Today Bethesda not only unveiled a new trailer for Skyrim’s first DLC pack, but also confirmed the price at a whopping twenty dollars. While there have been several free updates that add in new features to the game, the upcoming Skyrim Dawnguard will be the first DLC pack that requires a fee.
Despite the hefty price, Dawnguard is not a stand-alone product and requires a copy of Skyrim to play. It was teased back at the beginning of May with the promise that more information would arrive at next week’s E3, but Bethesda surprised fans with this trailer which contains some noteworthy footage. It’s a vampire-centric campaign that let the Player join or fight a group of powerful vampires who are plotting to block the sun. A rival faction called the Dawnguard is out to stop them, and most likely, players will be able to choose a side in this conflict.
While vampires are featured in the main Skyrim game, this content adds in some new kinds of vampire that can fly and use other new undead powers. Some of these, like the flight were teased in the Skyrim Jam video that came out a few months ago. The Player will presumably be able to become one of these special vampires, and this DLC might even allow players that much sought after werewolf/vampire hybrid state (Although that’s just hopeful speculation).
The trailer also clearly shows many of the other new mechanics that will be added in with Dawnguard. Notable is the use of mounted combat. This is a feature that was added in a recent update for the PC version of the game, but the Skyrim Dawngaurd DLC is putting it on the Xbox 360. Riding around on horses has been allowed in both Skyrim and the last Elder Scrolls game Oblivion, but up until now, players have had to ride up to their enemies, then jump off their horse to fight. But the Dawnguard trailer has a quick shot that depict the Dovakiin attacking from horseback.
It will also add in crossbows. The footage shows them being used several times to blast enemies, but it isn’t clear yet on how a crossbow will function differently than a bow in the game. The existence of these weapons shouldn’t be a surprise because code for the crossbows was discovered in of the recent updates.
Also added in are some new enemy types aside from the vampires. One scene shows the Dovakiin felling a huge Ice Giant, another shows an undead horse being used as a mount, and there is a dragon capable of diving through a layer of ice on the ground, presumably able to attack the Player from below, which adds some variety to the dragon fights.
The 1600 Microsoft Points (Equal to twenty dollars) is a pretty big fee for a DLC pack, so hopefully Bethesda has some even more impressive information coming out next week for E3. Skyrim Dawnguard has only been confirmed for Xbox 360 with the release date of “Summer 2012”. Fans on the PC or Playstation 3 can be resonably certain that the pack will come out for their platforms not long after the Xbox launch. Explosion.com will have more coverage as it breaks.