I was pretty stoked to be returning to Skyrim. I haven't really played since finishing pretty much everything, aside from a few side quests about 2 months ago. Since I don't have Skyrim for the PC I haven't been able to extend my game through mods, so as I mentioned I was quite excited.
Well, I have now completed the DLC, except for a few quests that I'm pretty sure never end. My reaction to this DLC is very positive, except for a few details. I'm planning to review the DLC in detail, but I'll hold off for a few days. For now, I'll just say a few things.
I chose to play as a vampire. Well, I was kind of pushed into it. After completing the first quest, you will be given a choice, on whether to remain a Dawnguard, or join the vampires. I didn't like how you don't really get a chance to explore both sides. There really is no time for consideration, which kind of annoyed me. not that I regret my decision. On choosing to be a vampire, you now have the ability to go vampire lord, which is similar to becoming a werewolf. Morphing in and out of vampire lord form is tedious, so it is best to either remain a normal person, or stay a vampire lord. Playing as the vampire lord is fun, and once you unlock a few perks, it becomes even better. A downside is that you have to either kill a person with your power bite or with your blood sucking magic in order for it to count towards perk progress. As well, like a werewolf, you are attacked on sight by guards and other people, so don't drift through a town like that.
The Dawnguard side of the story allows you to complete the same questline as the vampires, except from a different perspective. As well, you get access to crossbows, and crossbow manufacturing on the dawnguard side. On the vampire side you get bloodpotions, which are like feeding on a sleeping person. I've also got a pair of cool rings by doing a sidequest on the vampire side.
I thought that the story was pretty good, and it had some twists that surprised me. It isn't as straightforward as it seems, which is a good thing. You also get a 3 new shouts, which aren't too bad, and some other cool weapons. For the most part the questline is pretty linear but it has some memorable moments. As well, there are a few real bossfights, not just dragon fighting.
Really, the only things I didn't like is how you have to pick your side quickly, that it doesn't add much to explore, and that it was too short for it's pricetag. Comparing it to The Shivering Isles, which was 2800 MS points or so, it was way shorter and not nearly as open world. it's more like Broken Steel from Fallout 3, which added a few areas, but generally took place in the same area as the game. It was longer than Broken Steel, but also twice the price. Still, for a chance for some cool new items and some more fun in Skyrim, the DLC was a good deal.