Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Jul 12, 2012
    Quotation forthcoming.
  2. 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.
  3. 70
    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.
  4. 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]
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Jul 18, 2012
    All of this amounts to a content-packed but ultimately rather disappointing first crack at Skyrim DLC for Bethesda.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Jun 29, 2012
    Dawnguard is DLC done right.
  25. Jul 24, 2012
    Adds over 20 hours of new content, but will feel a little too familiar for Skyrim vets. [Sept 2012, p.107]
  26. 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.
  27. Jul 2, 2012
    Dawnguard is an atmospheric and enjoyable return to the frigid lands of Skyrim. Just beware the bugs.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 64
  2. Negative: 12 out of 64
  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 »