The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Reviews

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    It’s difficult to say anything without saying too much, it would be easy to write a 50,000 word essay about this game without pause. This game is not a game, it’s a life experience, a never-ending adventure of extreme proportions. It allows you to escape- escape into your own personal fantasy world where nothing is restricted, and the only boundaries are that of your own imagination.
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    I will try not to go into too much detail here, and I don't want to plague you with my own specific experiences, encounters and methods. I will only attempt to summarise the key aspects of this immense first and third person action role-playing adventure for you, as briefly as I can help myself.

    CHARACTER GENERATION and CUSTOMISATION

    You are given a choice of ten races of people, very different people from all corners of the continent of Tamriel. They are very different in many ways; their appearances, abilities, attributes and, due to their varying cultures, storyline and quest prompting. These races each have two sexes and a wide range of variations to their appearances, including hairstyles and colours, headwear, jewellery, spikes, fins, horns and more. The customisation is endless regarding the shaping and toning of the head and face. You are also allowed to change your age from an attractive youth to a wrinkled old person. Unfortunately you are unable to alter your body in any way, and you are given a fit, young, generic frame for all races, this is however complemented later in various storyline and action modes.

    Depending on the choices you make and your skills you will find a very wide range of clothing and armours in the land of Cyrodiil, where this specific adventure takes place. These can be found in all places, such as towns and villages, caves, forts, chests at the bottom of lakes etc, or plundered off the bodies of your and other's various victims. You can where any item of clothing or armour despite gender, you can made your own, or you can just purchase them from the many stores available. You have five basic apparel: shoes or armoured boots, pants, skirts or greaves, tops or cuirasses, gloves or gauntlets, and finally hats or helmets. Unfortunately you cannot change the colours or patterns of any of these. However you can do something called 'Enchantment' to any piece of apparel as well as to any shields and weapons. This means you can bestow on them an attribute that will aid you in some way, for example boots that make you run faster, a hat that makes you see in the dark, or even a sword with in-built fire damage, and then you can name these items. The possibilities are very wide and include enough range to fully satisfy everyone.

    Enjoyable and very extensive, if lacking minutely in some areas
    8.8 / 10

    GRAPHICS and GRAPHICAL EFFECTS

    For it’s time and considering it’s immensity the general graphics of Oblivion are astounding. Details of the grain on the trees and the rough on the rocks are minute, the array of surfaces are immeasurable and very skilfully grafted to their appropriate environments. It’s clear after a short look around that Bethesda took very great care and a lot of time when placing and colouring the detailed graphics of every single material in the world. From the awesome effects of fire, frost, shock (electrical effects), the cool waters in the form of seas, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, rain and snow, to the beautiful and majestic skies of Cyrodiil our eyes are evermore enriched. From the dregs of the lowest and filthiest dungeons to the clear and cold peaks of the Jarrell Mountains the graphics of Oblivion are meticulous and pleasing, sometimes forming combinations that can sting your eyes. Nothing is more visually breath-taking and stress-relieving than watching the sun rise over the Jerrall Mountains.
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    Beautiful and skillfully crafted
    8.9 / 10

    GAMEPLAY and COMBAT

    Unlike its predecessor Morrowind, Oblivion went all out and realistic for it’s combat engines and diversity of game-play. Instead of simple enemy engagement with an array of choice weapons etc, Oblivion allows you to choose an indefinite combination of styles and weapons to destroy your enemies. I have to make it clear here that unlike Fallout, Mass Effect and many other RPG’s you are not restricted to any class or style of combat. You are able to master every single skill simultaneously through practice. Simply use your sword and you become a better and better swordsman, sneak around alot and you become more stealthy, cast destructive spells and become more wizardly, or do them all and combine and adapt all your skills and experiences for any given scenario. It may be that a game as huge as Oblivion has some minor glitches and sometimes long loading times, but one has to remember the sheer complexities and enormous scale of such a world and excuse them as much as possible.
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    Unlike many other games the combat in Oblivion is entirely ‘free’, what I mean by that is that it has no target-locks, no restriction or even tendency towards specific targets or means of fighting. You are entirely free to engage any enemy or multiple enemies at any time during a fight. You can stun a man with a brutal sword lunge and then set his ally on fire before disengaging and firing an arrow to someone above you, in others words you are totally liberated.

    You can use your bare hands and beat your enemies to death or alternatively you can use knives, short-swords, long-swords, claymores, war axes, battle-axes and maces all with varying speeds, strengths, weights, reaches and attached attributes. These melee weapons can be wielded with shields and they can all be mastered together fully and equally. You also have the option to go ranged with light and heavy bows with varying strengths and weaknesses and corresponding attributes, which can also be fully mastered along with all melee weapons if you so choose.

    All of these can be combined with your own home made poisons- poisons are a fantastic element of Oblivion one that has to be mastered all by itself. Alchemy is utilised through your finding, harvesting, experimenting and producing base to master potions and poisons from all manner of ingredients found throughout Cyrodiil. You can tip your arrows or your blades with any poisons of your making. Poisons have such effects on your enemies as paralysis, setting them on fire, electrocuting them, draining their health or even their specific powers or skills, removing their immunities, and amongst many others brain-washing them into fighting on your side.

    All of this is without mentioning Magic. There are five schools of magic each of which has it’s own style, form and variety. Destruction magic is your primary and most favoured type of magic for it utilizes such spells as Fire, Frost, Shock, Health Damage and the Disintegration of your enemies’ armour and weapons. Combined with melee and ranged weapons Destruction magic is your ultimate means of killing.
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    On the opposite side is Restoration magic, which amongst other effects allows you to heal yourself and your allies it allows you to increase (temporarily) some of your skills and/or attributes. For example increasing your Acrobatics allowing you jump onto a high ledge, bolstering your Strength allowing you to withstand a mighty Ogre’s smash etc, etc. Restoration will cure your diseases and poisons as well as helping you resist enemy magic attacks.

    Mysticism governs spells to make you see through walls, reflect or absorb enemy spells, manipulate objects with Telekinesis, or trap the souls of your enemies to be used to make new magical weapons and armour.

    Alteration magic can be used to shield you from different enemy Destruction or physical attacks, and it can undo locks on chests and doors. It can also make you lighter to carry a heavy load of treasures back to your house or stores, or alternatively cast it on your enemy to make him too heavy to move. Alteration is also useful when facing water, it can make you breathe underwater and even walk upon it. The fantastic school of Conjuration is specifically aimed to literally summon almost any creature to fight by your side from thin air. From ghosts to zombies, and demons to Daedra Conjuration can really give you an edge in a fight. It also gives you the option to summon powerful emergency weapons and armour.

    The final school of magic is called Illusion and has a very wide range of spells, amongst it’s most useful ones are night-vision and light (as in turning yourself into a beacon of light). It can manipulate your enemies’ minds, make your enemies scared of you or even fight to the death by your side against their own friends. It is equally useful for your allies, rallying them to fight when they’re afraid or calming them down when they panic. But Illusion has even greater spells in its arsenal. Illusion can make you and your allies partially or completely invisible. And to top them all mastering Illusion gives you the ability to completely and even indefinitely ‘paralyse’ your enemies.

    Yes the combat of Oblivion is extremely diverse, but not only that, it gives you the choice to have everything at your fingertips at once and makes for some pretty awesome game-play. Combining this with a very high difficulty setting will make your enemies utilise the same diversity and melees will become so furious and fantastical that you will not wish them to end.

    Sophisticated and enjoyable
    9.6 / 10

    ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

    Every game with A.I. has two fundamental types with their respective differences. Allied and Enemy– it's often apparent that your allies seem to run around doing nothing while your enemies are working meticulously to kill you, not in Oblivion! Oblivion integrates proprietary ‘Radiant A.I.’ which reacts dynamically within the game–world. It is definitely superior and well ahead of its time. Your allies can be numerous, if you combine (name retracted), all the guilds, the DLC, Conjuration magic, Illusion magic, and the Staff Of Worms you can potentially have ten allies at any one time. This is ill-advised however because of sheer over-whelming complications and possible freezing of the game. My point was not to convey volume but diversity. Your allies will automatically follow you, fight for you and die for you. The A.I. of both ally and enemy will attempt to outwit you with counter actions, if you’re far away (depending on the type of enemy) they will use their bows or ranged magics. If you move in they will switch to melee attacks or close quarters (touch) magics.
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    Some enemies do not possess or are simply better at either ranged or close combat and so will move themselves to their advantage. The A.I. in Oblivion has decent intelligence, if you run behind a rock or wall etc they will not get stuck to become a static target they will work out an optimal route quite quickly, up stairs, through water tunnels, over rocky hills, and around other A.I.’s. I have to stress also that the extent of their manoeuvrability and guile is affected by difficulty setting, the higher the setting the more advanced they become, not only in intelligence but also in skills and attributes. I highly recommend a very hard setting once you’re used to this game, it greatly increases the complexity and range of events in combat.

    Dynamic, Superior and ahead of it’s time
    9.2 / 10

    PHYSICS ENGINE

    Oblivion utilises the latest Havok Physics Engine (at the time of its release), used in such titles as Bioshock 1 and 2, Assassins Creed, Red Faction: Guerilla, and amongst many others the latter Halo Series. This engine is the most sophisticated to date and allows real-time collisions and dynamics of rigid bodies in three dimensions. It provides multiple types of ‘Rag-doll physics’ and has a highly optimised collision detection library, which means different objects react differently depending on the precise force with which they are moved or struck. Upon an enemy being killed or knocked unconscious they will fall with perfect realism like a rag-doll and consequently contribute to a more believable and again diverse environment. This comes together with the falling and colliding of weighted items, from light books and wooden bowls etc to heavy weapons and boulders. Using spells such as a Fire Ball will cause materials to explode away, and if in a confined space, bounce around and hit other objects before succumbing to a stop from a genuine gravity. Arrows will have to be arched and will stick into wood and enemies’ bodies to be later recovered. Spells will travel vast distances, and I mean vast! Casting a Fire Ball angled at a far away mountain peak will not stop nor disappear, it will travel at moderate speed until it hits the peak for you to see in the distance.

    One of the more powerful aspects of the physics in Oblivion is the ‘Trap’ array. Maces bolted to the ceiling of caves will be released by accidentally stepping on a pressure plate underneath causing massive and non-resistible damage. Pit falls with spikes, moving blades, log barrages, proximity mines, hostile plant-life and amongst others avalanches feature throughout Cyrodiil and the Planes of Oblivion. These are among the most devastating dangers because the only protection you have against them is avoiding them altogether. Also falling in general will cause massive physical damage, suffice to say the physics are highly diverse and concentrated.

    Realistic and nicely balanced
    9.0 / 10

    CONCEPTUAL ART, VOICE ACTING and MUSICAL SCORE

    The artworks in Oblivion were not simply conjured up one day for a single video game. They have developed for many years over the course of many games and books and even paintings. Such talents as Matthew Carofano, Natalia Smirnova, Hope Adams, Noah Berry, Clara Cafasso, Tony Greco, Grant Struthers, Sally Huang, and Daniel T. Lee amongst many others committed countless hours in the designing and drawing of all the wonderful environments and inhabitants of Oblivion.
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    From the snowy mountains to the shining sea the lands of Cyrodiil are vast and diverse.
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    The voices in Oblivion feature none other than Patrick Stewart, Terence Stamp, Lynda Carter, and among others Sean Bean. Although the voices in dialogue are well acted and well written some of the voices do seem similar and can become repetitive, as the voice of one male wood elf for example is the same as every other male wood elf. Despite this there are many races and therefore many voices, and all the parts are very well written and acted.
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    The musical arrangements are all in orchestra and range from the award winning title score, to soft travelling music to exciting danger music. Composed by Jeremy Soule the music in Oblivion is perfectly suited to its moods and styles.
    (I have to recommend here that although the music is sufficient there is massive enjoyment in playing your own music over gameplay. I’d have to say that the improvement in playing your favourite songs over travelling and exploration can be fantastic. There’s nothing greater than setting the mood with adventure music when riding your steed along the countryside, dark eerie tunes for exploring deep scary dungeons, or best of all heavy action rock music when storming the Sigil Towers of the Planes of Oblivion).

    Fantastical and imaginative artwork, excellent voice performances, some repetitive and annoying dialogues, and wonderful musical score
    7.3 / 10

    PLAYABILITY

    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the largest 'type scale RPG' ever made, (including it's successor Skyrim), it covers an absolute insurmountable surface area in great detail. From open grasslands to dense forests, full sized mountain ranges to soggy swamplands, crystal clear lakes, rivers, coasts, and many other varying land features. It includes nine large scale cities (one destroyed and one central super city), over 250 caves, dungeons, ruins, forts, camps, castles, hamlets and villages, and countless other sites including graveyards, towers, abandoned buildings, treasure troves, inns, and many many more, not including the DLC. All of this will not be fully explored in any human’s lifetime, no matter how long you travel or how far you walk, there is always another new unexplored cave awaiting your discovery.
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    The missions and activities in Oblivion are all freely open to multi-choice. And I don’t mean just do them good then do them evil, I mean any one quest can be done several ways depending on your level, skills and the choices you make. The consequences and rewards differ depending on your actions during a quest. For example: if during a Thieves Guild burglary you are accidentally caught and end up fighting and slaying the person your stealing from, you will trigger a different response from your contractor and forfeit a hefty bonus of gold.

    This means that although the main storylines and large scale quest lines are in themselves very extensive, they can be played out quite differently multiple times offering immense time consumption factors. This coupled with the facts that A. you have ten species of character with altering influences on storylines. B. Extremely diverse and enjoyable combat systems. C. You do not end the game even after completing all main storylines and remain in the world. And D. The world in itself can never be fully discovered, makes for ‘indefinite’ playability.
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    If you allow it, Oblivion will eat your life for breakfast, it will destroy your social life and for some people who have attempted to fully explore and exploit it (me) have lost their jobs, wives and children, or have literally fallen into mental suicide.

    Captivating, endless reinvention and randomness, highly addictive
    10 / 10

    ACHIEVEMENTS and DIFFICULTY

    Ah yes the achievements, why have I left so late to mention them? Well the answer is simple; Oblivion is not played with achievements in mind. Even the most adamant Chevo hunter will be drown out by this game’s influences, and be forced to simply play and enjoy themselves rather than worry about the achievements. However, you are complemented by relatively easy and straightforward achievements in Oblivion; no collectables, only one missable in the DLC, and none of them are glitched or buggy. All the achievements in Oblivion are unlocked by either story progression or by major side quest progression. They are extremely casual and like I say cause no worries. You will spend all your time concerned with game-play and storyline and when the Chevo’s pop you’ll hardly notice. I have to admit that if your looking for a unavoidable challenge non-dependant on difficulty and for inventive achievements Oblivion will let you down. Being so simple and unfussy makes for a lack of imagination as not one achievement will cause you to experience the game in an inventive way.

    Oblivion unlike any other title I’ve ever seen has ‘100’ difficulty settings. Yes 100, presented as an adjustable difficulty bar in the sense of altering the percentage. This can be modified at any time with no influence upon achievements. When beginning a new character you always begin at the recommended 50% and this is a good way to play. You have the choice to play at 1%, which will allow you to destroy even the mightiest sorcerer with your bare hands. However like I’ve mentioned in ‘Artificial Intelligence’ above, the harder the difficulty the more fundamentally enjoyable, realistic, and diverse the action becomes. Enemies will plan and retreat to recover, and use advanced weapons, spells and tactics. But above all the game-play becomes highly serious, you will travel through dark Vampire dungeons with extreme caution, you will have to prepare and plan certain excursions into such wild places as the Planes of Oblivion, and you will play the game as if your life depended on it.

    Achievements are mostly necessary but many predictable and uninventive, but difficulty can be altered to suit any type of gamer
    6.5 / 10

    DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

    Oblivion is already immense in scale and time consumption so why not release seven new quest lines with new locations, an entirely new world with it’s own very extensive lands and missions, an inclusion of infinite Spell Books, oh and new armour for your horse.

    The DLC packs for Oblivion are nevertheless wonderful and offer not only to extend your game time but also your wardrobe, ingredients cabinet, arsenal, housing prospects, and spell matrix. They add very affordable weight to the world of Cyrodiil, fit in nicely amongst the original lands and missions, and offer useful assistance.

    THE KNIGHTS OF THE NINE
    This is a highly enjoyable and very mysterious storyline that ultimately gifts you with a unique full suit of attractive and useful armour.
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    You will also unlock seven new dungeons each with their own mysteries and new items. You will add new dialogues of dozens of original characters throughout the land, and you’ll unlock new magical abilities. This actually adds an entire new faction to Cyrodiil and offers a lot of quests and uses, definitely recommended for all types of characters, especially new players and those of moral disposition.

    MEHRUNES RAZOR
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    This takes you through a long mystery horror story where you will travel deep into a lost Ayleid underground system filled with dangerous Vampires. It is set in a new location called 'Sundercliff Watch' and when downloaded it becomes the largest single location in Cyrodiil. This DLC also includes all kinds of new, special clothing and armours, new books, unenchanted weapons, and jewellery, as well as a very powerful and unique Daedric Artifact. A good solid addition to the game with plenty for your money and plenty of new materials.

    THE ORRERY
    Without this you will always wonder what’s behind the permanently locked door in the Arcane University. It’s the Orrery, much more than a simple medieval planetarium. This will take you on a quest across Cyrodiil to find the missing pieces of the machine and restore the Orrery. Featuring three new powers for your character and the only chance to change your birth sign, the Orrery is a useful and enjoyable add-on.

    THE THIEVES DEN
    A small but fun quest to reclaim the infamous Red Sabre pirate ship in haunted Dunbarrow cave. After retaking the cave you are given the ship as a home with ample storage, a free bed, a new and exclusive thief orientated vendor, two new master trainers, over 40 new items, 14 new spells and an everlasting training chest to max your lockpicking skill. Highly recommended for rogues and thieves.

    DEEPSCORN HOLLOW
    Not much in the way of a quest and limited uses as a home. Deepscorn’s use lies with vampires and assassins, with the option to cure vampirism or to sleep and feed as a vampire.
    It does feature some vast gold making opportunities, new ingredients, a new weapon, and good storage capacity but not an essential unless you’re a vampire.

    THE WIZARDS TOWER
    There’s no quest included with this content, other than to simply buy the upgrades for the tower itself. However this is one fantastic tower, especially for magic users. A beautiful and majestic wizards tower high in the snow-capped Jerall Mountains.
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    It's fitted out with not only the usual stores and bed, but also a very useful indoor garden with over 120 rare ingredients, the ability to recruit permanent Atronachs as companions, one of only two Spell making altars in Cyrodiil, an Enchanting altar, an alchemy font, instant teleporters to every Mages guild in Cyrodiil, and a breathtaking view of Cyrodiil. You will also get a new spell vendor posted in the Imperial City. This is a must for any character unless you really don’t use any magic or alchemy at all.

    THE FIGHTER’S STRONGHOLD
    This has a short quest line but a highly prized reward, a full sized castle to house all your trophies.
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    By far the largest and most impressive property available, you get sleeping areas, a wine cellar (which produces its own unique wine), a blacksmith and forge, an endless supply of knights of which you can recruit as companions, a chef, a maid, a combat trainer who you can spar with, and a lot of display area and storage capacity. Highly recommended for long-term and vain players.

    THE SHIVERING ISLES

    This could be an entirely new game in itself, and not a small one. The Shivering Isles adds a massive new land to Cyrodiil accessed through a magic door on a mysterious new island. It is not like Cyrodiil in the sense that it is completely mad!
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    This land is governed by an insane God called Sheogorath, featured in the original as one of the Princes of Oblivion (the one that makes you call a plague of rats with smelly cheese and makes it rain flaming dogs). It has brand new and incredible storyline quests along with many side quests and activities, (most of them crazy and wonderful). It features dozens of new and intensely weird creatures and characters.
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    This extension will also unlock loads of new and potent ingredients, new clothing and very attractive and powerful weapons and armours. New peoples, factions, shops, traps, laws and services: new abilities and spells, new books and tomes and plants and wildlife and a new and beautiful sky above it all. The Shivering Isles really is fantastic and ultimately outrageous to boot.

    All wonderful additions that fit perfectly and offer real extras
    9.8 / 10

    STORYLINES and ACTIVITIES

    I will try not to give away too many details about the stories told and played out in Oblivion. You will be given a simple task near the beginning of your adventures that prompts the first main storyline quest. But as it states on screen at this point, you are free to wander your own path from the start to the end, and need not ever even play out the main plot. There are many other long and absorbent storylines to follow. Depending on the paths you wish to take you can restrict yourself to a set career. If you want to you can become a knight-errant and join the Fighters Guild, which can lead you through many quests of good nature to bring peace and justice to the land. You could become a mage or a sorcerer and join the Mages Guild, taking you through the schools of magic and the chaos of the supernatural. You could take more sinister paths in the Thieves Guild or even the iniquitous Dark Brotherhood, leading you down criminal routes of theft, pillage, extortion, and murder. There are many other exclusive journeys to take, and others which you yourself will invent, a hunter of the wilds where no quarry is too dangerous, a travelling merchant and highwayman robbing and stealing to make yourself ever richer, or perhaps an adventurer, one who ever travels the wilds in search of challenges, strange places and treasures untold.
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    The fact is that you can choose a destiny or you can choose all destinies at once. Why not join every guild, fight for the good of man during the day, only to pull over your hood and rob his house at night. Attend the classes of magic for the prosperity of the righteous mages, only to turn to the dark side of power and become an evil sorcerer and murder every mage in the school. Visit the quiet villages and help a girl find her lost father, then storm across the wilds and destroy an Imperial Guard to steal his horse.

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    “Choose your destiny, choose your other self, because in Oblivion you can be whoever you want to be, and you can do whatever you want to do”.
    10 / 10

    CONCLUSION
    A must buy before you die.
    89.1 / 100

    The link below is the best source for general information not only regarding Skyrim but all the Elder Scrolls. This encyclopaedia can aid in every aspect of the game and also give you helpful advice to avoid disadvantages and glitches or how to resolve them. It’s also full of interesting facts and secrets that will greatly expand your experience.

    http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Main_Page

    Please also see my Skyrim review for more insights:
    Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    4.5
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    AHGregGreat review, I was thinking of buying this. After playing Skyrim I was looking for a similar game.
    Posted by AHGreg on 07 Jan 13 at 17:47
    BigNev44Awesome review Deevius, you made me want to play the game again!
    Posted by BigNev44 on 12 Jun 14 at 20:46
    Thank you BigNev44, there isn't a day goes by where I don't think of my old times in Cyrodiil - aaaahhh will any game ever compare?
    Posted on 12 Jun 14 at 20:56
  • xxW0LFxx TFDxxW0LFxx TFD189,772
    20 Jun 2009
    68 29 7
    Years on from it's original release Oblivion is still hailed as one of the 360's greatest games,and i though id add my opinion as to why:

    Oblivion is a game of stunning scope,comprising of a huge game world,long main storyline and hundreds of sidequests and little adventures to be undertaken.

    The game world is a stunning place,with some truly spectacular scenery.
    Many gamers have fond memories of this game simply for the moment when you step out of the sewers (which serves as the tutorial level) and you are greeted with a simply breathtaking view of an epic fantasy land.
    Of course if your like me i headed for the nearest guard that was on patrol and tried to steal his horse,needless to say i was minced....

    The graphics are buetifully created,the game world looks so fantastic,ecspeccialy if you take the time to go exporing,i would suggest climbing one of the many mountain ranges to take in the spectacular views,the mountains around Bruma are best.

    Gameplay is fantastic,though combat and magic use are overly simplistic and can become tedius after a short while.
    However you wont mind,as you create potions,enchant weapons,design your own magical spells,bu property and do it up,chat to the townspeople,make a career by hunting deer or treasure hunting or becoming a thief.
    You can join guilds which offers a whole new storyline where you eventually become master of said guild.
    The four guilds are : fighters,thieves,assassins and mage's.
    Or my all time fave,taking off your shoes and throwing them onto the roof's of houses laugh

    The lifespan of the game is huge,iv already spend hundreds of hours in this game.
    The main quest line will take up to 40+ hours,then the sidequests will add another 60+ hours as well,not to mention time just spent exploring.
    It's also supported by a raft of DLC,including Shivering Isles which adds a massive new land to explore full of wierd characters and another 40+ hours quests.
    And Knights of the Nine will add in another 20-30 hours easily. not to mention the rest of the DLC which just keeps this game going.


    You can pick this game up at bargain price's now,it still remains one of the greatest games on the xbox,or any other console for that matter.
    So pick this game up,and lose your life to a world of elves,goblins magic and throwing shoe's on to roof's wink
    5.0
  • got pezgot pez104,836
    05 Jan 2010
    27 11 7
    It is very difficult to describe just how excellent Oblivion is in words. On one hand, it is a technical nightmare. On the other, it has about as much pure fun as you can have with an rpg. Does the enjoyment factor make up for the numerous glitches and technical errors?

    First, some background. The Elder Scrolls series has been around for quite a long time and Oblivion is the 4th main entry in the series. If you played the Xbox game, The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, you will be familiar with what this game is getting at. Oblivion is an open world rpg set in fantasy medieval times. In this setting, you are free to do the many things that make Oblivion unique and stand out in the crowd of other sandbox games.

    You start off the game by picking your character's race and abilities which may seem overwhelming at first but this gives the game much of its tremendous depth. You can play through the game in so many different ways and with so many different types of characters that the overwhelming sensation is actually a good one. Created characters can be anything from an orcish warrior to an elven assassin. Experiencing the game with these different playstyles gives the game important replay value.

    The story starts out fairly slow. You are in prison for crimes that are never explained and The King (voiced by Patrick Stewart) explains that you have some kind of significance in his life and that you must break out from prison. So, you do. Once you get out of this prison, you realize just how immense the game is. You are given 1 quest in your menu and the game tells you to do whatever the hell you want. You can literally spend hours in the game before even touching the main quest. Some may be turned off by the lack of any direction that you are given, but this sensation of unpredictability is part of what makes the game so magical.

    So the game presents itself really well, you get out of prison and are free to do whatever you want which is really striking. As you wander through the world, you realize some flaws. The graphical pop-up in this game is horrendous. Foliage appears extremely close to you out of nowhere and the framerate is very spastic. Compared to modern 360 games, the detail is poor as well and the environments aren't very diverse. There are mainly 3 types of dungeons: ancient ruins, mines and water themed dungeons. There are also only 3 types of terrain you will encounter: prairie, snow and swamp. The major lack of variety in the game really puts a dent into its presentation.

    Part of this issue is solved when you go into the main cities in the game. The detail gets better, the framerate is more consistent and there is less pop-up. Soon enough, you then discover how awkward and stiff the people in the game look when you talk to them and observe as they go about their daily business. They animate in a very stiff manner and the lip syncing is bad. Don't even attempt to play this game in 3rd person if you don't want to laugh at terrible motion capture. There is not much good to say about the graphics in 2010 except that the weapons you hold can look pretty cool and if you purchase The Shivering Isles, the landscapes are designed really well.

    For sound, Oblivion is pretty average as well. There are decent weapon sound effects, decent voice acting, above average music. Battlefield Bad Company this is not. This is nothing to get upset about, the sound is perfectly serviceable and it will not hamper your experience playing the game; you will simply never find yourself saying "wow" at the audio.

    Where Oblivion really shines is in the gameplay department. The first person combat feels really good with attacking mapped to the right shoulder button and blocking with the left. As you progress through the game, you gain new moves which deepen the combat a bit more. The other great thing about the combat is how rewarded you feel when you get to try out a new weapon. There are a ton of different weapons in the game. Maces, swords, daggers, warhammers, axes, bows, staves and more occupy the chests across the land. There are over 5 different materials each weapon is made of which increase in effectiveness as the game goes on. There are even weapons with enchantments such as health absorption and fire damage. This adds up to a massive arsenal with which you can demolish your enemies with and overall, violence feels really good in this game whether against monsters or civilians.

    Not all of Oblivion is combat though. There is a large amount of the usual rpg bartering, buying houses etc. How Oblivion stands out is in its open ended nature. You can explore for hours at a time looting dungeons before you even touch any quests. If anything, Oblivion is just the extremely hulking, massive cousin of other rpg games. Everything that other games do, Oblivion takes it and puts exponentially more of it in the game.

    One of the best parts of the game is the guild system. There are 4 main guilds. The Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Fighters Guild and Mages Guild. These questlines add a substantial amount of gameplay time to the experience and are oftentimes more fun than the repetitive main quest itself. If you do manage to play this game, I highly encourage that you try some of the guilds as they are the most enjoyable parts of the game.

    You will have a ton to do in Oblivion, this game isn't one game that you can beat in 20 hours. Trying to beat every guild, the main quest and side quests can be at least 100 hours and that isn't including exploring, looting and the downloadable content. If you buy Oblivion, be prepared to keep it in your disc tray for a long time. At its current cheap price, there are very few games that can deliver as much gameplay time for your money.

    In conclusion, Oblivion is an extremely interesting game. On one end, it is immensely average in many ways. On the other, it is so above average that you may lose friends because of playing it so much. Trust me when I say that the fantastic gameplay more than makes up for the technical problems in the game. Buy it and have fun.
    5.0
  • 27 12 4
    This is the game that got me into the XBOX 360 over 4 years ago. This is where everything started for me. Sitting on the tatami mats in my roommate's room he popped in his brand new copy of Bethesda's newest installment of the Elder Scrolls saga: Oblivion. He ranted and raved about the draw distance and how his past experiences with the series were amazing. The hype was quite insurmountable. But the game lived up to every word of hype that I was completely taken in. Hundreds of hours later, I haven't played the game in almost a year but can still picture everything in great detail.

    What you are getting with Oblivion is a completely immersing game that will drain you of your free time. But you'll love every minute of it! Minus the horse armour DLC. Whatever you do, steer clear of that!

    The game begins with the death of a King. Your relation to this assassination is pure luck as the King's only escape route just happened to be within your prison cell. The King confides in you and hands you an amulet and requests your assistance to deliver it to his only living heir. That's where the main quest starts, sure, but then the game opens up completely and gives you the freedom to do whatever you want! To be honest, the main quest wasn't a priority of mine until 100 hours into my first playthrough! I was totally enthralled by the side quests and hidden missions that I couldn't care less about the country's turmoil with the loss of its King and the sudden population of mysterious, dark enemies! I was more interested in devouring the dungeons and strolling through castles, finding the best weapons to better adorn myself and one of my many homes!

    You really cannot ask for a better story because Bethesda understands that the main storyline is only as good as its supporting cast (ie: side quests). You will not find another enwrapping game, unless it just happens to be another Bethesda creation (a Fallout 3 review is soon to follow!)

    Story: 10 out of 10

    What I want you to do is to load up the game (if you have it. If you don't buy it right now!) and wait until the sky is clear and the sun has set. Push your right analog stick back until you're staring straight up into the night sky. You will stare off into the most brilliant night sky ever created in video game history. And that is honest. I was looking for the same in Fallout 3 but alas, they made it very realistic. But Oblivion took hold of the fantasy realm and made the night sky so vibrant that it takes your breath away.

    That, in a nutshell, is what makes the graphics for me but there is so much more to talk about! The ruins that fill the world map, covered in moss and plant growth, the depths of the lakes strewn with rocks and wrecked ships, the towns and villages, the caves, the dungeons, the mountain ranges, you name a location, it is filled with beauty and detail. There is even a location dubbed "the most beautiful view of the entire world" called Dive Rock. Just sit there for a few days in-game and witness the beauty and stunning graphics created by a very smart group of game designers.

    The rest of the game is littered with amazingly created enemies, excellent character designs, seemless NPC and enemy movement, and much more to appeal to your eye!

    Graphics: 10 out of 10

    The music in this game is legendary! It encapsulates every emotion experienced as you go through the game's endless story and quest system. I have put the soundtrack on my iPod and constantly put it on in my car as I drive across the Canadian landscape imagining I'm fast travelling to my destination. It's the use of a full orchestra that hits every mark. I am more than impressed still, 4 years later, with the way this soundtrack can heighten this great exerpience.

    The voice acting is the only area I would question and it is a point of notice that almost every game site and reviewer has touched upon: too many NPCs have the same voice. I understand how much space voice acting takes on a disc but more that added bit of variety that would have made this game entirely perfect.

    Sound: 9.5 out of 10

    There is a bit of a battle going on in my head when it comes to discussing replay value: the gamer vs. the achievement hunter. I am a man who loves to go after a sweet achievement, but this game kind of gives all of your achievements in large bunches surrounding the 4 guilds in the game. Where is the challenge? Give me a challenge, Bethesda! Fortunately, they seem to have changed their act for their more recent releases, so hopefully Skyrim will have a bit more variety.

    For the regular gamer, this game is going to hold onto you and keep you interested for hundreds of hours! There are hundreds of side quests, hidden quests, tons of collecting, more dungeons and ruins to explore than you can shake a stick at! The works! Get yourself a large bottle of something to drink because you're gong to lose tons of time to this game!

    Replay Value: 9 out of 10

    Overall, this is still in the Top 3 of my Favourite Games list. Bethesda, in fact, holds two of those three places with their games so that has to say something about this company and their products. Seriously, if you have not played this game, get to it! It's cheap and still easy to find! Enjoy!

    Overall: 9.5 out of 10
  • Hans Hard HandsHans Hard Hands77,663
    05 Jul 2011 05 Jul 2011
    13 3 0
    After Playing this game for 3 years I finally feal like I am ready to review the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

    First of all, I would just like to say that I don't play RPGs all that much, in fact, I have owned Fallout 3 3 times and have still never completed it. But, this game was different, it was one of the first games I ever owned on the Xbox 360 and is probably what got me addicted to playing Xbox. It just has that feal of quality about it.

    Presentation

    Well, I think we all know that this game will not stand up to other, more recent games in terms of graphics but the quality of what you see is very good, you can tell that time has been spent on it, and it makes for a very enjoyable experience being able to see a well put together game and has not been rushed as a sequel. I would like to say that Cyrodiil looks amazing, and it’s so big so you can explore for hours on end, you’ll think you’ve found everything, but, what do you know, you’ve discovered something else.

    Also, I think the characters look good, they don’t have all the fancy facial animations of more recent games, but you can still tell that they have tried to match the mouth movements to the words. Also, there is a wide variation in the NPCs, granted, there isn’t a wide variety of races, but you will find that not two characters ever look the same.

    Gameplay

    The gameplay on Oblivion is solid, the fighting mechanics are good, yet simple and the exploring is very fluent. Although you won't want to do any serious playing in 3rd person as it's almost impossible to do anything accurately, also in 3rd person, your character can sort of drift from side to side, I don't know why this is but it's pretty weird.

    I enjoy going into combat in Oblivion for one reason only, you can choose what sort of combat you go into, magic, swords, marksman to name a few. You never find yourself trying to press as many buttons as you can to try and pull of a complex finishing move but to me, that's a good thing, it means you can get on with the game. It's clean and quick, and that means that fighting is clean and quick.

    Exploring Cyrodiil is what you really want to be doing, it offers a vast amount of enjoyment and an unlistable (although there probably is a list) of things, places, creatures to discover. It makes for a really enjoyable experience and sometimes something you will think of and laugh. I can't get enough of it, I would say that I have played 100+ hours on various characters and have only discovered about half of what there is to discover.
    5.0
  • 33 30 2
    Oblivion is one of the most attractive and immersive gaming experiences on the Xbox 360. For anyone who has played Morrowind, you will be able to identify with the positives of the third game, but see all of the major advances in the series. From the graphics, to the voices, to the game play itself, every aspect of the game has been revamped and upgraded. Fans of the series will recognize some familiar names, weapons and faces, but by no means does the game become repetitive. Stuck in a massive world where the player gets to choose everything about his own game play experience, and no two games ever playing out the same way, Oblivion is a must own for any fan of RPGs on Xbox 360.
  • B8TINGUB8TINGU548,351
    23 May 2009
    30 31 4
    From the very beginning you may think it's a little too much, that's if someone were to fully explain it all too you. Let's just say I was not a fan of the turn based rpg like Final Fantasy, I wanted a game more like the old D&D storytelling game, well this game delivers, in spades!! Customize your character from beginning to end with a vast amount of magic, weapons, enchantments, your race your cloths and armor and weather or not too be famous or infamous!! Choose to play a quest or not it really does not matter this game is so immersive and open ended you can go anywhere and do anything. The best part of the game id not just the chaos engine that makes everything so realistic, but the monsters that grow strong just as your character does, sometimes you'll have to think your way out and move very quick, other times it's just slash and bash!!
    Don't like magic? That’s fine you don't ever have to use it, well maybe once or twice but the game will give you what you need, then you'll never have to use it again. Don't like hack and slash, that's fine too, you may never have to, it's all how you want to play the game!! In all it's the perfect game, even after you have beaten the seemingly endless quest the game has to offer, you can still go back to wander the land and find places you may have missed, the one drawback, though the games area is vast and wide it still has limits, I hope that one day they will come out with TES the world!! where you will have no restrains and you can visit and quest in every province from the series... from TES: Arena all the way up to and beyond TES: Oblivion, I can't wait to see what s next.
    1.
    5.0
  • Glue BearGlue Bear32,808
    27 Sep 2009
    2 4 1
    Without exception the greatest xbox 360 games to date true it was released just after the xbox 360 was but clearly a lot of effort pumped into it.

    with a hugely explorable land scape , great weapons and armours to discover , secrets to unvaile , mysteries to unmask , places to discover , treasure to be found... i could go on the list is too big so i wont even think about writing it all.

    You can follow he main storyline or just go off and do what suits you best find millions of secret weapons and armour , improve your rank or just sit back and enjoy the hugely explorable landscape theres no limit to what you can discover , achieve or become

    Gameplay
    5/5 |^| Read above and you will find out why laugh

    Audio
    3/5 good but more songs could be available and wasnt to fond on the reptative tune over and over aganlaugh

    Video
    5/5 excellent providing of course you have a 1080p HDTV and HDMI cablelaugh

    Overall
    5/5 Well.....Whats not to like?
    5.0
  • 2 7 0
    One of the if not the best RPG on the 360, it has everything you would expect from an exelent RPG and adding to it's advantages it is also easy to understand and play along with unlike many RPGs which tend to get confusing and beyond hard which often leads to frustration and anoyance. This Rpg also has a vast and well spread achievement system, most achievements are available without the need to conect to live and you don't have to rely on any other gamers to get achievements in the game which is an added bonus.
    A must buy for any 360 fan and a can't live without for any RPG fan.
    10/10
  • Sci Taar SSci Taar S9,613
    23 Jan 2013
    1 8 1
    This game is absolutely amazing! Once I start playing, I can't stop. Ever. A toast to Bethesda and Zenimax! toast From the numerous kinds of lush environments to the beautiful creatures, I can't get enough. It's one of the best video games ever made. The Elder Scrolls is by far my favorite video game series of all time. Even people who don't like RPGs very much will sure as heck enjoy this game. Also, Skyrim- the sequel, is just as good as Oblivion if not better. clap

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    5.0
  • 0 7 3
    If you're coming off of Fallout 3, or have watched Skyrim gameplay videos, and decided to play Oblivion it is likely to disappoint. Compared to Fallout 3, Oblivion has none of the moral choices or quest decisions, a much less interesting story and a menu system that feels like a broken Pip-boy, and dialogue that feels less like talking to someone than reading general information tabs.

    The graphics are merely adequate, obviously not holding up compared to recent releases. The combat is boring, repetitive hack and slashing, and most quests are solved merely by traveling to the marker and killing anything in between yourself and your goal. The game has a limited tutorial, so advanced ascpects like spellcrafting and enchanting items can be compeltely missed out on if you don't notice them.

    The main interesting aspect of gameplay is the world itself, and the stories the quests tell you in between going places and killing things. The game is in no way unentertaining, as there is fun to be had on your 40-100 hour journey to some quite 'easy' achievements, but if you go into it with very high hopes you're definitely going to be disappointed.
  • Warlord LucasWarlord Lucas40,058
    13 Mar 2011
    1 8 0
    Great game. Cannot wait for Skyrim. With all the side quests and places and dungeons to explore, you can easily put a hundred hours into this without even noticing. Just try getting through this game WITHOUT a potion of invis, it's hard, huh? lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol
    5.0
  • BreadwordBreadword112,253
    16 Jun 2009
    8 16 4
    by far one of the best rpg's out there and will be for awile. bethesda has definatly set the bar for other rpg developers. when i first put in the game i really didnt know what to expect out of it, i never seen any trailers or anything. as soon as i finished customizing my character and escaping the prison i was totally blown away. right when i got out of the sewers i was hit with beautiful landscape graphics. i couldnt stop running around the medows, because i was having a lot of fun learning about the game. when i first got to imperial city i was blown away for the second time. the cities sturcture was absolutly amazing and the people there where wonderful. the very first thing i did was go to the market and start stealing, although i didnt know any better i stole and i got punished, i was very impressed. as soon as i got a full gist of the game i started collecting and doing side quests and such. oblivion has a very good variety of side quest (i think around 100 side quests) i wasnt really going for achievements at this point. this takes me to my next point...the achievements. the achievements in this game were very fun. bethesda wanted you to experience the game at its fullest and reward you at the same time. when i played the game achievements were my last priority of the game and i was happy with that. overall this game is truely magnificent and definatly lived up to hype. this game outdone itself and will most likely outdo other games in the future. overall this game gets a 5/5. if you dont have this game yet, then im still surprised your reading this and not out at your local store purchasing it.
    5.0