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OK so I've always wanted to play Oblivion but never got round to it and then when Skyrim came out and it was all the rage, I thought, it's the perfect time to play it, and wow was it a stunning game.
So where do I begin? The game itself is so vast and so diverse that you are immediately immersed into the world of Cyrodil, Tamriel, whether you follow the game's linear plot line or go off honing skills, completing side quests or even just do whatever you like!
The game starts in the Imperial City Prison, where you are held captive. The Emperor sees something special in you and entrusts you with the Amulet of Kings just as he is assassinated. Your quest is to find the heir to the throne and close the gates of Oblivion which have begun springing up all over Tamriel, in order to defeat the forces of darkness.
As character building is a major part of the game experience, you get to choose a race as well as a class (battlemage, knight, healer etc) which will help determine which skills you are better at and what attributes are advantageous to you. The range of possibilities in character building is huge and you have to make this decision very shortly after starting the game, so for first time players, this is a bit confusing and they may not have selected the optimum combination, but there is no better selection, just depends what you would like to do in the game! For me, I wanted a mix of combat and magic so selected the battlemage class.
Leaving the prison, the world literally is your Oyster. You are free to explore the world as you wish and you could completely ignore the main quest and spend hours and hours doing other things. The main quest itself was rather easy and I didn't have that many problems getting through it. The story was quite interesting though a bit short. If I just did the main quest, the game would probably have finished within several hours.
However, with the addition of guilds (Fighter's guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, The Dark Brotherhood) provides hours and hours more of fun. By giving you quests, you advance the ranks of each guild and unlock many bonuses to your character building, objects and more. However, some of the guilds are in conflict and you have to be careful with how you carry out the quests to prevent upsetting the guild and being kicked out!
Of course, the world of Tamriel isn't just full of fun and games. As you travel between towns and cities, danger comes in the form of creatures and wild animals such as bears, wolves, ogres and even some rogue people! As you level up, these opponents become stronger and more challenging to defeat, so you will never find it a breeze.
There are also hidden places such as shrines, forts and other destinations which hold their own quests, items, secrets and danger, so make sure you are prepared before exploring them! One time I left a dungeon in a secret door and found myself at the bottom of the sea!!
In terms of skills, you can do all sorts. One of my favourites is alchemy, where you can find natural ingredients and form potions by mixing them together, each has its own special effects. I also love summoning creatures as well as casting powerful spells.
The game is practically endless and that is what I love about it. I could spend hours just walking around exploring new parts of the world and it amazes me the attention to detail that is put into even the edges of the game. The non playable characters are lively and each one has a new personality. I do like that the game does not force you to do or not do anything. If you don't like someone, you can just kill them or steal from them but beware of the consequences!
With hundreds and hundreds of hours worth of play time, the Elder Scrolls Oblivion is surely one of the biggest games (apart from the improved Skyrim) out there and it is definitely worth a play if you, like me, are new to the series.
The diversity of the character building (you can replay the game as a different character for a new challenge if you so desire), the beauty and vastness of the world as well as the huge amount of quests to complete, this game is immersive and truly addictive. I "finished" it with many unexplored quests I'm sure but I think it's time for me to get Skyrim.
Released simultaneously across various platforms in 2006, The Elder Scrolls (TES) IV: Oblivion was one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, if not the decade. TES III: Morrowind was a very well constructed game, so Oblivion had quite a lot to live up to. Perhaps it may be construed as unfair to use Morrowind as a touchstone for this game, but as it is its immediate successor, it is hard to take Oblivion as a standalone game.
Set in the Arthurian/Tolkienesque style world of Tamriel, the player is thrust into the role of an unknown prisoner. Choosing your race from a number of possibilities, and your gender from a possibility of, err, two, you begin by creating your character.
Morrowind was full of political intrigue, racial tension and overall suspicion regarding your character's suppsoed status as the reincarnated hero, Nerevar. It was so well told I was never too sure where the truth lay, and it gave great impetus to carry the main story forward. Yet in Oblivion, there is little to no intrigue, and the story is woefully simple in comparison to that of its predecessor. Basically, the Emperor (voiced by the imperious sounding Patrick Stewart) has been murdered without any direct claimant to the throne. Witnessing his death, you are charged with the task of finding his heir (voiced by the bored-sounding Sean Bean) who is capable of keeping the country safe. With no heir, portals to Oblivion (a direct equivalent of Hell) open up and Daedra (demons) pour out, attacking the cities of Tamriel. The realm of Oblivion, when finally entered, is woefully unimaginative and predictable; all streams of lava, fire and brimstone with 'evil looking' spiky architecture. In effect, this is TES dumbed down to the plot of Doom, but with longbows instead of shotguns. I won't give too much away as this would spoil the story, but it's disappointingly thin. If you're expecting a main thread to equal that of Morrowind, don't build your hopes up, as there is little intrigue to be found, and not much incentive in the way of intrigue to drive you forward.
The Technical Side:
All this takes place over a gorgeously rendered world. The map containing the game area is huge, with different geographical landscapes ranging from swamps, plains, snowy mountains and forests. Trees and grass sway in the breeze, moons revolve through the night sky and each city has its own architectural identity. To get the most of all this, you need a fairly decent graphics card and at least 4G of RAM.
Bethesda have also includes real-time Havoc physics, and improved models and graphics all round. Human and creature models move fluidly, and the world is constructed of interior and exterior 'cells'. This works to break the game into manageable chunks for the processor, but does allow for some clunky loading moments between the cells. Lighting and sound are used to great effect, with rooms lit up, day and night cycles and weather effects all adding to the feel.
They have also included some improvements to AI to control the behaviour of the non-player characters (NPCs) found within the towns and settlements. The 'Radiant' AI system promised a lot, but delivers less than it boasted. NPCs will go about their daily duties, chat amongst each other, sleep and eat accordingly. It's an effective touch that adds to the illusion of the game world, but I think they had to tone it down to prevent the game from becoming too RAM hungry.
Having chosen your character, there are several Guilds or 'Factions' to join in order to gain quests. The main ones include the Thieves' Guild, Mages' Guild, Fighters' Guild and Assassin's Guild, where you can receive missions, gain training and proceed through the ranks to fame or notoriety. There are also dozens of other side quests, which can be picked up through an innovative 'eavesdropping' system, where new topics of conversation can lead to new quests when snippets of NPC dialogue are overheard. There is also a Roman-style gladiatorial arena in which you can compete, which is quite atmospheric with baying crowds and blood-stained walls. Perhaps the most fun are the Daedra shrines, which involve completing a range of tasks for the demon-lords, ranging from the strangely benign, to the humorous and evil. There are so many quests to embark upon that this game does have value for money; there must be over 200 hours of game time here.
Travelling round the game world can be done either on foot, or by horse, which is the most enjoyable experience. The 'public transport' found in Morrowind have been removed in favour of a lazy 'fast travel' option; i.e. simply click on the map to instantly turn up somewhere. This is again an oversight I feel, as it removes the element of danger found in crossing the wilderness. The pre-release artwork of sword-wielding knights on mounts also led to another disappointment- when mounted on your horse, you can't engage in combat. A tricky bit of programming, perhaps, but it was a feature that every gamer wanted included.
Talking to people has always been essential to glean information so that progression through RPGs is possible, and this is one of the games weakest features. Whereas Morrowind had extensive dialogue options, the majority of which was text based, all lines of dialogue have been recorded by voice actors. Unfortunately, it's very badly put together. When engaging in a conversation, the game pauses and zooms in on the character's face, some of which are quite off-putting. There are also far too few voice actors employed, and you'll get sick of hearing the same voice coming out of the mouths of all these NPCs. Worse still is the 'persuasion' option. Previously, there were options to bribe, intimidate, taunt or admire, with you making the best selection based upon how successful each option may be to the character's demeanour. In Oblivion, it has been replaced with a nonsensical mini-game, that involves telling a joke, intimidating, boasting and admiring must all be used, but in the correct order. Its inclusion is baffling, and its design is horrible, childish and detracting from the game experience.
Missions and quests can be achieved in a number of different ways. Combat has been improved from Morrowind's system, making use of the physics engine to good effect to show the kinetics of a sword fight. However, the AI here is lacking, and the game allows you to either sit behind a shield and wait for your enemies' blows to bounce off, then parry when they are off guard, or simply stick them full of arrows from a safe vantage point. The lumping of 'Axe' and 'Mace' skills together as 'Blunt', and large and small blade skills together comes across as patronising. Fans of crossbows and spears will be disappointed too, as these have been removed.
The creatures and monsters are well designed, with excellent attention to detail. Yet none of them really employ strengths and weaknesses to any great effect, and all can be defeated by repeatedly whacking them with a weapon of choice, and it can get pretty dull.
Stealth is much more fun, akin to the system found in the 'Thief' games. Staying out of light, wearing light clothes and creeping slowly work to your advantage, and the lockpicking skill involves a nerve-wracking mini game of poking lock tumblers into the right position, with a mistake snapping a precious lockpick. The games option to switch between 3rd and 1st person are a very handy tool here. The quests for Thieves and Assassins are also some of the more entertaining ones. One assassination writ requires a murder to look like an accident- cue sabotaging an elk's head above a dinner table to fall and squash a feasting lord! Being evil was never so much fun...
It was reported that the magic system from Morrowind had been overhauled completely. Well, it hasn't. It's exactly the same, with different schools of magic offering different effects, such as Restoration school for healing spells, and Conjuration to summon ghosts to assist in battle. Spells can be created at the Arcane University, once you've earned your place, but these are really just alterations in the magnitude of the effect and simple combinations of existing effects. Given the computing power available at Bethesda's fingertips, you'd think they could have come up with some more spectacular and interesting magic effects.
Magic potions can be brewed from gathering ingredients from the wilderness that have alchemical properties, with more properties revealed as your skill improves. This is also a bit nonsensical. For example, ingredients that were previously not harmful when ingested become poisonous when the poisonous quality is discovered. Again, it's an aspect of the game that could have been executed with more interesting features...
You develop your character's powers by actively honing the skills that define your character. For example, if Marksmanship is one of your main skills, then the more arrows you loose off, or training you receive from experts, the more your skill will improve. When enough of these skills have been increased, you are rewarded with a 'level up', which will no doubt be familiar to fans of the RPG genre. You can then put further points to attributes such as Strength, Speed or Luck, for example, and in theory make your character more powerful.
Yet this is where we encounter the most fundamental flaw of Oblivion's gameplay. The most controversial decision taken by the developers at Bethesda was to 'level' the whole game relative to the level of your character, so that no area would be off-limits. Basically, what this means is that a group of bandits encountered whilst you are meant to be a weak and lowly Level 2, will be equally useless at combat and armed with poor weapons; encounter the same set of bandits at Level 30 and they will all have gallons of hit points and come equipped with the deadliest Daedric weapons.
In the same way that the grass of the plains springs into view under your feet when it comes into the 'draw distance', it becomes apparent that the whole game, no matter what angle from which you approach it, revolves around your player character. This instantly shatters any illusion of a living, breathing world, and consequently makes any journey into the unknown pointless, as the game adjusts almost every encounter according to your current level. It also goes one step further, with any treasure you may find on your ventures set in the same way. Dungeons filled with enemies, no matter how gorgeously rendered, are no longer exciting when you realise that neither risk nor reward are ever to be found within. As an experiment I defeated the reigning Arena champion in gladiatorial combat at a puny Level 3 with a rusty sword, and at this point I felt totally let down.
Ultimately, beneath this game's veneer of danger, calamity and exploration beats a coward's heart. It's also lazy game design, and not what I would expect from the likes of Bethesda.
However, help is at hand!
The 'Modding' Tools:
There are some extremely powerful editing tools included with the PC version, which allows the player to modify or 'mod' the game in a great many ways. Fans of this series are legion, and amongst them are some very skilled modders who have addressed many of the problems listed above. Whilst installing mods can be tricky, and some can conflict, causing the game to crash, some of the best mods are well worth looking at as they breathe new life into this game. Here are some of the best ones that you can download, and they're all free:
Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul:
A mammoth mod of love and devotion, this corrects the randomised levelling system, and hand-tweaks every dungeon, cave and mission to be at a set difficulty, with appropriate rewards. This does make the game more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding. It also includes many, many more changes to numerous to list here, but it's well worth looking into.
Deadly Reflex -
This changes the combat from being dull to exhilarating. Arrows fly swiftly, blocking must be timed, and there is mounted combat too! It all gets a bit violent too, with decapitations, throat-slitting, and impaling stunned opponents, so it may not be suitable for younger players.
Midas' Magic of Arcanum -
This adds a whole new spell-casting system to enjoy, with an array of wonderfully programmed effects. Turn your opponents into gold, conjure up a thunder storm to obliterate them, fly on a magic carpet, or summon a monster made entirely out of Cheddar cheese. No, I'm not joking.
Kvatch Rebuilt -
After you have stopped the desolation of the city of Kvatch at the beginning of the game, the survivors rebuild it. With many more quests to do, a new arena to fight in, and a countess' throne to fill, this is a great addition.
These are just a few of the mods that change this game from disappointing to excellent. That it is easily edited is Oblivion's saving grace, but it's only readily done on the PC version, sorry PS3 and XBox owners! (This is the main reason why I only play PC games)
Finally, the packaging: the special edition of the game is superb, similar to the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies, with an attractive cardboard case with a map, booklets and a bonus disc, all decked out with great artwork. Normal versions are in a standard DVD case, but I prefer the old-school style of packaging games in big cardboard boxes with loads of content, rather than plastic-y cases.
There is also a Game of the Year version that includes the two add-ons, Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles. These both add some worthy content to the game, especially the latter set in the realm of madness, but they're not essential given the number of mods available with extra quests that can be downloaded for free. You can find a copy of this for under £10 now, and it's not really dated very much over the past 4 years.
All in all, I can't help but feel that Bethesda 'sold out' with this one, pandering to younger console players who found Morrowind too complex or frustrating with its detailed, text based dialogue. Instead they delivered us a disappointing, patronising, dumbed-down TES installment. I hope they learn from their mistakes, and the release of TES V: Skyrim in November this year rekindles my interest in the series.
3 stars as it is, 5 stars when tweaked just how you want it.
Let me first of all set the mood for the review, this game is brilliant.
Now we have that out of the way, lets move onto the different versions and the add-ons, as at this time of writing, many will have either bought them separately, or inclusively in the game of the year edition.
For some reason Bethesda like releasing a standard version like shown above, then charging an extortionate amount for add-on packs that last several hours, then release a very reasonably priced game of the year (GoTY) edition with almost all of the major add-ons included. The above standard version is the main bulk, you will spend hours enjoying yourself in the game world created in Oblivion, however, the time will come when you'll want to move on and see what the GoTY edition includes.
With Shivering Isle, you get to see a very flamboyant world and I must say, the add-on adds an extra quality feel to the game in terms of story and looks. The other main add on included in the GoTY edition is Knights of the Nine. While this too was a good added bit of story, you can really see that the developers just put in an extra few scenes and characters, whereas Shivering Isle really was another game world for you to explorer.
Finally, the limited edition came in a double DVD thickness digipack with the usual collectors edition stuff you don't need (some pics, background reading and an extra DVD), and a very heavy, plastic coated "Septim" gold coin.
So those are the three editions and the major add-on packs, I have at one point in time owned all three on different platforms - Try to get the GoTY Edition. The limited edition isn't worth it.
Oblivion includes a much more in-depth character customisation screen than Morrowind, or most other current day RPGs. This allows you to create some very unique character faces, but I can't help but wonder, a lot of these settings range across the very extremes of what you would select. For instance you could apply a really small nose or a massive pointy nose. This leads to some strangely shaped faces when you press the "randomize" button, anything from a thin sausage face to a fat melon face can be given. I would have rather the developers keep to much more natural constraints or given a set of face models within realistic proportions. Either way, you will spend some time at the very beginning of your game playing around with these settings.
For skill customisation, this game takes you through a tutorial level which can suggest a character class for you. This isn't very reliable, as the tutorial can be quite different to what you would play like in the rest of the game, and it is best to choose and develop your own character, not one that was given or suggested to you - it is a fantasy game after all.
Oblivion will immediately introduce you to the main storyline, which is a fantastic one. You'll notice voices from Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart as major characters in the game. The game world is very complex and it is deeply attached to a history and timeline, which can be explored through conversations and texts in-game. However, it isn't limitless, and considering the time investment required to complete this game (can be in the 100 hours range), the characters will start to say the same things, which breaks the illusion a little.
The "radiant" AI is quite good. Nothing compared what you could apparently do in the early trailers, but the level of interaction with the NPCs walking around the cities is quite involved. The AI is patchy however, and there will be many times where you will wonder why a character is doing something it shouldn't, mostly in random fights. Also the creators in an effort to display or showcase the AI have included some BS quests. Early on you may wonder why you have been told to follow someone going about their daily chores - which subsequently are the most boring chores to watch (repeatedly moving hand to mouth to eat for 15 minutes followed by walking to a field and raking the hay for another 15 minutes). The radiant AI is really just the characters doing such activities every day. I just feel more could have been done to create unique non-quest related and memorable encounters.
Moving onto the graphics, well, they were amazing to begin with, but can look a bit dated now. My advice would be to try to enable HDR - the surreal glowing effect you see from lights, and try to force anti-aliasing through your graphics card driver software to smooth out jagged lines, as the game will not support both HDR and AA in its settings at the same time. This can hopefully make better use of newer hardware.
The soundtrack... gets repetitive. You will recognise a familiar sounding tune if you have played Morrowind for the title screen, and the music itself is fitting and well prepared. As there are very few tracks available - triggered by cues such as if you are being attacked, are underground in a cave or are in the open, you will quickly recognise what's happening to you from the background music, but it really is just a very few number tracks for such a long game.
Having played on the PC, with the use of the command console if something should go wrong, and of course having visited the elder scrolls nexus modding site to download some community created mod content, I can only now recommend this game for the PC. Something eventually may go wrong in your game - maybe hours since you last saved, and the piece of mind having the console there to help you fix bugs with easy commands is an absolute necessity not available on the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions. Also of course, on the PC you have access to free and hugely varied online community modifications which you can download and browse at you leisure, adding an unparalleled level of development and depth, far exceeding Bethesda's effort.
This Game Gets 10/10
Some good closing statements would be: "You must like RPGs to play", or "Requires a hefty time investment", but the most important thing I can divulge, on the PC anyway, is that hours are wasted early on in the game walking very slowly to destinations, I cannot highly recommend you "tweak" the game on the PC to allow you to walk at normal speed - the way I see it, the developers do not have the right to quote extended game playing time due to restricting you movement speed in-game. Oh and you should try to get to grips with how to mod the game, you wont regret it.
Traditional RPG games tend to bore me after 5 minutes of intense class selection topped off with far to many choices. Oblivion is not a traditional RPG, this game takes things such as stats and game altering choices and throws in a 1st person view.
Giving the game an Fps style helps immersion into the game world making everything seem so much more real, characters appear to talk to you as a person, even looking you in the eye.
Side quests add length to the game, Guilds are often the best source of gripping missions with rewards that will benefit you significantly. After joining each guild to see what suited my taste I found the Dark Brotherhood to be the source of the most interesting quests, leading me to have to pause the game at points to consider the consequences of my actions.
One of the key reasons to get this game on PC would be for the MODS, community made customizations or even full games, helping to add hours of more game play after you complete "Vanilla" Oblivion.
Modern PCs may not have issues with such demanding game but check your system is capable of running this game in order to fully appreciate this adventure experience.
The Elder Scrolls Oblivion is a role playing game for the PC.
This game is absolutely massive, the land of Cyrodill will take you a long time to fully explore and travel round.
The story in this game follows you as a prisoner who works his way up, in the quest to close all of the Oblivion gates. The story mode is long and there are lots of side missions to take part in as nearly every character in the game has a task for you.
The PC version has improved graphics over the Xbox 360, and as well as that you can add user created mods which can add a lot of content to your game for free.
Even if you have this game for the Xbox 360, you should consider if getting it on the PC as there are additional benefits.
You can purchase this game for around 10 to 20 pounds and it is a must-have.
You are nothing. Nothing but a lowly prisoner in a cage, alone with nothing to do. Maybe toss a few bones around, maybe rattle those hanging chains. Contemplate the best way to kill the jerk in the cell across the hall, perhaps. Your life is at an absolute low, and shows no signs of improving any time soon.
And then, disaster strikes.
T H E - S T O R Y
The Elder Scrolls series never lacks in story. In this latest installment, as always, you start off as a nameless prisoner - you're locked up in a cell in the Imperial City Prison. After you create your character, choosing from one of ten unique races (Argonian, Breton, Dark Elf, High Elf, Imperial, Khajiit, Nord, Orc, Redguard, Wood Elf) the game wastes no time in plunging you right into the action. Once you listen to the insulting little speech from a prisoner in a nearby cell, you find yourself in most unexpected company.
Three guards are escorting the emperor of Tamriel, Uriel Septim himself, to safety through a hidden route under the prison. Septim's sons have all just been slain by assassins, and the guards fear that the emperor is next. By a godly twist of fate, the secret escape tunnel begins right there in your cell, hidden from view. As one of the guards puts it, "Looks like this is your lucky day." But wait. Something is wrong.
The emperor stops you and looks your face over a few times. He recognizes you. He claims he has seen your face in the prophetic dreams that have haunted his sleep as of late. By chance, he finds you here in the very cell that will lead him to safety (or so they hope). You converse shortly with him and he tells you to follow him for a little while. He trusts you, despite the opinions of the guards that are made quite clear. The captain pushes in on a brick, opening a hole where your bed had been just moments earlier. Unfortunately, the assassins had found their way into the escape route as well, and you are forced to part with the escort party.
From there, the game walks you through a tutorial in the form of an expansive dungeon, explaining almost every aspect of the game to you in great detail. You are pitted against goblins and giant rats, and even the occasional zombie, until you come out of the other side and meet up with the emperor. You continue at his side until he is tragically killed right before escaping. With his last breath, he gives you the Amulet of Kings and sends you on a mission to seek out his illegitimate son, relight the Dragonfires that kept the mortal/immortal balance in check, and stop the Prince of Destruction and his otherworldly demons from entering the living plane of Tamriel.
"Find him, and close shut the jaws of Oblivion!"
T H E - G A M E P L A Y
If you haven't experienced the game by now, there is something wrong with you - Oblivion is utterly amazing. Even the infinite possibilities laid out by the character creation feature at the very beginning can occupy hours of your time. You can change your character's face-shape, skin color, eye color, hairstyle (as well as length and color) and much more. You can play as a male or female version of any of the the ten races, and have as many different characters as you want.
One of the first things you'll immediately notice about Oblivion upon creating your avatar - the graphics are amazing. To date, they are some of the best I've seen. From the texture in your cell walls to the wrinkles on your face, everything looks polished and oozes effort and production value. The dynamic lighting plays a big part for stealth gamers. Magic will radiate a mystical aura when cast. The weapons even reflect light flawlessly depending on the time of day and means of illumination in your environment.
Combat in Oblivion runs so much smoother than it did in its predecessor, Morrowind, that it makes me want to vomit with joy. Now, you can actually see the blade making contact with your foe as you hack at him mercilessly. You can see arrows protruding from fallen victims. And magic looks and feels so much more real that I find myself often making the motions along with the character as I cast it. Satisfaction mounts as baddies crumble and reanimated skeletons burst into bits before your unstoppable onslaught. Then, you meet a new, high-level enemy and get torn to ribbons. While the difficulty of the game is tethered to your level, there is challenge meter that you can slide up and down, giving the game even more replay value than it would have had without it.
Your skills improve based on what you do, so the game is directly tailored to your style of play. There are three main game-play focuses - combat, magic, and stealth. Each significantly differs from the others and has its own guilds and factions supporting its style. Join the Fighters' Guild if you love hacking and slashing. If you prefer the arcane approach, try the Mages' Guild. Stealth-types belong in the Thieves' Guild or the Dark Brotherhood. And there are even more out there to be discovered. Each faction is different and has enough story behind it be made into a separate game on its own. And there are more side quests than you can shake a stick at - you can play for days without even scratching the surface of the main quest.
All NPC's (non-playable characters) in the game have schedules that they follow daily. It makes Tamriel feel like a real place. They will go home, open up their shops, go on walks, sleep at inns, go to church, and sometimes even rob you. Crimes against them (except of course the outlaws and bandits) are punishable by fines, a prison sentence, or if your bounty is high enough, death. The guards show no mercy.
The voice acting in Oblivion is mostly great. There are only a few I could really complain about (female Orcs, Nords and Redguards). You will often have companions in your quests who you'll need to speak with frequently in order to stay updated on the situation. There is no multiplayer mode in Oblivion, but I believe that this is all for the better. I feel the Elder Scrolls games should remain strictly single-player until Bethesda creates an MMO.
What truly sets the PC version of Oblivion apart from the 360 version is the downloadable construction set. A traditional Elder Scrolls that allows you to open a game editor and create your own environments to be added into the game. I'm personally a mod freak and I use this feature regularly. It's extremely addictive, exploring all the creative possibilities, so I suggest you play through the game at least once before trying it. Once you've gotten into creating mods, you can put them online for others to download, and have them tell you whether they think you're a crafty mod master or someone unworthy of using the word "edit".
I could go on forever about the positives in Oblivion. So it's only fair that I explore the negatives as well. The game can feel a bit repetitive at times. It's easy to get bored if you continue to do the same thing over and over again. Morrowind fans will find that Oblivion lacks the variety its older cousin gave us. There are much, much fewer armor, weapon and enemy types to play around with, although it still provides more than enough to be interesting. Early copies of the game contained bugs and glitches that were later fixed by patches, and the fact that you cannot fight on horseback was a bit of a letdown.
But the good far, far, far outweighs the bad. If you're like me, a huge RPG gamer with a wide variety of role-playing tastes, you will certainly enjoy this title and most likely find that it greatly exceeds anything done in the past.
C O N C L U S I O N
To be short, Oblivion is the best RPG that I've ever played. You will been enthralled for 40+ hours if you plan on finishing the whole thing and you will have to create new characters better suited for certain types of missions to succeed. Buy it. Now. Kiss your girlfriend, boyfriend, children, parents, whatever... kiss them goodbye. There's a shiny new seductress occupying your life and time, and her name is Oblivion.
Oblivion is the best Role Playing game I have ever played. I considered it as just another game in the beginning, it was something more than that. I finished the game and played it even after finishing the game with a total of about 200 hours and more than 2000 save games. With the official plug-in Knights of the Nine and official expansion of the game Shivering Isles make the huge game even bigger. The Game of the year edition has been released including all these, but even without the expansion, Oblivion is a very big world.
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Microsoft Windows XP/2000
512 MB of System RAM
2.0 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
8x DVD-ROM Drive
4.6 GB free Hard Disk Space
DirectX 9.0c (included in the CD/DVD)
128 MB Direct 3D Compatible Video card
DirectX 9.0 compatible driver
DirectX 8.1 Compatible Sound Card
Keyboard and Mouse
A LONG WAY INTO THE OBLIVION
The game begins with the player lying in the prison. But the player is lucky this time because the Emperor Uriel Septim VII is escaping from an attack by a group of assassins called the Mythic Dawn, and the secret passage to escape from the castle is in the player's cell. The emperor decides to take the prisoner with him, may be thinking that he can aid them in some way. They travel together through an underground tunnel through the sewers. But despite the best efforts from the soldiers as well as the player, the emperor fails to survive an ambush during the journey.
The Emperor had given the player the Amulet of Kings and had told him to take it to a man named Jauffre. Later it is revealed that the Emperor had an illegitimate son named Martin Septim, and the player has to find him. But there are already a number of Oblivion gates opened through out the empire connecting hell and the empire. The player can choose to close all these gates by going through them and collect a sigil stone which lies in the centre, or just go by the main quest where the player can finally close the main gate and all other gates with it. Meanwhile completing the side quests can be helpful in many ways.
The Shivering Isles expansion adds another main quest and a number of side quests. We will get informed about a strange door being opened and as we find and go through it, we enter the Realm of Madness where have to stop a phenoemenon known as the Greymarch which happens once a while and destroys the whole place. The whole place looks entirely different and gives you a new feel. Meanwhile Knights of the Nine only adds a faction and a few missions associated with this faction, until we are to slay a powerful sorcerer Umaril in both physical and spiritual world.
A GREAT EXPERIENCE
Oblivion has got some amazing graphics. All the characters look great and player character look as good as you have worked on it at the beginning of the game. The weather changes and the environment, especially the water is another great part of the game. All these effects are more evident in the Shivering Isles. The voice acting of the characters including the opponents are also too good. The music and the sounds from the surroundings are very much effective during the game. As this is an RPG, the dialogues are a major part of the game.
When the game starts, you get to design your character. You will select your race now, but the class and birthsign are to be selected later during the game. The selection of race affects the way you play the game, as different races have different abilities like Nords having resistance to cold, Argonians being able to breath underwater and britons having increased magika. Just like the usual RPG games, there are attributes like strength, intelligence, speed etc, which can increased as you increase in level as a result of increasing your major skills. These major skills vary according to the class, and there will be also a few minor skills.
All these happen as a result of gaining experience by going through the game, as these skills include athletics which can be increased by walking, running or swimming while acrobatics by jumping. Meanwhile, most of the skills are improved by fighting itself. The way you kill the opponents is also significant as it affects the progress too. Defeating the enemies won't be too hard if you have some above average weapons and armour along with a proper knowledge about the spells and also use them effectively enough. Some regeneration spells as well as armour will help the cause.
BETHESDA MAKES IT ALMOST PERFECT
The game's replayability factor is higher because of the large number of factions in this game. The best of them would be the Arena itself, where you can fight a number of opponents to reach the final battle and then beat the champion to become the new Grand Champion of the arena. There are also the Thieves Guild, Fighters Guild and the Mages Guild, each giving some missions to prove your worth to reach the higher stages of the guild. There are also some others like the Dark Brotherhood involving some of the bloodiest missions in the game. This faction hs got some of the best storylines in the game. There are also some shrines of deadric princes who can give you some new quests if you can give you the right offering.
The world of Oblivion is just too mesmerising. You can just fight some opponents around those oblivion gates or those creatures of the jungle, or just wander around the beautiful landscape discovering new places. Some of the places look too good that we may just want to take a screenshot instead of playing. If you have a good graphics card, you will enjoy the game, avoid the occasional crashes though. There will also be lots of user-made add-ons avaliable in the internet, which can bring interesting new elements.
THANKS FOR READING THE REVIEW :-)
Oblivion is basically a 3d adventure roleplay, the graphic is amazing, the game is very simple and could take even 200 hours of game or so, there are many new expansions that are coming on the market or are already out.
How can you describe the game ? this is very simple, oblivion is a 3d game in 1st person, you start from a prison in the capital , and the king gives you a mission, then is up to you what you want to do and how you want to do, you choose what kind of character would like to be, and start your adventure.
the graphic as I already mentioned before is breathtaking, I never saw anithyng even close to that in a game, the only drwaback of that is that you require a good pc and a decent 3d card to enjoy it like at least a nvidia 6800-7800 or ati x800 or better, you can of course play with a lower card and take something of the graphic, it will still be nice even with somewhat lower details but if you have a good pc and you like roleplaying games set in a medieval era, this is probably the best on the market.
The game does not support multiplayer, is basically just an adventure, and even after is finished you will notice there is still a lot to do, quest you haven't done, place you haven't visited, expansions that can be added later and so on, it's probably virtually infinite or even if is not it's still one of the game with the highest replayability on the market
One of the most acclaimed game by many magazines and players in 2006 deserves to be reviewed, and I will take a pause from playing it and make this job.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was long awaited fantasy-themed role playing game, especially after huge success of its predecessor; The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind which caused me many sleepless nights and was responsible for many of my dreams and nightmares.
I am not hard-core gamer at all, but there is something in The Elder Scrolls series that pushes me slightly over the boundary between a moderate games consumer and an addicted freak who will risk few nights for the sake of completing some important quest in a game.
Anyway, I have discussed about games addiction before and still I consider myself as completely normal in that aspect.
Back to Oblivion.
In 2002 just before release of Morrowind, people at Bethedsa Software LLC started on work of Oblivion. Literally it took them 4 years to complete the game and while Morrowind was reaching its place on the role-playing games throne, everyone started to wonder what Oblivion would be like once when it is out.
Guys in Bethedsa didnt have an option but to make amazing role-playing fantasy game again that will successfully continue the saga of trouble in kingdom of Tamriel.
For all readers not familiar with the story behind The Elder Scrolls here are some useful
Tamriel is a continent on planet Nirn (and it is also an Empire) and all stories starts and finishes in this imaginary world. The plot of Oblivion is put into central province of Cyrodiil, the home of the Emperor and the Elder Council, which is the central government of the whole Tamriel.
In Morrowind we didnt have a chance to meet Emperor himself (although his name was mentioned in several situations), but the story of Oblivion starts with main character meeting the Emperor himself at the very beginning of the game.
Just like in the Morrowind saga, your character finds himself in prison at the beginning of the game, and being sent to mysterious quest to find out about well, what is purpose of him I whole story.
Choosing a character is something which you will need to do at the very beginning of the game and that cannot be amended later on. There are 10 playable characters in Oblivion;
Four of the races are classical human archetypes:
Breton - Descendants of humans, they also have Elven blood flowing through their veins and are thus not only predisposed toward healing and other magical arts, but also have a strong resistance to magical damage.
Imperial - The reigning race of Cyrodiil, they are predominantly influential and socialite, and are slightly predisposed towards physical combat and heavier types of armor.
Nord - The Fair-haired, hardy folk of Skyrim origin, they are resistant to cold temperatures and are known for their unique, yet brutal style of combat.
Redguard - The dark-skinned human race of the sunken continent Yokuda, they are known for their swift, fatal blows.
Three types of Mer (Elves):
Altmer - Also known as High Elves, the tall inhabitants of Sumerset Isle are the most skilled of all races in the magical arts, yet are themselves vulnerable to magic.
Bosmer - Commonly known as Wood Elves, the small and nimble inhabitants of Valenwood are known for their skill with bows and arrows and predisposition towards thievery.
Dunmer - Commonly known as Dark Elves, the dark-skinned inhabitants of Morrowind are not known for their skill in any particular art, but are equally adept at a variety of skills and are slightly predisposed towards the magical arts.
Three beast races:
Orsimer - Also known as Orc, the native denizens of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains, they are an offshoot of the Altmer known for being brutish in both strength and attitude.
Khajiit - The feline inhabitants of Elseweyr known for their agility and stealth, both of which make them well-suited for thievery.
Argonian - The reptilian inhabitants of Black Marsh are equally at home in both land and water, and are subsequently adept at fast traveling and surprise assaults.
Once you choose your character in initial level, decide about race and sign, you are sent to Cyrodiil and this is where your quest really begins. You have to find the emperors heir
who will stand up against the threat of evil forces of Deadric cult known as Mythic Dawn. Throughout the whole Cyrodiil, the doors of Oblivion start to open as some sort of portals and numbers of creatures begin to overwhelm once peaceful world but now under massive threat.
Your journey leads you to different location around huge world and among the main quest you have a chance to do many small different quests in order to fill your pocket with necessary gold coins, which can be spend for buying the weapons, armours, magic items, clothes and other useful things.
On your travels there are so many places where you can collect items by just carefully looking around abandoned boxes, sacks, barrels or by finding them in specific location like caves or abandoned fortresses.
Well, things could bet a bit complicated, as you would expect in computer game, and it would not be always easy to get precious items without getting involved in combat with different creatures or thieves on the roads. However, if you are attacked you have a right to defended yourself and kill your attacker, and if successful, you can take all its possessions and keep it for yourself.
It is different when you interact with other peaceful characters; you should not attack or steal from them, because youll be approached by Imperial guard at some point and sent to jail for committing the crime. However, it is upon you and your decision if you want to resist the arrest, but in that case youll have to fight Imperial guard and things could get much more complicated. Even if you manage to defeat the guard, hey will constantly search for you and game could become a bit tedious because youll need to be continually
aware of presence of the guards and your main quest might become an inferior aim.
However, if you choose to mess up with dark side of you personality then there is a way to do this.
If you kill someone, who wasnt threat to you and if you do this without Imperial guard doesnt noticing, youll get away with your crime, but soon youll be approached by The Dark Brotherhood who will offer you to join the cult and work for them on different assignments. The good thing about being a member of this cult is that youll have a power to do certain things without being revealed, and be able to gather some very useful items which could be of great help to you.
Among The Dark Brotherhood, which is by the way an illegal organization; you can join other guilds such as Fighters Guild, Mages Guild and Thieves Guild.
Most of your assignments will be given by leaders of those guilds and as you process throughout the game the missions will be more demanding and complicated.
Your skills and experience grows with every achievements and your character become more and more powerful. And yes, with every new accomplished assignment your reputation also grows as well as you get money.
Dont just really on assignments given by Guilds. There are more than different characters in the game and some of them would offer you an interesting quest which you cant refuse. Bare in mind that those quests only bring benefits to you (material in most cases lie gold once you accomplish them), but if you feel that there is something more important to be done then again it is up to you to decide.
All items in the game, well almost all, even some type of grass that you can harvest on your journeys through wilderness, have some value. By selling them to merchants and shop owners in populated areas you will also get gold, so do not underestimate anything you find.
It is always good to have good relations with important characters like guild members, merchants, guards and all other characters. The more they know you; they will give you more information which will only help you to achieve your aims. Sometimes in order accomplish particular quest youll need to get valuable piece of information from different characters, but bare in mind that they will only give you that if you manage to persuade them of course by paying them with gold.
As in real word, nothings free in Oblivion, unless you steal it.
New way of travel through the world of Tamriel is by horse. You can buy the horse and get from one point to another much quicker then just by walking. If you dont want just click on the map and teleport to particular location instantly then use the horse as main way of transport. That way you would have a chance to discover many interesting locations where there is a real treasure hidden. The more you discover the more you get, this is how I feel after playing Oblivion for some time now.
I dont really want to use teleport option to often, it is not exciting enough, but hey, everyone has a choice to play the game in its own way.
Graphic in the game is stunning. The amount of details is absolutely incredible and if you want to see the game in full glory then are in mind that without decent computer with high specs you wont be able to enjoy it.
I have Intel Core 2 Duo with 1,83 Ghz, 1024 of Ram and nVidia 7600 supporting 256 MB of graphics memory and game works fine.
Graphic settings can be easily adjusted as per you preference, there are few levels of anti-aliasing (a/a) that can be adjusted (anti-aliasing defines the amount of sharpness of objects in a game) and in order to get more realistic look of the object then set this option to the maximum. It looks absolutely amazing when a/a is set to level 4 but that will eat most of your memory so be aware.
Textures of the objects, buildings, characters faces, vegetations, animals etc.. are done with great sense for details.
The most incredible features in the game are distant views of the world. When you climb on some hill and look around you, the view is astonishing.
The exchange between night and day looks like in real time, amount of daylight and effects of it on surroundings bring the overall atmosphere to the level that you probably havent seen in computer game so far.
If for nothing else, install this game on your computer and enjoy the view on beautiful landscape of Cyrodiil.
Have you ever heard of Jeremy Soule? If you have, then you know that music in the game is another magnificent attribute. If you havent then wait until one of my next reviews where I tend to write about this excellent composer of fantasy music.
I came across JSs music while I was playing Morrowind in old days, and the main tune from the game overwhelmed me instantly but not only me but only my partner. We had this tune called Nerevar Rising on our music players and were listening it tens of times during the day for few months.
At that time we were also planning our wedding and even got an idea to ask band to play this tune during the wedding ceremony I know it might sound silly but every time I hear this tune it gives me shivers...
Anyway, Jeremy Soule is author of music in all instalments of The Elders Scrolls but also other games such as Neverwinter Nights, The Guild Wars
Soule's soundtracks are often critically acclaimed as being among the best in the computer and video games.
If you like Howard Shore, then you will probably like Jeremy Soule. His has ability to create music which takes you to mystical fantasy world and makes you to want to stay there forever. His music is collection of orchestral pieces of atmospheric music that is even available as an official soundtrack.
If you like this sort of music then you will enjoy JSs work and I can only highly recommend it.
I have to stop here with the story because I havent finish the game yet but look forward to do by the end of this year. Yes, that is The Elder Scrolls for you, it never ends, it is ongoing story of classic war between good and evil with the impact of imagination, risen from western mythology that we can see in stories like Lord of the Rings and similar.
Once when you start to play this game it soon becomes more than just a game. And this is where the real danger lies. You could easily become addicted to it, but this are the consequences of which we should all be aware.
I like to compare the prequels Morrowind and Oblivion and only thing I liked before was the amount of weird and unusual creatures in Morrowind, which are now lacking in Oblivion. Most of the characters are humanoids, but once you enter through the gates of Oblivion things will change. However I have a feeling that the character developers in Morrowind used their imagination much better than In Oblivion but that is just my subjective view.
However, definitely not the reason that would put me off from enjoying this magnificent piece of modern digital entertainment.
I would recommend Oblivion to anyone who likes the fantasy, quests and enjoy games that offer months of adventure and excitement. It is massive and time consuming but so professionally done that it is hard to resist.
Close those gates of Oblivion and bring the peace to the world of Tamriel.
I bought this game having not much idea what it was about, as i have never played an elder scrolls game before. I was extremely impressed.
The game is THE most extensive game i have ever played on the PC, and every time you play its completely different.
You get to choose your own character and then decide which class you will be: its up to you.
There are so many challenges to complete and so much to explore and do, i just didnt know where to start!
The world is huge and there is quite a lot of travelling to do between cities, but the good part is that once you have discovered a city, camp etc it appears on the map and then in future you can click on this place and it takes you there straight away.
I have been playing this game non stop and i am still finding new things out every time i play.
You can join guilds where you take part in additional challenges to gain favour with them, which in turn lead to extras such as some free items in the magic guild,(providing you know where to look) and free beds to sleep in.
You go into these oblivion gates in order to shut them and stop these horrible creatures from getting out. These parts i found particularly difficult, and as you raise up your level, the creatures become harder to kill.
I love this game, i like exploring and finding mini challenges. There is so much to do here, i think it could appeal to all types of game players.
One of the most respected Western role-playing games of all time is back with huge improvements in graphics and accessibility, including a completely real-time combat system and the largest, most detailed game world ever seen.