Skyrim: Dragonborn on PS3 Runs Surprsingly Well

Skyrim has had a rough time on PlayStation 3, having suffered from frame rate issues, freezing, ballooning save file sizes and various other game-hindering glitches. Not only did PS3 owners have to deal with these problems, once new content was announced they were then informed that the DLC was not ready for their platform and it required further development before it could be brought to the console. Following a lengthy wait, Skyrim’s Dragonborn DLC has finally arrived on Sony’s system, but many aren’t too eager to pick up the add-on content, despite favorable reviews for the competing console’s version. It’s understandable that Skyrim fans/owners would expect Dragonborn to be a buggy mess like the main game was, but I’m here to bring you some good news: Dragonborn runs surprisingly well on the PlayStation 3.

Bethesda’s extra time tweaking the long-awaited content has paid off, and I’m sure the stability updates from patch 1.8 have helped the system as well. For the most part, it’s a smooth ride, providing the kind of experience we all had hoped for over a year ago. Having spent several hours with the Dragonborn DLC, I’m happy to report that it exceeded my expectations. I took my Dark Elf out to explore every crevice of Solstheim and was met with exciting new adventure opportunities, not rage-worthy bugs. For the first hour or so, I just explored Solstheim and took in all the familiar sights, now lovingly recreated with a much higher quality (obviously). It felt great returning to a memorable area from Morrowind’s Bloodmoon expansion.

Now that I’ve praised Dragonborn, I must provide the following disclaimer: it isn’t perfect. Upon first arriving in Solstheim, the game temporarily locked up, leading me to believe that I was about to come face-to-face with the first game-breaking glitch only a couple minutes into the DLC. Then, to my surprise, the game proceeded as normal. The short hang reminded me of how Fallout 3 would lock up when someone signed in; it didn’t require a restart, just some patience. Although Dragonborn’s minor freeze is much less severe and far less common. The only other noticeable issue is the drop in the frame rate occasionally during heavy combat, but this is no different than the main game. And this is a good thing because you won’t want to deal with any slow down or tearing while you’re trying to take in the gorgeous locations on Solstheim.

Overall, Bethesda did a great job bringing the content over to the PS3 (even if it did take a while). If you still pine after the days of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Dragonborn is a nostalgic treat that allows you to revisit a land beloved by many last generation. Couple the lack of major glitches and a wonderful new/old environment with a bunch of fresh content (such as weapons, armor, enemies and shouts) and you have one piece of downloadable content that is very enticing. For those of you who have held off this long on purchasing the Dragonborn because of frustrations brought on by the unstable main game in the past, you need not worry. This is a very polished experience and one that any Elder Scrolls fan should not miss.

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Josh Garibay


4 Comments

  1. Nick
    February 24, 2013, 5:09 PM

    I bought the dlc, why wouldn’t I when I bought the game and want as much gameplay as I can get. If you are going to spend years complaining about the game on PS3, fair enough, you got them to pull their finger out and fix the game on PS3, along with people like Digital Foundry. But now you still complaining about it and say you won’t buy the dlc?, get the fuk over it already, you made your point. You want to hold a grudge forever?, how about I boycott Sony for leaking gamers personal info to hackers, or for when PSN went down for months and I couldn’t play online.

    You N4G bitches need to stop complaining all the damn time, you are NEVER happy.

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  2. Hostile PS3 Gamer
    February 24, 2013, 8:08 PM

    @ Nick

    What?… Sorry we couldn’t hear you with all of that dick in your mouth.

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  3. Pieman280
    February 25, 2013, 5:18 PM

    I’m having a ton of fun with this DLC, glad it’s finally out. I’m very excited to grab dawn guard tomorrow as well. I just wish I had focused more on the main storyline before, instead I kind of sidetracked myself both in skyrim and with other games, and so my main profile isn’t completely up to par with most people when they go into dragonborn. I can’t fight more than one or two ash monsters at a time as the result.

    @ Nick I was agreeing with you up until the very end where you said sony “leaked” it to the hackers. Really? Last I checked they were hackers, meaning they hacked it illegally like they could any other thing that no life hackers hack. It wasn’t some gift from sony to them, it was “anonymous” or some other set of hackers who had some silly plan to go against sony and ruin things for both gamers and sony for about a month. Who are you even talking to previously? Out of all the sites with gamers over-exaggerating skyrim’s PS3 problems and talking about boycotting (as if that will help them any), this wasn’t one of them. Your misdirected anger over a hack that happened long ago was uncalled for.

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  4. Glorthoron
    March 1, 2013, 5:53 PM

    It’s interesting that I should read this after doing a search for Skyrim dlc constantly freezing.

    Here are the two problems I’ve encountered so far since getting the dlc.

    1) every now and again, the loading time between locations (stepping out of or into a building, or fast travel) takes about 2 minutes or more. This is very annoying but not as annoying as Nick, though.

    2) I am having freezing problems. On average it seems to be happening about once per hour, and appears to be worse with the menu autosave.

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