Very disappointing, although still good Skyrim fun.
The trailer for Dragonborn promised us the ability to fly dragons, throwing spears and a new menace in the form of a power hungry dragonborn competitor. But it was a bit too good to be true.
The main quest for Dragonborn is quite short compared to the last main expansion pack, Dawnguard, let alone when comparing it to the main questline from Skyrim itself.
Additionally, what you get in those few hours of gameplay adds to the disappointment. So much is wrong here, it is hard to know where to begin.
The characters are completely forgettable. Dawnguard at least had the Underworld chick to whom you were bound for a while and who therefore left an impression on memory, but in Dragonborn the main quest goes by so quickly that you do not spend more than a couple of minutes with anyone. As a result you do not remember anyone.
Of course the dialogue does not help. It is so bland, so flat, so short that it is not surprising the actors don't show much emotion speaking it.
The story is all over the place. Things just happen without much explanation and characters say things without sufficient buildup. There is no story development before things happen, the exposition is awkwardly placed and there is no time for any sort of character development so the whole story feels rushed, simplistic and stupid. This lack of logic and flow is really distracting when you are trying to enjoy the little of the quest you can.
Oh and remember I mentioned throwing spears and controllable dragons. You wish. That would require a real effort on the part of developers and no chance of that for an expansion pack, is there? When the player picks up the spear it becomes an arrow, and as for dragons, you can only tell the dragon whom to attack and where to travel. This would actually make sense if some side character would bother to remind us that the Dragons are ferecely independent creatures and will not be controlled like a horse, but the story does not bother, so it simply feels like we got screwed.
Now having said all this, there are definately highlights for Dragonborn that pull it into the "good" section. The art is great and sometimes quite creative. The realm of a Daedra God is especially interesting.
The return to Solstheim and its Morrowind architecture is a really welcome nostalgia trip for those of us who playd Morrowind, especially when you hear some of the original soundtrack making a comeback.
There is of course a lot of new content like side-quests, new armor, the above-mentioned architecture, the creatures, the dungions and other things. Indeed, it is clear that this is where the time of the developers went when it did not go towards making a proper-length main quest. I guess that is fine since those side-quests make up for it.
Overall this is a worthy product, though the main story is distractingly bad.