elder scroll and some sort of special bow. To be honest the deeper I got into the story the less interested I've got. While I do find things involving elder scrolls usually pretty groovy, the story and quests appear to be simple go there fetch that talk to xyz to get him to do this etc. The story isn't too bad. There are some interesting elements, there is a part involving the snow elves which was quite nice but on the whole its average.
The exception to this was a very cool new quest line which was started after reading a book. There are a few quests in Skyrim like this already, but this one was one of the better quests I've finished in the game (and is added as part of this DLC). It involves the tracking of some sort of special forge that the dwaves built. What I enjoyed about this quest line was the maps which were drawn into a journal and the half solved puzzles that you had to refer to in order to complete the quest. Unlike other quests where the markers make it a straightforward process, this one felt more interact than previous quests. It was a good hour's worth of questing and was on the whole a good experience.
Gameplay - As per Skyrim. Crossbows are cool but if you never specialised in archery there is no reason to use them after the initial wow factor wears off. There is some new items available (armour) and a new spell or two, a new battle troll companion, but on the whole there isn't much added (if you're playing as Dawnguard). If you play as a vampire however, there is a slew of new and interesting abilities. In fact it almost seems like I'm 'doing it wrong' by playing as the dawnguard.
There has been some interesting new areas to explore, including the Soul Cairn which is some bad/evil places where souls are given to some special beings. A beautiful landscape that feels like I've stepped into an oblivion gate that was actually done well, but unfortunately they managed to make it boring with the quest lines inside involving 'find the 10 peices of paper scattered around the massive landscape, there are no quest markers, have fun!'. Luckily they are optional. There is also some amazing new caverns, valleys and ridges which have been very well done and are quite the joy to explore. This has been the highlight of the expansion.
Length - Overall it took me around 8 hours without pushing too hard to finish. I think its a good time for a DLC quest line but it really needed more to it for the price.
Overall - It is interesting enough to play if you wanted a few new toys for Skyrim and a new story which I will admit has some great voice acting. It does not seem to be worth the $25 you would have to pay for it without discount. I purchased it as part of a sale for around $5 and it seems to fit that price reasonably well.
I would recommend specifically buying this if you have an interest in playing as a vampire, or if you want to explore some very beautiful scenery.
Pretty good fun didn't get too far into it as its pretty tough and then I lost my skyrim urge, I would give it from here 4/5 (but still dont pay $25 what is this shit).