Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Jun 28, 2012
    When you get 100-plus hours of gameplay out of the box, do you really want to spend another $20 for 20-or-so more? That's up to you, but Dawnguard is certainly worth the investment.
  2. Jul 2, 2012
    Dawnguard is an atmospheric and enjoyable return to the frigid lands of Skyrim. Just beware the bugs.
  3. Jul 2, 2012
    Lore enthusiasts will appreciate several significant developments, and no matter your choice, both new organizations have memorable characters and conversations. I had a blast returning to Skyrim after a few months away. Even so, Bethesda did such a fine job of entertaining me the first time out that Dawnguard feels more like an added bonus than an essential ingredient of the whole.
  4. Jun 29, 2012
    While the amount of content included in this DLC is substantial-definitely worth the twenty bucks-it's also riddled with bugs, and a few of those make it damn near unplayable. It's frustrating, at the very least.
  5. Aug 6, 2012
    Dawnguard adds more of what made Skyrim great, without feeling like it was tacked on at the last minute.
  6. Jun 27, 2012
    Apart from the (sadly) expected Bethesda hiccups - erratic quest markers, odd spawn glitches - there's nothing really wrong with Dawnguard. At the same time, there's nothing here that demands 1600 Microsoft Points' worth of attention. If all you want is a solid side quest and some good loot, this will scratch that itch. If you were hoping for something more epic and ambitious, keep waiting.
  7. Jul 26, 2012
    A DLC full of content and worth the 1600 Microsoft Points it costs. It is perfectly integrated into Skyrim, offers plenty of secondary missions and the main story has great moments and epic battles. A very recommended acquisition for those who enjoyed Skyrim.
  8. Games Master UK
    Jul 24, 2012
    Adds over 20 hours of new content, but will feel a little too familiar for Skyrim vets. [Sept 2012, p.107]
  9. Jul 23, 2012
    If you're like me, you already invested a considerable amount of time in Skyrim. If that's you, Dawnguard is well worth the $20 investment.
  10. Jul 29, 2012
    The evaluation, while taking into account the huge amount of problems can not be negative: Dawnguard offers an exceptional number of hours of additional gameplay, new areas and extremely interesting quest; as well as lot of new pieces of equipment.
  11. Jul 12, 2012
    Quotation forthcoming.
  12. Jul 20, 2012
    The "nudist vampire clan bug" has been corrected, and now we can see Dawnguard for what it really is. Not a fundoshi commercial, but a decent DLC with quality content, a price that's a bit too high, and the usual amount of bugs (and since this is a Bethesda game, "usual" means "a lot"). Skyrim fans will probably love these quest lines as they loved the original game, even with their problems.
  13. Jul 3, 2012
    Even by Bethesda standards, Dawnguard is just riddled with bugs, many of them game-breaking. I came across audio issues, missing textures, missing NPCs, broken dungeons, and much more. This is a fun expansion, even if its content is a little disappointing, but I highly suggest waiting for a patch (or three) before you jump in.
  14. Jul 6, 2012
    It's not bad at all, but it's not different. It might add to Skyrim, but it doesn't enrich it in doing so.
  15. Jul 18, 2012
    All of this amounts to a content-packed but ultimately rather disappointing first crack at Skyrim DLC for Bethesda.
  16. Jul 18, 2012
    In the end, Dawnguard doesn't add vast new stretches of wilderness to explore or new game mechanics; it merely builds on what made Skyrim so great to begin with. The main quest will captivate those who have exhausted the majority of storylines in the base game, but players will inevitably be drawn into exploration once again. Dawnguard is almost guaranteed to elicit more than twenty hours from your schedule, so stay away if you have any real priorities at the moment.
  17. Jul 11, 2012
    Playing as a Vampire Lord is too buggy and clumsy to be fun for long. And that's a shame, because with more attention to the design of this form, Dawnguard could have been a better piece of software.
  18. Jun 28, 2012
    Dawnguard is considerably better than most of Bethesda's recent Fallout 3 DLC, but you'll be sorely disappointed if you go in expecting to find Skyrim's version of Bloodmoon or The Shivering Isles.
  19. Jul 4, 2012
    Dawnguard is the ideal add-on for those who still haven't satisfied their need for Skyrim. Those who seek innovation, will be disappointed however. Dawnguard is simply more of the same, plus a clumsy Vampire Lord transformation.
  20. 90
    One of the best add-on adventures in recent RPG memory, but take our warning to heart: save early, save often, and expect the unexpected.
  21. Jun 28, 2012
    Its headline feature is easily its worst but there are enough other new extras to make this a costly but still diverting return to the land of Skyrim.
  22. Jul 9, 2012
    Giving you a reason to come back to the wonderful world of Skyrim is what ultimately matters and at the end of the day, if you can stomach the cost, it will give you hours of fun and may spark your interest to carry on playing a simply fantastic base game.
  23. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard. Bethesda shows how a dlc should be done. Dawnguard's 20-euro price tag is quite steep, but the amount of quality content more than makes up for it. Also, playing as a vampire lord is a welcome distraction. [Sept 2012]
  24. Jul 13, 2012
    Bethesda's mega-RPG already has so much to offer that an extra storyline doesn't feel like a real expansion. For those who've seen everything in Skyrim, Dawnguard might be nice, boasting a few new and pretty areas. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel like a complete expansion like Shivering Isles was for Oblivion, which is why it's also a bit expensive.
  25. Jun 29, 2012
    Dawnguard is DLC done right.
  26. Jul 10, 2012
    An expansion that extends content, areas, weapons and powers. The Vampire Lord and Dawnguard are two sides facing a new dark frame and potential. If you play Skyrim still a lot, you'll like it.
  27. CD-Action
    Jul 31, 2012
    It's not a DLC that you need badly, especially if you still have something else to do in Skyrim. But if you already know it inside out and are hungry for more, Dawnguard will quench your thirst. [September 2012, p.66]
  28. 70
    It's difficult to turn your nose up at new content for a game that scored a ten, but if you're expecting something dramatically different or experimental from Dawnguard you're likely to be disappointed.
  29. Jul 1, 2012
    If you are a Skyrim fan who has already invested countless number of hours into the main game, then Dawnguard is for you, but if you have moved on to other games, I am not so certain Dawnguard is reason alone to come back as frankly it is more of the same.
  30. Jul 2, 2012
    While Dawnguard probably could have contained a bit more for its $20 price tag, most gamers who have dedicated months of their lives to playing this game will not be disappointed with their purchase. For the time being, I'm hooked again, and that means I'm probably going to have to go pay off my ridiculously high bounty in Whiterun.
  31. Jul 5, 2012
    Dawnguard is a decent expansion for Skyrim, but one with a steep price. The content in the expansion is compelling, but will never have you at the edge of your seat.
  32. Jul 5, 2012
    Fans of Skyrim should almost certainly grab it in recognition of the fact that it's hard to get too much of a good thing.
  33. Jul 13, 2012
    Dawnguard has a lot going for it, but as with all major Bethesda RPG's, it also has tons of bugs. Still worth your money though and it hopefully will get a necessary set of patches.
  34. Jul 3, 2012
    Judged purely on its merits as a piece of downloadable content, 'Dawnguard' doesn't quite live up to its rather steep 1600 Microsoft Points (£15 / $20) price tag. The plot, missions and marquee features aren't as strong as they could be, failing to leave much of an impression past the relatively brief questline. However, it's the little things that help Dawnguard capture that Skyrim magic, leaving players thirsty for more.
  35. Jul 10, 2012
    Dawnguard offers far more than a self-contained episode in the Fallout vein--which it should, at double the price--but it falls just short of the scope of a traditional, pre-Internet boxed expansion pack. Still, it's a fine way to expand the already immense content offering of Skyrim, especially if you're still actively traipsing around those snowy hills in search of more adventure.
  36. Feb 25, 2013
    Dawnguard is much more substantial add-on than Hearthfire, adding on a full storyline centered on a war between the vampires and the Dawnguard.
  37. Jul 5, 2012
    "More" doesn't equal "satisfying" or "memorable." "Dawnguard" isn't the journey to a strange realm that made "Shivering Isles" and "Point Lookout." It's not a break from the norm, it's a staycation. You're still in your apartment, doing the same things you always did, and once it's over, you'll feel like it was all pretty much a waste of time.
  38. Jul 6, 2012
    Dawnguard is a well made, quite long expansion that doesn't live up to all our expectations. It's import ant, because this DLC costs 1600 MSP, which converts to a fairly big amount of money. But if you're a fan of Skyrim and can't wait to become a powerful vampire lord, you should give it a chance.
  39. Jul 2, 2012
    The vampire powers are a nice game changer and the overall story is engaging. The game still suffers from the typical Elder Scrolls quirkiness, but that's not necessarily a bad thing depending on your point of view.
  40. 90
    If you are into Twilight, vampires and stuff like that, then you will love this expansion. Not only do you get a chance to make a new choice in regards to your "relation", but you also get a gripping story, a family tragedy and a decent amount of new spells if you are into the werewolf or vampire parts of TeS. And you also get a dragon shout and new gear. Not bad.
  41. Jul 11, 2012
    As a whole, Dawnguard is either to expensive or too spiritless to really shine, maybe even both. In its best moments, it manages to surpass Skyrim in some disciplines, but it doesn't quite harness all of the potential its fascinating new areas and fractions seem to offer. A good new episode then, but not an essential one.
  42. Jun 29, 2012
    Skyrim: Dawnguard will not blow your mind, but it's a decent addition to the Skyrim franchise, so long as you're willing to buy into the vampiric premise. There's a number of lore-rich encounters that long time TES fans will love, and a number of extras that help pad the package.
  43. Jun 28, 2012
    Bethesda went the extra mile to tweak existing quests in order to fully integrate the experience, and their effort shows. The constant treks across Skyrim do get a bit old after a while, but the wealth of new powers, information, and intrigue you'll find along the way more than makes up for the long walks.
  44. Jul 3, 2012
    Dawnguard is a mixture of old and a little something new, but it's also a case of success and failure. In trying to present an epic pilgrimage, the game becomes exasperating and a chore, but in attempting to do new things it occasionally sets itself apart from the side-quests discovered in the main game. There's nothing earth-shattering or fresh from an artistic standpoint, but Dawnguard has its high points, a very welcome companion and as well as new powers for you to play around with. Whether or not you consider this worth the 1600 MS points will depend on just how desperate you are to return to the world of Tamriel.
  45. Hyper Magazine
    Aug 8, 2012
    Predictable, bug-ridden fare. [Sept 2012, p.72]
  46. Jul 10, 2012
    The new DLC contains a couple of mechanical flaws, its story feels undercooked at times and, because this is a Bethesda game, it is by no means bug-free. But if you already own a copy of Skyrim, buying Dawnguard isn't so much a good decision to make as it is a no-brainer.
  47. Jul 16, 2012
    The vampiric tone is enough of a departure to reinvigorate interest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and tempt gamers back for another round but the same frame-rate issues and glitches abound taking a little bit of the shine off it. It's well worth a look, just know what you're in for.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 269 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 65
  2. Negative: 12 out of 65
  1. Jun 30, 2012
    Why are vampires still hostile to me, when I'm part of a faction working to further the interests of my kind? Why does said faction share soWhy are vampires still hostile to me, when I'm part of a faction working to further the interests of my kind? Why does said faction share so many quests with its rival faction, the Dawnguard? Why is there never any kind of showdown with said faction? Why is this "expansion" sending me to dungeons I already cleared in the original game? Answer: Bethesda screwed up, and released a half-hearted, overpriced, wretched piece of DLC. I would be even more harsh if it wasn't for the fact that we've not had a decent vampire game of any sort since Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Full Review »
  2. Jun 27, 2012
    If you were expecting a DLC the size of Shivering Isles, you're going to be very disappointed. This filler quest is more akin to an overpricedIf you were expecting a DLC the size of Shivering Isles, you're going to be very disappointed. This filler quest is more akin to an overpriced Knights of the Nine, with interesting game mechanics (vampire lord, crossbow) which are unfortunately poorly executed and impractical at best. Not even mentioning the plethora of bugs already reported on Beth forums. Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2012
    If you were expecting an Shivering Isles type expansion you're going to be disappointed, if you were hoping for a near bug free environmentIf you were expecting an Shivering Isles type expansion you're going to be disappointed, if you were hoping for a near bug free environment you should read the line that says it's made by Bethesda and if you were hoping to get your moneys worth you're really going to be disappointed. Don't get me wrong it would be fine as a 5-10$ DLC, but unless you some vampire Twilight Fanatic it can be passed over for 1600 Microsoft points. Full Review »