Skyrim is a sprawling quest for anyone to undertake, packing a potential few hundreds of hours of gameplay to exhaust — and that’s not counting its previous DLC expansion, excellent as it was. It’s a behemoth of a game that you approach when you’ve got the time and availability, because once you commit, you’re in it for the long haul.
The introduction of Bethesda’s second DLC expansion Hearthfire sees fit to arm players with all the ammunition they need to set up an entirely separate life within Skyrim, taking root with a home of their own, children, and even a plot of land. Hearthfire certainly isn’t as ambitious as the previous content installment, not by a long shot, but for 400 Microsoft points, it’s an interesting addition to augment and further personalize your in-game existence.
Hearthfire’s main draw lies in the fact that it allows players the ability to shape and build their own homes, purchase their very own plots of land, and even invite children into their lives by way of adoption. In short, it opens many of the same doors Fable had us step through years ago: the permanence of home ownership and “family” in-game. It’s an interesting departure considering the explosive bloodshed and devious twists Dawnguard brought with it, mainly in that it feels like a natural progression from what’s currently available. But if you purchase the add-on looking for something meatier, you will be disappointed.
If you pick up Hearthfire, be advised there is no additional content such as missions or other actual gameplay — if you’ve already completed the game and Dawnguard with it, there’s no real draw here to bring you back, other than the elements that are obviously geared toward players set on creating a new world for themselves in the fictional plane. It all starts with purchasing land — a Jarl will grant you their permission to select your very own plot on which you may begin building.