Product Type: Take 2 PC games
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Oblivion is more than just an ordinary computer game
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)
Member Name: samanosuke74
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)
Advantages: Great story, graphics, excellent music and great entertainment
Disadvantages: Time consuming and easily can cause addiction
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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 you’ll 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 you’ll 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 you’ll 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 wasn’t threat to you and if you do this without Imperial guard doesn’t noticing, you’ll get away with your crime, but soon you’ll 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 you’ll 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.
Don’t 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 can’t 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 you’ll 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, nothing’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 won’t 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, character’s 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 haven’t 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 haven’t then wait until one of my next reviews where I tend to write about this excellent composer of fantasy music.
I came across JS’s 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 ten’s 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 JS’s work and I can only highly recommend it.
I have to stop here with the story because I haven’t 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.
Summary: Explore the world that needs your skills and personality to defeat evil forces