by Garrett Ashley
In celebration of the apparent flop of Elder Scrolls Online, I decided to crank up 2011’s Skyrim for the first time in months. In case you didn’t already know, The Elder Scrolls V is a hugely successful game both critically and commercially—I won’t bother providing any references because it’s old news and all the reviews are pretty much the same. People seem to love The Elder Scrolls. And I don’t blame them. The games are great. So in light of all this, I wanted to talk about 2002’s Morrowind, one of my favorite games of all time.
I don’t have much to say about the mechanics of the game. There are a lot of flaws (if you’ve ever experienced the battle system, you know what I mean) but all of that can be overlooked in place of what the game actually offers. There’s a map that actually feels huge. There’s no guidance system like a compass to lead you in the right direction, and the only way you can keep up with quests is through a journal system that updates when events are triggered.
There’s a sense of reward around every corner, making exploration a general necessity for the hardcore fantasy gamer. And exploration somehow seems better in Morrowind despite its limited graphical quality—Skyrim offers impressive vistas, sure, but Morrowind offers more environmental storytelling, which is a better sort of fuel for the imagination.