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ZOOM The Elder Scrolls III
Morrowind
Sold Out (Win98/Me/2000/XP) (Retail Box) (MORROWPR)
NOTE: Included in Morrowind GOTY and Morrowind Gold.
Discontinued

Developer: Bethesda
Publisher: UbiSoft

Ratings:

97 from ToTheGame

from Four Fat Chicks

Sequel to Arena and Daggerfall

Snatched from prison by the Emperor's decree, you arrive at the port of Seyda Neen with nothing but the name of a contact in Balmora... completely ignorant of the Prophecies of the Incarnate, your mission, and the role you are to play in the Morrowind's history. Will you play an heroic warrior or a stealthy thief? Will you join a mages guild or the assassin guild? Will you explore in the huge open-ended world or will you complete all the quests and find the Truth? You're the only one to answer those questions. You write the Story.

GEOGRAPHY:

Morrowind is the northeastmost province of the Tamrielic Empire, bounded on the north and east by the ocean, on the west by Skyrim, on the southwest by Cyrodiil (also known as the Imperial Province), and on the south by Black Marsh (also known as Argonia). Vvardenfell District consists of the island of Vvardenfell, surrounded by the Inland Sea, and dominated by the titanic volcano Red Mountain and its associated ash wastelands. Only recently open to settlement and trade, most of the island's population is confined to the relatively hospitable west and southwest coast, centered around the ancient city of Vivec and the old Great House district centers at Balmora, Ald'ruhn, and Sadrith Mora. The rest of the island is covered by hostile desert wastes, arid grasslands, and volcanic badlands, and thinly populated by the nomadic Ashlander tribes.

CULTURES:

Three major cultural groupings have settled Vvardenfell: the Ashlander nomads, the Imperial Provincial culture, and the Dunmer Great House culture. The smallest settlements are the Ashlander nomadic camps, comprised of small portable huts. Recent Imperial colonies like Pelagiad display the same sturdy half-timbered homes and stone castles as might be found in Daggerfall or any other Western province.

POLITICS AND RELIGION:

Vvardenfell District's Grand Council, presided over by the sovereign Lord Vedam Dren, Duke of Ebonheart and Vvardenfell, is dominated by five interest groups: the three Great Houses, the Temple, and the Imperial colonists. The Temple and House Redoran are champions of ancient Dunmer customs and privileges, and uncompromising and intolerant worshippers of the native religion call the Tribunal Temple, which venerates three immortal god-kings -- Lord Vivec, Lord Sotha Sil, and Lady Almalexia. The Imperial colonists and House Hlaalu find common cause in their shared tastes for progress, tolerant polytheism, free trade, and vigorous exploitation of Vvardenfell's untapped resources. The policies of House Telvanni's sorcerer-lords are completely unpredictable, whimsically allying with or opposing one faction or another for their own obscure reasons.

Key Features

Open-ended world allows you to follow the main plot from beginning to end, wander off in search of adventure in any way you see fit, or any combination of both.

The Elder Scrolls Construction Set ships with the game and allows you to create and import plug-ins that extend gameplay almost indefinitely with new items, characters, dungeons, and areas to explore.

Stunning visuals with full day/night lighting effects, realistic weather effects, fantastic spell effects, and incredibly detailed creatures, characters, and landscape.

Customizable interface allows information windows to be hidden, resized, and manipulated with simple drag-and-drop functionality.

World is centered around you. All the other characters change their perception of you based on your actions, allowing you to experience the world as an evil character or noble do-gooder with realistic repercussions and results.

Balanced gameplay ensures that thief, magic user, and fighter classes enjoy equal benefits and status in the world and that no one class enjoys an unfair advantage over any other.

Hundreds of locations to explore in the wilderness, including caves, ruins, dungeons, and more.

Unique spell system allows you to combine any spell effects you've learned and fine tune their power, range, effect, and more, to allow for an infinite number of spells.

Requirements:

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP: Windows ME/98 128 MB RAM * Windows XP/2000 256 MB RAM * 500 MHz Intel Pentium III, Celeron, or AMD Athlon processor * 8x CD/DVD-ROM Drive * 1 GB free hard disk space * Windows swapfile * DirectX 8.1 (included) * 32MB Direct3D compatible video card with 32-bit color support and DirectX 8.1 compatible driver * DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card * Keyboard, Mouse

RECOMMENDED: 800 MHz or faster Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon processor * 256 MB RAM * NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS, or ATI Radeon 7500 or faster video card

Ratings:

ToTheGame by Terje S. Bø

"One major point about this game is that it's big. It's huge. I've seen questions like "how long does it take to walk from one end of the gameworld to the other?". That's a very hard question to answer, as it depends on your character - the character's speed, athletics skill, and how much stuff the character is carrying. Also, it depends on whether you walk east-west or north-south. And what mountains are in the way. The short answer is that there is no short answer, and that you'd grow way frustrated on the way, because you'd be sure to pass by dozens of cave entrances, small camps, and other interesting places. Not to mention meeting a horde of cliffracers, some cute scribs, and some not-so-cute rats. The world is filled with creatures, and here's my first complaint. There are too many cliffracers. After you've progressed a little in combat abilities, they become nothing more than an annoyance. An annoyance that is not easily ignored, since they fly faster than you run, and they sometimes carry diseases. So, even if you could handle the damage they deal, you would want to kill them ASAP, because diseases are B.A.D."

"Graphically, the game is a treat! Locations are varied, as are creatures. There are almost no "cookie cutter fantasy CRPG creatures" (the rat being the only exception) and all the creatures behave believably. The dumb creatures are truly dumb, while the smarter creatures tend to use sound tactics. NPCs vary too, but over a narrower scale. Still they use some surprising tactics at times. For instance, an NPC I was fighting (the NPC used a warhammer) suddenly decided to holster his warhammer and administer a few hand-to-hand punches. Hand-to-hand lowers an opponents fatigue, so these are sound tactics that can make an enemy fall prone and lay helpless. The NPCs, by the way, look great - individual pieces of armour can be worn, and are visible on the character model. If you kill that character, you can pick up the armour. The same goes for clothing and weapons."

"With all its good points and its few bad points, the thing that impresses me most about Morrowind is its scope. It's huge, and I don't think any player will see all there is to be seen in the world of Morrowind."

Four Fat Chicks by Steerpike

"For those considering a purchase of Morrowind, you'd better take a hard look at what your computer has under the hood before you whip out your credit card. The system requirements for Morrowind are nothing short of insane—Bethesda Softworks suggests a minimum of 800 MHz and 256 megabytes of RAM if you're running Windows XP; I recommend more. It will gobble a gigabyte of hard drive space and consume your Windows swapfile so voraciously that some newsgroups are suggesting you set your minimum paging size to another gigabyte. Though the game only requires a graphic card with DirectX 8.1 support and 32 megabytes of onboard memory, Morrowind is really made to shine with the newest generation of cards only—GeForce 3 and 4 (but not GeForce 4 MX), Radeon 7500 and 8500, and the upcoming offerings from Matrox and Creative—that is, video cards that support programmable pixel shaders.

"If you have the system to run it, though, Morrowind is worth the horsepower it requires: it's the most beautiful CRPG I've ever seen, and all those megahertz it demands go to very good use. A brand-new engine brings the bleak world of Vvardenfell into jaw-dropping, pixel-shaded glory. I was floored by the breathtaking vistas that open up before you in the spectacle that is Morrowind's graphics engine. The water, especially, is miles ahead of the usual effects we see in today's accelerated games. Even the most I-don't-care-about-graphics gamers will be drooling when they see raindrops pattering into fully reflective, bump-mapped, pixel-shaded rivers and lakes. If you've got the computage to run full-screen antialiasing to go with the pixel shading, you're in for a visual treat you won't soon forget. Add to this the fact that nothing—not one thing—in the game is a sprite, but rather every object, from the apples on the tables to the blades of grass in the ground, is a 3D model, and you'll appreciate it further."

"Bethesda learned harsh lessons from Daggerfall, though, and they're not the type of studio that repeats mistakes (they make new ones). Gone is the randomly generated over- and underworld of Daggerfall. Gone are the catacombs that were so impossibly huge you could literally spend months of game time lost in them. In Morrowind, the world is colossal, yes—but it's tight and logical. Dungeons have a clear beginning, middle, and end, even if some of them are enormous. The automap feature is tremendously improved. Outdoor travel won't leave you feeling like you're wandering in an empty wilderness—Vvardenfell sports a nice set of roads, and some conscientious Island Planner stuck plenty of signs in the ground so you'll always have an idea of where you're going..."

"Bethesda claims more than 400 unique quests pepper the game. It felt like I'd done a lot more than that, and all are interesting and well-conceived. You will find the occasional "Deliver Object A to Person B" FedEx quests, but for the most part your assignments are complex and exciting. Even better, there are usually several ways to succeed. If you're sent to shake down an antiquities dealer for some valuable Dwarven artifacts, for example, you could follow the letter of the quest, or rob the store, or loot some Dwarven ruins yourself, or hire someone else to do it, or any number of other possible alternatives. For the first time we're beginning to see games with the kind of technology required to support multiple creative solutions to problems. Bethesda has once again taken a grand leap forward as it blurs the line between computer and tabletop roleplaying..."

"It is a beautiful, exciting, rich, and well-written game. It is everything that a great CRPG hopes to be. I certainly hope that other gamers are enjoying it as much as I am, because we've suffered through a long RPG dry spell where titles that hit the shelves brought very little creativity or newness to the table. Now at last we have something to tide us over. And since every game of Morrowind will be fundamentally different depending on the path you choose to take through the story, gamers who finish Morrowind will probably turn around and start right over again as thieves. Or knights. Or witch hunters. Or battlemages. Or bards. Or pilgrims. Or sorcerers. Or alchemists. Or barbarians. Or monks. Or ..."

Quandary Review by Clint Mullins

"Character creation in Morrowind is a joy. You can select from pre-made characters or answer a series of questions to determine your character as in the Ultima series. I chose the third option which is to custom make your own. Shortly after, Cayra my Mystic Blade was on a ship arriving at the port of Seyda Neen. At this point you are given a package to deliver which starts the main quest rolling. However, the delivery of this package can be delayed as long as you want giving you the chance to explore for yourself."

"The armor and weapons you choose appear instantly on your character. Pressing the Tab key gives you a third person view so you can admire yourself. I have actually used armor with a poorer rating because it looked cool. Combat itself is relatively simple, just a matter of clicking the cursor on your opponent. You can vary the attack using direction keys but there is an option in the settings to always use the best attack. Holding the mouse button down longer makes you hit harder but you leave yourself open to attacks."

"One of the genuinely exciting things about this game is the ability to download ‘plug-ins’. These are extra areas, items or changes to the game play made by other players. (You can contribute your own if you like). You simply download them, put them in the correct folder and then check a box to include them in the game."



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