Reviewed on xbox

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

                      Reviewed By: Ashton

Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft) and PC
Produced by: Bethesda Softworks
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-2 hrs.
Age level: Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Genre: Roleplaying Game (RPG)
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensiv)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

The Elder Scrolls saga has always been known by its loyal followers for the immense size and design of the world. The possibilities of play are literally unlimited. Do it the way you want it.

Graphics for this game (reviewed for the Xbox videogame system) are pretty good for the time, though they ARE a lot better on PC. Huge cities with different denizens, of all races and appearances. Cultural diversity can actually be seen as you travel through the world. Architectual style in one part of the island of Vvardenfell will disappear and change as you gradually move the other direction. Huge, huge landscapes, tons of caverns, hidden grottoes, shrines, etc. litter the landscape. Tons of stuff to discover.

Gameplay is very excellent. As I said before, you play it the way you want it. Wanna be a heroic warrior, slaying murderous beasts that get too close to your blade? Go ahead. Want to be a petty thief, living in the shadows, sneaking around, looking for the next artifact of value to get your paws on? You can. Different races add lots of variety, as each race has different bonuses and weaknesses. Guilds and 'Houses' to join further expand possibilities of gameplay.

Did I mention the fact that you can completely turn away from the main quest and do whatever? There is no set path. I haven't even touched the main quest yet at 30 hours into the game, and I still haven't gotten bored or found myself with a lack of things to do.

As with all games, though, there is some offensive material. The game is heavily laden with violence, though none is too serious. Mostly it consist of hunting bandits, monsters, whatever. However, if you want, you can go on killing innocents and peackeepers of the towns and cities. Sometimes this is necessary to truly 'roleplay' your character (what use is a power-hungry warlord without a town to call his own? Conquer!) Combat isn't too horribly violent. Puffs of dark red particles signify a hit, usually accompanying an insult, remark, or groan from your opponent.

There are some instances of magic and occult things. Magic is a big part of the game. Even if you choose to be a warrior, thief, or mix of the two, you'll probably end up using magic at one point or another. No rituals or worshipping required, though. It's more like movie-magic… wave your hands and something happens.

There are dark shrines around the world (Daedric Shrines) where you can find books and other lore about a not-so-secret demon worshipping cult. There are no demonic symbols, though, and killing these worshippers (or the demons) is more than adequately rewarded with great weapons and other riches that lie within.

All in all, Morrowind is what you make it. Be an old hermit, living in the woods, living only by food retrieved from his hunt. Be a sneaky thief or an assassin. Maybe your typical wood-elven ranger, using bows and daggers as your primary weapons. Get yourself bitten and creep through the night as a vampire. Be kind to the citizens around you, or swindle them mercilessly. Free slaves, or take them along with you and make them fight alongside you. The content in the game depends on what you make of it.

Year of Release—2002

Positive—First things first: it is POSSIBLE to make this game offensive. But doing so would mean you're the kind of person who isn't offended by what you're doing. Just playing as a Christian shouldn't be any different than real life in the world. For instance, early in the game you hear about “The House of Earthly Delights” in Suran, which is pretty much a brothel and a strip-joint. Do you have to go in there, though? Nope. And unless you download a mod specifically designed for obscenity or pornography, there is no nudity in the game. This actually brings me to a very positive aspect; the replay value. Not only is this game HUGE, but it offers an infinite amount of replay value thanks to the construction set packaged with it. There are already well over 1,000 user-made mods in circulation over the net. Now, about the game itself.

1. It is GORGEOUS. The graphics and level design are some of the most beautiful ever seen on a computer.

2. It is NON-LINEAR. Do whatever you want. Be a Crusader. A wondering Evangelist. Create you're own class and do whatever.

3. It is FUN. Train your skills to the point where you run like lightning and jump like a flea.

By the way, theoretically, you don't even NEED to kill a single game-character. If you use the hand-to-hand skill, you can merely knock them out.

   —Brian Roberts, age 21

Positive—The graphics in this game are out of this world; they have to be seen top be believed. Try standing on the seashore at sunrise or wandering through the wilderness on a clear starry night, you'll be awed by the beauty of the world that Bethesda Softworks have created. A genuine classic, and there are now two expansion packs, Tribunal and Bloodmoon, which add even more environments and adventures. Thumbs up!! My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Alison, age 25

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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