Morrowind is an iconic game that has left an indelible mark on the gaming industry. Released in 2002, it was the third installment in the Elder Scrolls series, and it quickly became a classic. For many gamers, Morrowind holds a special place in their hearts, and its revolutionary open-world design and sprawling storyline still draw people in today. But is Morrowind still worth playing, more than two decades after its initial release? After revisiting the game, I can confidently say that Morrowind is a timeless classic that still stands the test of time. Its captivating story, immersive world, and engaging combat system make it a must-play for any fan of role-playing games. But don’t take my word for it — see for yourself why Morrowind is still beloved by gamers around the world.
Is Morrowind Worth Playing?
Absolutely! Morrowind is one of the most popular and beloved video games of all time. It has won multiple awards, including Game of the Year from numerous publications. It’s an open-world RPG released in 2002, set in a fantasy universe inspired by medieval Europe. The game is incredibly detailed and immersive, with a huge variety of characters, locations, quests, and items to explore. Combat is a big part of the game and you can choose from a variety of weapons and spells to customize your experience. The graphics are dated by today’s standards, but still quite pleasant to look at.
What Makes Morrowind Stand Out?
- Morrowind is a unique game that defies easy classification. It shares certain elements with other RPG franchises, like The Elder Scrolls, but it does things its own way. The result is a game that offers something for everyone.
- Whether you love exploring, questing, building, or sailing, Morrowind has something for you. And with a huge, open world and a robust modding community, you can play it however you like. In order to appreciate Morrowind, it helps to know a little bit about its development.
- Bethesda Game Studios was still a young company when it released The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The studio had yet to release its breakout hit, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and was still largely a PC developer.
- Following the success of The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, the team decided to try something new with the third installment. Rather than focusing on making a big game, they aimed to make a small game with a big world. The result was a game that’s still worth playing today.
Revisiting The Story Of Morrowind
- Morrowind’s story follows an unnamed prisoner’s quest for freedom. After being captured and imprisoned on the volcanic island of Vvardenfell, the protagonist joins a rebel group called the “Dreughslayers” and attempts to overthrow the despotic “Great Houses” of Morrowind.
- Along the way, you learn about the unique culture and history of Vvardenfell and make important choices that affect the story’s outcome. Morrowind’s story is told through a combination of storytelling, non-player characters (NPCs), and environmental storytelling.
- Through the game’s events, characters, and environments, players learn about the history of Vvardenfell, the Great Houses’ rise to power, and the cult of the “Houses.” Environmental storytelling is particularly important to the game’s story.
- Many of the world’s locations tell their own stories, which players can read through journal entries, books, and other items were strewn throughout the landscape.
Examining Morrowind’s Open-World Design
- Morrowind features an immense open world that, at the time of release, was unprecedented in the RPG genre. Players can travel throughout the entire game world, exploring strange and unique landscapes.
- As you travel across the island, you encounter unique characters and creatures, solve puzzles, and uncover ancient artifacts. Exploring the world isn’t limited to foot travel, either. You can also sail between settlements and pursue the game’s many quests at your own pace.
- Morrowind’s open-world design is a major part of its appeal. But it also contributes to one of the game’s only major flaws: the game world can feel empty and lifeless at times.
- This happens most often when you travel between settlements, as there are few landmarks or interesting features to break up the journey. However, Morrowind’s barren open-world design is also part of its charm. It gives the game the feeling of an isolated island, far removed from the rest of the world.
Looking At Morrowind’s Combat System
- Morrowind’s combat system is a departure from other RPGs, which typically feature real-time combat. In Morrowind, you take turns to attack, use abilities, and cast spells, much like in tabletop role-playing games. Players can use different types of weapons and armor, and they have three attributes — strength, stamina, and health — that determine their effectiveness in combat. However, Morrowind’s combat system isn’t just a simple balance of stats.
- You can also use combinations and special moves to deal more damage. While Morrowind’s combat system may seem a little dated these days, particularly compared to other games in the series, it’s still an engaging way to fight enemies and solve puzzles.
- It also has a huge, dedicated modding community that has created many new challenges and gameplay systems. Morrowind is a great game to play if you’re looking for something a little more unique, but still want to enjoy a classic RPG experience.
What Makes Morrowind So Beloved By Gamers?
- Morrowind is a hugely popular game, and it’s easy to see why. It has everything an RPG fan could want: an immersive world, an engaging story, and a level of customization that lets you play the game your way.
- It’s also the game where Bethesda introduced its “Elder Scrolls” name and lore. While The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall was set in the same world, it didn’t use the “Elder Scrolls” name. But that’s not the only reason why so many people have fallen in love with Morrowind.
- The game was also a bit of a risk, as it went in a different direction to its predecessors. While the previous games were single-player, real-time RPGs, Morrowind was an open-world, turn-based RPG.
Why Morrowind Is Still Worth Playing
- Unique Open World: Morrowind’s open-world design is unique among RPGs, and it offers a huge variety of environments to explore.
- Immersive Story: Morrowind’s story is intriguing, and it’s made all the more compelling by its deep lore.
- Character Customization: Players can create their own character from scratch, allowing for a truly personalized experience.
- Turn-Based Combat System: Morrowind’s turn-based combat system is engaging and tactical, and it offers an alternative to real-time combat systems found in other RPGs.
- Quests & Side Quests: There are plenty of quests to keep players busy, as well as optional side quests that reward you with unique items or rewards.
- Variety of Weapons & Armor: Players can choose from a wide range of weapons and armor, allowing them to customize their play style to fit their needs.
- Environments & Landscapes: Morrowind’s landscapes are stunning and varied, from the Ashland of Vvardenfell to the lush forests of Cyrodiil.
- Creatures & Enemies: The world of Morrowind is filled with a variety of creatures and enemies, each with its own unique abilities and strategies.
- Modding Community: The Morrowind modding community has created hundreds of mods, adding new content, gameplay systems, and challenges for players to enjoy.
- Replayability: With so much to explore and do in the game, there’s plenty of replay value for players who want to experience everything Morrowind has to offer.
Morrowind is a beloved game for good reason. Its unique open-world design, turn-based combat system, and deep customization options make it a classic RPG experience. It was also the first game to use the “Elder Scrolls” name and lore, which has been expanded on in subsequent games. Whether you’re a fan of RPGs or just looking for something different, Morrowind is an excellent choice.