With the exception of one or two side quests, all of Dragonborn takes place on the island of Solstheim, with a couple of quick jaunts into Apocrypha, the realm of Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric Prince of Forbidden Knowledge. I like having a self-contained adventure, as opposed to Dawnguard, which was integrated into the main continent. Dawnguard’s approach wasn’t necessarily bad, but sometimes it is nice to start with a clean map. One of my absolute favorite parts of Elder Scrolls games is exploration, so an entire island full of new locales was a great experience.
Solstheim is the Australia of Tamriel – a big island full of things that just want to kill you. Every dungeon is filled with Draugr, though they are actually on the low end of the spectrum. Ash Spawns are my new most-hated enemy. Imagine Draugr, but with the added "perk" of tossing fireballs. They’re not hard to kill, but they’re definitely dangerous and annoying. You’ll also run into new varieties of spiders, including a few kamikaze spiders imbued with fire and ice spells. In one dungeon, I ran into a pack consisting of exploding fire spiders and ones that released flammable materials on death. Not a good combination. The list is rounded out by a group of Dragon Priests and Elder Dragons galore.
Continuing with the theme of everything wanting to kill you, Apocrypha houses its own collection of monsters, though you can usually run past them. Compared to other dungeons, Apocrypha is a straightforward shot. There are times where you need to find books to solve small puzzles, but none are really hard except for a few where you need to run between moving light sources to avoid health-draining darkness.
I may be applying a bit of hyperbole when I say everything wants to kill you, though it does feel that way sometimes. As much as I like Dragonborn, it is still saddled with Skyrim’s clumsy combat system. On top of that, Dragonborn is horrible about placing hard enemies in rooms with really hard enemies, so some deaths feel a bit too cheap and require equally cheap tactics (and LOTS of health potions) to survive.