From the amazing RPG developer, Bethesda, comes the second in Downloadable Content for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While Dawnguard was all about compelling story and exploration, Hearthfire is all about building your own house and having kids! Well, not actually having them, but instead adopting them. For you fanatics out there, you may recognize Hearthfire as the name of an actual month in the Elder Scrolls world. However, that month really has nothing to do with anything in this content, as there is no designated storyline other than the very beginning.
The content begins with ye ole Courier bringing yet another note to you. First, I would like to point out that notes and reading things is very important to get the most out of this. Now back to the content. The note is from Constance Michel, at the old Honorhall Orphanage in Riften. You might remember that place from what’s possibly my favorite quest in the entire main game, don’t worry no spoilers here, but man that one old lady was a b….sorry got carried away there…anyways! Michel is now in charge and looking for you to settle down and adopt some kids, two to be exact. Yes it’s true, the Dragonborn does have a soft side. I mean come on when you’re done saving the world, every hero deserves a break from adventuring. Catch is, Michel lets you know that you don’t have the room in any of your houses to accomodate for those little kiddos! So, she tells you to return once your home is in order and ready for some new members to move in. From here things get pretty tricky. What I mean is, you don’t have any idea what to do! It is obvious that you have to upgrade your house, as the next objective in this task says that, but you are given no quest marker or person to talk to. I spent several minutes trying to figure out where to go next and eventually gave up, deciding to do other quests instead. While doing one of those quests, I was rummaging through my notes and saw one that was about my home in Whiterun. It seems the steward sent me a letter saying I can now upgrade my house, but neither the Courier nor any notification is given you have received this letter, it just automatically happens after talking to Michel. You can upgrade your house to make room for the two children, but at the tradeoff of losing your Alchemy Lab. There is of course an alternative and that lies in the second part of Hearthfire, building a house. Going through my notes yet again, I found another letter that had magically appeared, stating that the steward in Falkreath has offered to sell me a plot of land in their Hold. Costing a nice 5000 gold, you get a flat piece of grass with a few craftsman tools and supplies.
Here the only depth to this DLC is shown, which is actually quite a lot. It is your job as the owner to build this bad boy from the ground up all on your own. This actually can take some time as the fetching of materials to make everything is quite time-consuming, albeit the first stage of your house (a tiny cottage) is fairly easy to build. That cottage at first may look cool, but will get pretty boring soon and that’s when you’ll want to upgrade to an entire manor with all the works. Might I add, there are quite a lot of decisions to be made when building your home and has the attention to detail that Bethesda is so known for. Every bed, fireplace, even shelf is handcrafted by you and that’s pretty sweet. What’s even more impressive is just when you’ve perfected your home, you find out that there are other plots of lands to be bought in other Holds (there’s even an achievement for owning multiple lands).
- Building your own house(s) is a load of fun
- Lots and lots of crafting
- Attention to detail is amazing
- You get your own little ones!
- Much cheaper than Dawnguard
- For some, building a house will seem boring
- No story or plot line or new characters whatsoever
- At times, everything seems like tedious work
- Lousy initial directions
- Still no DLC for our Playstation friends
Should you download it?
Eh. Are you a diehard Skyrim fan? Do you like being a carpenter and/or parent? Do you have 400 Microsoft points/$5 to possibly waste? If you answered yes to any of those of questions, then sure! Otherwise, there are other things you can buy with the money, like some nice frozen yogurt.
This review was done with a review code provided by Bethesda, for review purposes only. Our staff at Gamer Syndrome greatly appreciate Bethesda entrusting me with the ability to review this DLC for our site and our thanks go out to them.
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