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Xbox The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
AFXRating: Teen
Type: RPG MSRP: $29.99
Players: 1 Available: October 2003

When Morrowind first came out last June, Xbox owners rejoiced. Not only was a quality RPG finally available for the system, but it served to validate the hope that some of the more ambitious PC games were able to be reproduced on the Xbox, and they could be done faithfully and well. Sure it froze up sometimes, and the save times were very long after a while, but most of us made the best of it and just learned to save more often and to use those save times to make a batch of cookies. We were killing people and stealing things and decorating our houses. It was a good time for all of us.

Then, the PC version of the game saw an expansion, and it made us sad. Tribunal came out that November and introduced PC owners to Mournhold, the capital city of Morrowind. It brought in some new enemies, like goblins and lich lords, and you know there were some new weapons and armor that would look great in your house in there too.

As we Xbox owners came to terms with our lack of Tribunals, it was announced that the PC guys would see yet another expansion that we wouldn't - this one called Bloodmoon. The add-on would let them become werewolves that could fight only with their hands and had to kill one non-playable character per night to survive. Our houses started to seem as empty as our hearts.

Now, its time to pick up your virtual orc chin, and start getting ready for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year edition, coming to the Xbox this October because Bethesda loves you. It's going to contain the original Morrowind, of course, but you’ll also have access to those two expansions, as they are included too.

As if that news weren't good enough, GOTY is only going to cost a mere $29.99, just ten dollars more than what the original costs alone. You may be thinking to yourself at this point that because you've put a lot of time into your Morrowind character (and you have if you’re any kind of man), that starting over seems like quite a task. Rest easy, because you'll be able to use that very same character in GOTY, right down to his pretty glass armor.

So, not only do we get the new areas, enemies, weapons, and armor that Tribunal offers, but anyone who's anyone wants to be a werewolf. As I mentioned before, werewolves get to kill an NPC each night to satisfy their bloodlust and to keep from losing health, but they also get to fight with their bare hands, and they are extremely strong while doing it. You aren't able to pick up anything while in your canine state, so you'll have to return to the scene of any crimes later if you see that skull you've always wanted for your mantle.

Another bit of interest about the werewolf is the fact that you can lead a double life. Your noble knight might do kind deeds for the villagers by day and then return to rip them apart at night, and as long as they never witness your change at sundown, they'll never be the wiser. Unfortunately, if they do see you change, they'll never regard you the same again. People will run from you and guards won't like you much at all. You can be cured of your lycanthropy should this happen, and upon leaving you in jail overnight to verify that you won't change, all will be good again with the people of Morrowind. Become infected and change into a wolf in front of someone again, however, and you're branded as trouble for life.

The new game also gives you access to some new areas. Besides the aforementioned capital city of Mournhold, there are also the Clockwork City of Sotha Sil and Solstheim, an icy, sparsely inhabited little island off of the northwest coast of the mainland. The island contains only a mining colony, which you will help to build and defend from the werewolves, should you choose to. With the new areas in the game come a few new enemies, including bears, wolves, ice minions, and spriggans. The bears in particular are a sight to behold.

So, to review, here's what's great about The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind Game of the Year edition so far:

  • Only $29.99, and you can use your existing character saves
  • New quests
  • Werewolves
  • New areas, including the capitol city of Mournhold, the island of Solstheim, and the Clockwork City of Sotha Sil.
  • Wolves, bears, lich lords, goblins, spriggans, and ice minions are among to enemies to do battle with
  • More decorations make for a nicer home (Feng Shui, baby)

I had an opportunity to see GOTY at E3, and I have to say that it looks as promising as it sounds, so you know we'll have new information and impressions of the game as they become available. Stay tuned, and find some more shelf space. There are more trinkets to be had, after all.


The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year

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