User Score
7.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 266

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  1. Jun 27, 2012
    8
    It's very difficult to review an expansion like Dawnguard. You have to remember that it is an add-on - it's not trying to compete head to head with the main game, nor is it trying to "double" the experience of the main game. With that in mind, Dawnguard is a decent expansion pack, but it isn't world class and for Elder Scrolls die hard fans it has the possibility to disappoint when setIt's very difficult to review an expansion like Dawnguard. You have to remember that it is an add-on - it's not trying to compete head to head with the main game, nor is it trying to "double" the experience of the main game. With that in mind, Dawnguard is a decent expansion pack, but it isn't world class and for Elder Scrolls die hard fans it has the possibility to disappoint when set next to Oblivion's Shivering Isles.

    The expansion introduces a myriad of new features, such as a "Vampire Lord" transformation (a major part of the storyline in Dawnguard), Dragonbone weaponry, crossbows (and bolt crafting), a new quest storyline. On the surface, this is quite impressive, but next to the existing actual Skyrim game it feels like the expansion is only adding an extra 5% on top of the game. In a way, Dawnguard suffers from how good Skyrim was to begin with!

    The new Vampire transformation is quite clunky to play with, similar to the Werewolf combat mechanic but it feels quite rushed and can be a frustrating experience. The animation is really... well, "stiff" is the only way to describe it, like a demonic character design from Mortal Kombat 20 years ago! The crossbow is also very cumbersome, the knockback effect is utterly annoying, as is the reload speed, and I can't envisage many players using it ahead of a standard bow.

    But that's about it really - there's nothing overwhelmingly negative about Dawnguard. Is it worth the money? Yes, because it adds on to the overall Skyrim experience. It's worth it because the initial game itself is worth the price of admission on its own. So Dawnguard isn't the crowning glory of Bethesda DLCs, but it ain't bad. Hopefully, a much larger and more expansive Skyrim expansion pack is in the works, one along the lines of Shivering Isles rather than a focus on a new storyline and gimmicky feature additions. I'm scoring it 8/10, which for an Elder Scrolls game is a low score!!!
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  2. Jul 12, 2012
    8
    More Skyrim can only be a good thing.New missions,weapons,armour,story,shouts etc are a blessing after hundreds of hours exploring the original to death.Several missions take the player on a fantastic journey involving excellent new lore,locations and characters for fans,though Soul Cairn is pretty poor.Though usually patient with Bethesda,the glitches infuriated me for once and I justMore Skyrim can only be a good thing.New missions,weapons,armour,story,shouts etc are a blessing after hundreds of hours exploring the original to death.Several missions take the player on a fantastic journey involving excellent new lore,locations and characters for fans,though Soul Cairn is pretty poor.Though usually patient with Bethesda,the glitches infuriated me for once and I just don't understand why they keep releasing broken products.DLC thats requires patches is a blight on the company and the gaming industry and I'm now finding it hard to forgive.Still,I loved the parts that work but won't be as forgiving in the future. Expand
  3. Aug 31, 2013
    7
    [7.6] Not as fun as its successor, but Dawnguard offers more than enough for any fan of Bethesda games. Maybe it's the repetitiveness of some of the missions, or the lack of many new locations, it's acceptable, but barely.
  4. Nov 19, 2012
    8
    As far as DLC these days goes, it's not a bad investment as it adds an entire new game mechanic to an already exciting RPG. Bethesda did an excellent job at adding beautiful landscapes and new worlds to explore, but after a while the whole quest line and story becomes both unbelievable and tedious.
  5. Aug 25, 2012
    5
    Skyrim is a great game. It's a glitch filled mess that I could forgive due too it being such a massive world. Most glitches have been fixed and the ones that haven't will forever bug me. Dawnguard however is to small to excuse these major glitches such as when a major character is to busy being hostile to talk to you. Luckily people found a way around this glitch otherwise I would haveSkyrim is a great game. It's a glitch filled mess that I could forgive due too it being such a massive world. Most glitches have been fixed and the ones that haven't will forever bug me. Dawnguard however is to small to excuse these major glitches such as when a major character is to busy being hostile to talk to you. Luckily people found a way around this glitch otherwise I would have left before the new features had a chance to suck. Playing as a vampire lord is boring. You are only able to survive in a fight at night(which is understandable) and if you chose the Dawnguard side of the quest, you are given no tutorial on how to play as one. You are given the ability to become a werewolf again, but only once, which sucks because they actually made being a werewolf a decent experience. The story is far more interesting then the one the game gives you, but overall this is not worth the $20. Expand
  6. Jul 5, 2012
    5
    Bugged and Boring is how I would describe this expansion. I had to restart once because of a bug and when another bug stopped the progression of the game I put the game back on the shelf. Such a shame this fantastic game had such a sub par expansion. I am really starting to take issue with video games no refund policy.
  7. Jun 3, 2013
    8
    While vampires are a nice change of pace and the story is pretty creepy, Dawnguard doesn't amaze. It offers a fair amount of new content and abilities, though, so it's good if you've done most of what you can in the main game. But if you're going to get one DLC for Skyrim, I'd recommend Dragonborn.
  8. Aug 7, 2012
    0
    The main quest won't progress past the first quest, I can't even feed properly as a vampire. There seem to be no working fixes anywhere. i can barely walk through most doors as a towering floaty vampire. This is too broken to have even been released.
  9. Jun 29, 2012
    10
    Its more Skyrim, which is a good thing. Dual story lines mean you essentially get two games in one, which helps mitigate the 20$ price tag. Plus, Serana may be the hottest companion yet!
  10. Aug 18, 2012
    7
    I will try to explain this as simple as I can. I love skyrim, but Dawnguard should have cost 1,200 tops. Playing as a vampire its clunky and unexciting at all, you are slow, powers are weak you can't play in 1st person, you can't sneak or hide... Plot can be predicted since early on the game. Yes its same old Skyrim, more quest, a few new spots, more annoying dragons. My advice; Get itI will try to explain this as simple as I can. I love skyrim, but Dawnguard should have cost 1,200 tops. Playing as a vampire its clunky and unexciting at all, you are slow, powers are weak you can't play in 1st person, you can't sneak or hide... Plot can be predicted since early on the game. Yes its same old Skyrim, more quest, a few new spots, more annoying dragons. My advice; Get it once it when its on sale, DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE! Expand
  11. Jun 26, 2012
    10
    First off, Fort Dawnguard looks breathtaking! You get a werewolf/vampire skill tree, crossbows and 10-20 hours of content. With many new games today releasing with only around 10-15 hours of total content, we get this awesome expansion for arguably the best game of all time and it only cost $20. While dawnguard is not as extensive as, say, Shivering Isles, it's a great deal and it's theFirst off, Fort Dawnguard looks breathtaking! You get a werewolf/vampire skill tree, crossbows and 10-20 hours of content. With many new games today releasing with only around 10-15 hours of total content, we get this awesome expansion for arguably the best game of all time and it only cost $20. While dawnguard is not as extensive as, say, Shivering Isles, it's a great deal and it's the first DLC I've ever stayed up all night for. Expand
  12. Dec 16, 2012
    9
    Woah woah woah. Whats with all the negative reviews. I found this DLC very enjoyable-much more content then some call of duty DLC. Even more so, this dlc got me back into skyrim.
  13. Dec 11, 2012
    8
    This is a good DLC, it brings more of what i love about skyrim. It brings the werewolf and vampire classes, which are awesome, and the crossbow as well as a couple of spells and shouts. The story is not too bad and still has the same breathtaking environments. Overall it is a fun and good DLC, but for the price there should of been a bit more
  14. Aug 26, 2012
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Predictable, bug-ridden fare. BUT IT IS SKYRIM, MUST BE GOOD
    -Reddit
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  15. Mar 1, 2016
    9
    good new characters with a great new story you get the choice between vampires and vampire hunters if you are a werewolf and choose vampires they take your werewolf ability there are fun new quests and weapons in general just a great dlc
  16. Nov 2, 2012
    8
    Skyrim is one big open world full of plenty to do. Skyrim might quite possibly be a buggy game, full of fast-travelling places, and riding horses. But for that quick moment when encountering a dragon, makes up for the long grinding of repetitive dungeon scouring. The main story-track of Skyrim is suffice, and does justice with beautiful spectacles, stealth, and plenty of dragon slaying.Skyrim is one big open world full of plenty to do. Skyrim might quite possibly be a buggy game, full of fast-travelling places, and riding horses. But for that quick moment when encountering a dragon, makes up for the long grinding of repetitive dungeon scouring. The main story-track of Skyrim is suffice, and does justice with beautiful spectacles, stealth, and plenty of dragon slaying. The game though, falls short of it's loosely put together procedural quest generator, and minor annoyances. Though, that doesn't make the game terrible. Skyrim does right with it's beautiful vistas, mountains, and fields to walk and ride through. The ai, may fall short in some scenarios, and you'll find yourself doing things over and over again. Climbing into dungeons, going fifteen levels deep, learning a trade, collecting, and re-doing that over and over again. But what makes the long grind worth it, is the spectacle. The feeling of being in Skyrim, befriending others, completing side quests, and the sheer joy of exploration is what makes Skyrim all worth it in the end. Just prepare, to fork over long hours to complete this games main story track and along with it the side quests that will stray you away from the main story track. There's plenty of gameplay, plenty of story, and plenty of quests that will keep you occupied as you simply explore the land of Skyrim. Expand
  17. Nov 27, 2012
    4
    This is an epic looking, well animated wasteland of boredom. In Skyrim, you can do or become everything, but the story is so thin and interaction is so poor, that I lost interest after about 10 hours. Whats the point running around in a world that does not keep you involved? Combat is fun, enemy types are, too. Enemy A.I. is poor, but sufficient. I enjoyed Fallout 3 / New Vegas and FableThis is an epic looking, well animated wasteland of boredom. In Skyrim, you can do or become everything, but the story is so thin and interaction is so poor, that I lost interest after about 10 hours. Whats the point running around in a world that does not keep you involved? Combat is fun, enemy types are, too. Enemy A.I. is poor, but sufficient. I enjoyed Fallout 3 / New Vegas and Fable II, but this one gets boring very fast. Expand
  18. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    For the most part, the only complaints I have are that the dang bloodsuckers eat critical characters if you aren't careful. Oi. Only install this if you are lvl 15 or higher, or you WILL have some issues with the enemies slaying folks you may need in-game. Otherwise, DL it and save it for later. It IS a fun DLC, making Werewolf play actually WORTH it, and Vampire play fun as well. It alsoFor the most part, the only complaints I have are that the dang bloodsuckers eat critical characters if you aren't careful. Oi. Only install this if you are lvl 15 or higher, or you WILL have some issues with the enemies slaying folks you may need in-game. Otherwise, DL it and save it for later. It IS a fun DLC, making Werewolf play actually WORTH it, and Vampire play fun as well. It also hosts a serious hottie in your traveling companion, and a fun story, Vamps or Humies. Expand
  19. Jun 29, 2012
    8
    This is my second review of the dlc, as I believe i was simply starstruck by the fact that...well...it's skyrim dlc.
    Here's the honest to god review.
    It is quite large, mostly because 2 new "realms" are introduced. Both of these new places are quite vacant. So looking back on it, it doesn't add as much as that aspect seems. It also includes the single longest quest in the game. It was
    This is my second review of the dlc, as I believe i was simply starstruck by the fact that...well...it's skyrim dlc.
    Here's the honest to god review.
    It is quite large, mostly because 2 new "realms" are introduced. Both of these new places are quite vacant. So looking back on it, it doesn't add as much as that aspect seems. It also includes the single longest quest in the game. It was also the hardest. VAMPIRE/DAWNGUARD- the dawnguard lore is in my opinion cooler but the ability's are far better in the vampire lord side. The crossbow i found myself barely using. They should have made a crossbow for each weapon tier. It also would've been nice to have some miscellaneous stuff put in there. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT VAMPIRES. Which is like "duh" but 10-20 hours of VAMPIRES is a lot. Simply buy it if you like skyrim, especially if you aren't satisfied with current vampires.
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  20. Jan 13, 2013
    8
    a good addon to an already great game, despite what is said against it, its a good solid addon with new weapons and gear, good quest line the game is broken with older characters so beware you may need to start a newer character. but still a great addon
  21. Jun 29, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Dawnguard is a welcome addition to the near endless content which Skyrim has to offer. It expands on the lack of vampire related lore and game play in vanilla Skyrim and does a good job presenting a unique and in my opinion a more interesting story than Skyrim Expand
  22. Jun 28, 2012
    8
    Overall, Dawnguard is not a bad expansion by all means. But as Skyrim has so much to offer already, the additions don't feel too great. That being said, Vampire Lord is enjoyable to play, and the addition of a skilltree for Werewolf and Vampire Lord is nice to see. However, the Dawnguard faction feels weaker to the Vampire faction, despite an Armoured Troll summon and crossbows. It feelsOverall, Dawnguard is not a bad expansion by all means. But as Skyrim has so much to offer already, the additions don't feel too great. That being said, Vampire Lord is enjoyable to play, and the addition of a skilltree for Werewolf and Vampire Lord is nice to see. However, the Dawnguard faction feels weaker to the Vampire faction, despite an Armoured Troll summon and crossbows. It feels that Bethesda really wanted you to go Vampire Lord. That being said, Vampire Lords were obviously in hiding for a very long time because the dungeons/caves in Skyrim occasionally get too small for a Vampire Lord to pass through! Having to wait around 30 seconds (that's if you turn back into Vampire Lord) just to pass through a 'low' part of the cave is incredibly frustrating. But, apart from stuff like that, I enjoyed the Vampire Lord. The quests themselves feel quite bland, and are not pushed forward by story all that much. They're still enjoyable, but don't expect to LOVE the story. The Dawnguard themselves are also slightly disappointing, as it's just another ancient group coming back to power with the help of the player. The legendary dragons, more fearsome and stronger dragons found in particular areas, were quite enjoyable. It's by now means a 'bad' expansion - it's actually very good. But tiny little, typical RPG bugs get in the way of the overall experience. A patch (like a bigger ceiling!) would be a welcome fix. Expand
  23. Jun 29, 2012
    8
    Why must this be compared to Shivering Isles? It wasn't created to serve the same purpose nor is it meant as the translation of it into Skyrim. No, what people are somehow failing to realize is that this DLC is meant to keep you engaged in the game with new abilities, weapons, spells and shouts. If you are unaware of what to expect from a standard Elder Scrolls DLC, you won't beWhy must this be compared to Shivering Isles? It wasn't created to serve the same purpose nor is it meant as the translation of it into Skyrim. No, what people are somehow failing to realize is that this DLC is meant to keep you engaged in the game with new abilities, weapons, spells and shouts. If you are unaware of what to expect from a standard Elder Scrolls DLC, you won't be dissapointed. If you purchase this game expecting something like Shivering Isles, however, you may find yourself a bit dissapointed. If you wanted to give it a score of how well it resembles Shivering Isles, it only deserves a 4 at best. However, you may find yourself quite intrigued if you manage to find it within yourself to go in with an open mind. 8/10 Expand
  24. rhe
    Jul 4, 2012
    6
    Admittedly, while the new classes, new story-line and new dungeons to explore really try hard to make this DLC sound like it is reasonably priced, it still really feels way too anemic to be priced at 1600 msp. I say this because when considering other DLC pieces from other games like Kingdoms of Amalur are half as much and actually add a whole new map to explore outside of the originalAdmittedly, while the new classes, new story-line and new dungeons to explore really try hard to make this DLC sound like it is reasonably priced, it still really feels way too anemic to be priced at 1600 msp. I say this because when considering other DLC pieces from other games like Kingdoms of Amalur are half as much and actually add a whole new map to explore outside of the original area you get to explore while Skyrim is double the price and gives you NOWHERE new to explore outside of the main map. Due to this, Skyrim really feels WAY too heavily priced to be worth the content and if Bethesda want to charge this kind of money they should at least make the effort to add a new area (like the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion) so it doesn't feel like so much of a rip-off. Expand
  25. Dec 12, 2012
    6
    Dawnguard, the first expansion in Skyrim. may not be exactly what some people were expecting. On one hand, Dawnguard successfully brings a new experience into the Elder Scrolls franchise. On the other, it comes off as much worse than I was hoping for. While Dawnguard plays just as well as the rest of the game, there are many glitches that should have been fixed before it had even beenDawnguard, the first expansion in Skyrim. may not be exactly what some people were expecting. On one hand, Dawnguard successfully brings a new experience into the Elder Scrolls franchise. On the other, it comes off as much worse than I was hoping for. While Dawnguard plays just as well as the rest of the game, there are many glitches that should have been fixed before it had even been released. There was a time when I literally had to shove my companion through a cave to continue the story because she would not follow me when she was supposed to, but it is hard to complain when there are many great things that Dawnguard does. For one, it adds on a new set of weapons, shouts, companions, and abilities. Weapons like dragonbone allow for one to obtain some very strong and rare maces or swords. The companion you receive is probably the strongest you could possibly have and new abilities like the vampire turn out to be pleasantly useful. Aside from that however, Dawnguard does virtually nothing to add onto the map besides maybe three or four locations. While these locations are fun to explore, you will have very little reason to return to them. Also, some of the story quests are rather more annoying than entertaining. Overall, the most disappointing thing about Dawnguard is that no matter what side you choose, it will end the same way, adding no replay value what so ever. Dawnguard may have its issues and downsides but most people who own Skyrim will want to play this dlc. If you have extra money laying around I suggest buying Dawnguard, if you don't, I suggest waiting until you can spare some extra cash. Expand
  26. Oct 16, 2012
    5
    I honestly expected more out of this DLC than I have before. I played the storyline, and beat it in one day, and I must say: I am very much disappointed. The new content, such as the armor and characters was good, (except for the crossbow) but they didn't do a very good job with the ending of the story. I beat the final objective, and said to myself, "Is that the DLC I bought?" The peopleI honestly expected more out of this DLC than I have before. I played the storyline, and beat it in one day, and I must say: I am very much disappointed. The new content, such as the armor and characters was good, (except for the crossbow) but they didn't do a very good job with the ending of the story. I beat the final objective, and said to myself, "Is that the DLC I bought?" The people who made it cut the story line off WAY too soon, and on top of that, they didn't even make it worth playing. When you beat it, you don't get any sort of grand prize or anything.

    I think Bethesda did a good job with their idea, but it could have used a LOT more work before they put it on the market.
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  27. Jul 1, 2014
    4
    This DLC made me think of Bethesda's own "Horse Armor DLC" the whole time....

    The new characters are not memorable, the quests are just fetch quests, and nothing is here that we haven't seen beaten into the ground before. I bought this when it came out and paid the initial price of $20. I played it then and replayed just for this review so I was not reviewing something I played two
    This DLC made me think of Bethesda's own "Horse Armor DLC" the whole time....

    The new characters are not memorable, the quests are just fetch quests, and nothing is here that we haven't seen beaten into the ground before.

    I bought this when it came out and paid the initial price of $20. I played it then and replayed just for this review so I was not reviewing something I played two years ago. This time I explored things more and disliked it even more than a first play through.

    Just... do NOT buy.
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  28. Jun 28, 2012
    8
    Dawnguard is exactly what you should have now come to expect from Bethesda, stunning locations, an enthralling questline with a few glitches on the side. But most of all, assuming you are an Elder Scrolls fan you will come away with more reasons to invest yet more time in one of the best games of the current generation. These include a new range of weapons(dragonbone), crossbows, vampireDawnguard is exactly what you should have now come to expect from Bethesda, stunning locations, an enthralling questline with a few glitches on the side. But most of all, assuming you are an Elder Scrolls fan you will come away with more reasons to invest yet more time in one of the best games of the current generation. These include a new range of weapons(dragonbone), crossbows, vampire lord and werewolf perks and all the joy of using these powers, I can safely say that this was worth my money. Expand
  29. Oct 29, 2012
    6
    Overpriced, and fairly disappointing when I played it. Vampire attacks become so common it becomes just plain irritating. Good items had been added, but for what it is, just seemed a but of a waste of money. Lag and bugs were so common I had to get rid of the software.
  30. Sep 2, 2013
    8
    If you're a fan of Skyrim, this DLC worth the money, but if you are not.. wait a little. Dawnguard is enthusing me with the story, the characters, but the armors and weapons do not. The armors and weapons, actually, surprise me, because i haven't see something more medieval in the game. You're gonna have a good time with that expansion. I thought that the game was big enough, but now itIf you're a fan of Skyrim, this DLC worth the money, but if you are not.. wait a little. Dawnguard is enthusing me with the story, the characters, but the armors and weapons do not. The armors and weapons, actually, surprise me, because i haven't see something more medieval in the game. You're gonna have a good time with that expansion. I thought that the game was big enough, but now it has really completed. Expand
Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Feb 25, 2013
    95
    Dawnguard is much more substantial add-on than Hearthfire, adding on a full storyline centered on a war between the vampires and the Dawnguard.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 14, 2012
    85
    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]
  3. Hyper Magazine
    Aug 8, 2012
    50
    Predictable, bug-ridden fare. [Sept 2012, p.72]