reviews\ Nov 18, 2002 at 7:00 pm

The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal - PC - Review

Morrowind was just the beginning. And if you spent a lot of time creating and advancing a character to work through that epic, then you are about to be rewarded.

Tribunal is the expansion to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and game players must have the original in order to play the new scenarios. This is a true expansion, requiring you to have a character worthy of the challenge which lies ahead.

Tribunal does include the latest Morrowind patches according to executive producer Todd Howard. However, the game still had a couple of crashes related to mouse/menu controls, which was addressed in patch version 1.2.0722. Howard said that players should refrain from getting that patch because it "will revert things backwards."

This expansion does bring a host of new attributes to the original game. New journal features allow players to sort through all key elements of a quest en route to accomplishing it. You can also place notes on a map now (a feature that has been a staple in other RPG titles), and in the principle new city opened up by Tribunal, Mournhold, you can hire a mercenary to fight with you. However, you must show a profit in your adventures or he will quit.

Pack animals are also for sale, and a new feature has been added to the barter menu ­ the seller max button that automatically allows you to match the seller’s maximum gold amount when selling expensive items.

There are also new monsters and new armor and weapons available.

Tribunal doesn’t actually begin until you rest your character. A disturbance awakens you and when you open up your journal, you find an entry and the first Tribunal quest ­ Dark Brotherhood Attacks. Should you pursue this quest, you will track the would-be assassin to Ebonheart, where a mage transports you to Mournhold, the capital of Morrowind.

A new king has taken the throne, and this is a nasty person. He is bent on eliminating all those who pose a threat to him. Those who have played Morrowind know that the Tribunal refers to the three semi-immortals (Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil), deified by the Dunmer Elves. Vivec is in Morrowind and you do get the opportunity to meet him in the original game. Tribunal allows players to follow the story thread of the other two god-kings. Almalexia is seeking for a way to restore her fading power while Sotha Sil has plans that may well alter the course of Morrowind forever.

This expansion adds another 20-40 hours of gameplay to the original story.

Aside from new monsters to battle and new buttons in menus, very little has changed in regards to controls, video. The audio portion of the program has been tweaked a bit so you can hear the inflections in an NPC’s voice that may give you a clue what they think about you.

As engaging as Morrowind is, Tribunal offers a different experience. This is a game for strong characters. Yes, you can launch into Tribunal with a lower level character, but you had better save the game at every opportunity. This is a program that only the strong will survive. If you do, you will find this game full of the same kind of imagination, the same twists and turns that marked Morrowind.

Tribunal is a fitting addendum to the original game. With huge new dungeons, and fun new storylines, it continues the epic adventure.

(For a review of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind please see

This game is rated Teen for blood and violence.


Gameplay: 9
Morrowind featured open-ended game play, allowing players to pick and choose which quests to go on from the host offered. The map boards were huge, and you could spend hours wondering from one city to the next, battling your way through an assortment of creatures. Tribunal offers well-designed areas as well, including the dungeons and the Clockwork City of Sotha Sil.

Graphics: 9
The animation of your avatar, when viewed from the third-person perspective, seems a little wooden, but the NPCs and monsters all move well. The environments are terrific

Sound: 9.3
Not much has been done here, save for the way NPCs address your avatar. Nonetheless, the audio quality of this program is still wonderful.

Difficulty: Medium
The same player interface makes the program easy to work through. The real difficulty lies in the construction of the expansion. This is a challenging game.

Concept: 9
Building an expansion for an established winner is always tough, but this game manages to expand upon the themes introduced in Morrowind. Introduction of mercenaries and pack animals, as well as upgrading elements like the journal are very nice touches.

Overall: 8.9
This is not a game for a newcomer to the series, and it does require the original title in order to play. Though the expansion does contain the latest Morrowind patches, the game still had a couple of crash problems which speaks of game stability. The game does open up new areas of the island, and does challenge players. It is graphically strong, and a welcomed addition to the Morrowind realm.


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