Hearthfire offers an interesting experience, but fails to expand Skyrim
- Creating your house provides a unique experience
- Offers some interesting quests
- Hearthfire DLC is at a nice, low price
- The building process is a bit repetitive
- Not as many customization options as there could have been
- Hearthfire doesn't add anything of substantial importance to the game
Hearthfire is a Skyrim DLC that allows you to build your own house. On the surface this sounds like a fun idea, and in many ways it is, but it doesn't really expand upon the game. The result is a decent, but passable, experience.
Hearthfire is activated by getting a note that sends you to one of three random Jarls that allow you to purchase land (after doing a few tasks for them first). The plots of land are given to you randomly, so you won't have a choice in choosing it, but you can purchase all 3 plots of land eventually. Each building process is the same, you build upon the foundations using materials such as wood, iron, and a variety of other resources that you can acquire from various shop keepers. You are also able to lay out the foundation of your home, from expanding the main room, to adding a library, alchemy tower, armory, extra rooms, and more.
While the above sounds promising, there is a lack of customization options for your home. For starters all the homes have the same general design. You can tweak a few different things such as adding in different wings to the house, but the general look and layout is the same for each one. You also cannot choose where to place your furniture, you build it and it just appears in a set place. It would have been a better experience if you had full control over your house building, but alas this is what you get.
The building process can also grow to become a bit repetitive. Always going back to town to get more materials, going back to your home, building the parts and furniture to your house, and then repeat again. It becomes a bit time consuming, and expensive (in game Gold that is) to finish your home.
Outside of home building Hearthfire allows you to adopt up to two children, but they don't necessarily add anything substantial to the game. They do occasionally ask you for gifts or if you want to play a game with them (such as hide and seek or tag) but beyond that, not much else. Hearthfire however does add some new interesting quests to Skyrim, such as your wife being kidnapped by bandits, or having to deal with giants or wolves attacking your home, though these do not happen very often.
Hearthfire is also priced very cheaply, so that's a plus.
Overall Hearthfire offers a decent experience, but it's not really anything special. If the above sounds interesting to you then Hearthfire may be worth your money, if not then you can pass.
Skyrim: Hearthfire get's a 3/5