|>>|| No. 19643
The only way you'll enjoy Morrowind is if you're able to see past the game mechanics and imperfections long enough to get a buzz from exploring what feels like a genuinely alien world, where for just a moment you're sucked into the illusion that you're not uncovering a predetermined story but have found something original, put there especially for you. This kind of detail is the only thing in my mind that really allows the game to be considered a classic. For all of the elements that date, there is something clever about the idea of plonking the player character in the middle of an extremely detailed environment with no hint of where to go next. It only clicks when you strike on a good pathway or two that lead you throughout the game, or a few things that give you some context for the places you're exploring beyond the boilerplate responses of most of the NPCs.
It demands quite a lot from players, but you have to treat it like you actually care for your character, a vulnerable ex-prisoner in a hostile land. You want to interact with the right NPCs, secure a bed, storage, some money. If I remember right there's around a dozen factions and guilds to join depending on the inclination of your character, all with separate story arcs, all cooperating or competing in a surprisingly realistic way. It's probably a matter a taste, but I actually like how uncompromising the game is on this; if you decide to run around the wilderness and eat animal meat, stumbling from one town to the next, then it actually makes some sense that nothing will ever happen for your character. No one will hear your name or care about you. However, if you go out and deliberately try to make a reputation for yourself, the ball starts rolling and before you know it you're embroiled in a criminal turf war, or doing favours for crooked politicians, or crushing a rebellious union, or freeing slaves, or performing miracles for commoners, or assassinating wizards. Christ, I could shit up an entire thread with the level of detail I put into some of the characters I lived out in this game.
If you love lore and have a little bit of imagination, you can get absolutely lost, crafting your own characters stories. The politics, the mythology, the books, they all borrow from historical cultures and have all been put together with a great deal of care. The first-person perspective is no coincidence, also, the idea is you get immersed completely in the life of your character. It's about as truly 'sandbox' as a computer game can be, just enough visual aid and play mechanics to keep you engaged, but mostly it's about making your own fun with a beautiful template.
I can totally understand why that wouldn't tickle the fancy of everyone, but for a few years it had me transfixed. If I could get someone to pay me to play Morrowind, I'd be sorted in life.
My only big criticism of the game is that the NPCs are painfully inanimate. They're mostly there to fight with or deliver text. As rich as the dialogue is, your imagination will be filling in a lot of blanks for what is essentially a character model wandering about a set route. Mods can improve this and help the behaviour match the writing.
I also have no idea what the story is behind the image I've attached to this post.