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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of the Year Edition - XB - Preview

"Fear not, for I am watchful ..."

A passenger on a ship docking in Seyda Neen, Morrowind. There is destiny here, there is promise of a better future, but there is also mystery.

Morrowind Game of the Year edition from Bethesda Softworks is a pending release for the Xbox. Finally console users will get to see what PC gamers have been excited about for so long. Of course, Xbox fans have already had a taste of Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III, but the Game of the Year edition is a package of that game plus two of the expansions - Tribunal and Bloodmoon - previously only available to PC users.

GameZone was invited to take a look at the beta build of this game, so immediately stowed away on the ship bound for a rich adventure in a fascinating land.

For the uninitiated, Morrowind is an expansive role-playing game that is played primarily from the first-person perspective. You begin as a prisoner on a ship, bound for an island that is, more or less, a on the outskirts of the empire. The Emperor himself has sent you there, and you have been given a name of a person to find.

It is your task to locate that person, which, in turn, will launch you on an adventure filled with quests and side-quests that will consume many, many hours of game play. There is trouble in the Empire and Blades, or spies, are needed. It seems you are one of those. Oh, and there was mention of a prophecy, and it seems that you might be the one to fulfill it.

While Morrowind is a graphically rich game, particularly enjoyable is the way that this game has been configured to work with the Xbox controller. This is a two-handed (or two-thumbed) effort, with thumbsticks controlling not only movement but where you look - which essentially controls your movement. But generally the control elements are succinct and very easy for anyone to control.

There is a disturbance in the night and you awaken to find a new quest in your journal. The Dark Brotherhood has attacked, and it is your task to track the would-be assassin. Thus begins the adventure of the Tribunal expansion. This follows the thread of two semi-immortals in the realm, and presents another challenge in the form of a new king on the throne who is bent of eliminating all those he sees as a threat.

This expansion alone adds 20-40 hours of game play to the original game..

Hirstaang Forest ... the howl of wolves cuts through the dark, giving an eerie feel to the night. Snow falls steadily, but the mission continues. However there is something strange here. Ah yes, there was that battle with a werewolf and ... no! You have the curse and are a werewolf!

Bloodmoon was the second expansion to Morrowind and takes place on the island of Solstheim. This portion of the tale relies a little strongly on some aspects of Norse mythology. Not only that, but being a werewolf is not half bad, unless someone sees you transform into one. That is not a good thing. If one person sees you, all will know and you will be ostracized.

Morrowind is a game that has held steady in top-selling Xbox titles and the GOTY Edition does nothing but expand the realms and game play. These worlds, unto themselves, are huge but when you combine all three titles into one box, well, good thing winter is coming on because this will feel like hibernation - just you, your Xbox and this title. It is very easy to get lost in this title.

Graphically, the look is superb. And the sound of the game is rich and wonderful. The world is alive with ambient sounds, and the musical score is tremendous.

What it basically comes down to is this: if you own an Xbox and like RPGs, you will want to own this title. If you have the original Morrowind title, the expansions offered here will consume a lot more of your life, and are worth the time to play.

This is a great value, and tremendous package.

Gw
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