Review by JONJONAUG
"Not the greatest game ever, but still a good title"
Oblivion is not the greatest game ever, nor is it the greatest in the Elder Scrolls series. However, that doesn't stop it from being a good game, even if it is overhyped.
Combat-The one major improvement in Oblivion. Let's face it, Morrowind's combat system sucked. In Morrowind, you could swing at a corprus beast (a slow moving, very large target) multiple times before even getting a hit on it. In Oblivion, if it looks like you hit it, then you hit it. The downside is that you have to hit things a rather unrealistic amount of times before they fall down.
Leveling-Actually leveling up is much the same as Morrowind, although the training limit keeps players from spending all their cash on leveling up like in Morrowind (where, if you knew how, you could reach level 15 in less than 6 hours without much trouble). However, although level scaling was a good idea, the game takes this way too far. I should not be able to become the Grand Champion of the Arena with a level 1 warrior. Also, in Morrowind obtaining Daedric armor and weapons was one of the hardest tasks in the game. There was never more than a couple individual pieces of a piece of Daedric armor. In Oblivion, you can easily obtain multiple full suits at a higher level. Bandits will be wearing glass armor, and other really glaring problems exist. Obscuro's Oblivion Overhaul provides a quick fix to this though, and adds some other good content as well.
Disappearance of certain things from previous games-The only major things I miss are the levitation spell and a few of the skills (different blade skills, axe skill).
The big problem I have with this game. Let me put in a list...
The sudden dissapperance of the Cyrodil jungles-I distinctly remember many books talking about Cyrodil having jungles. There were no jungles in Oblivion.
Mannimarco-If any of you played Daggerfall, you'll remember the King of Worms being a powerful lich that looked really freaking evil. In Oblivion, any young adventurer can waltz into his lair and kill him with ease. That, and he doesn't resemble his Daggerfall self in any way.
The Akaviri are supposed to be snake men...not generic humans.
I can deal with Dagon's Oblivion realm looking like a hell, that makes sense. Making Peryite's and Boeiath's realms the same as Dagon's does not work though.
A few other things I have to say about Oblivion are below.
While you learn the basics of the game in a much easier way than in Morrowind (they taught you how to move, how to equip, and that was about it, you would have to discover other things on your own), the beginning of the game takes away from the "do whatever you want" experience by explaining the urgency of the plot right away. In Morrowind, you don't really have too much of a reason to start the main quest, leaving you to discover its intrigue and complex plot on your own. In Oblivion, you are given just about everything about the plot within 20 minutes of starting the game.
What happened to the soft shadowing? That was one of the coolest graphical concepts in Oblivion.
The new books are a lot shorter and usually less interesting. There are a few gems among those though, including the Commentaries.
The Imperial City was a total letdown. It should have been larger (MUCH larger, at least twice it's current size) with many more NPCs. Also, White-Gold (the main tower of the Imperial City) should have been at least twice as thick and twice as high.
RadientAI-Giving each NPC a schedule was a great idea. Very well done too.
Graphics-Stunning, superb, and missing soft shadows.
One of the major bad things of Oblivion is that almost everything is solved through combat, and you really don't have much choice in the matter. In Morrowind, I remember having at least two ways to solve most quests, and multiple paths to take through each guild. In Oblivion, it is much more linear. In addition, there are only four major guilds in Oblivion (the Arena doesn't count, it's just constant back and forth going to talk to the guy in charge then going back to fight, rinse and repeat). Morrowind had many more, and often with more available quests for each one.
The sneak system is good, but when you get right down to it, it's not really that different from Morrowind.
For sound-Morrowind had a better soundtrack in quality, but Oblivion beats Morrowind in quantity. There are enough tracks so that it takes more than five minutes to go through them all this time. Although I wish they kept the theme track that was in the first of the six preview videos (sounded similar to Morrowind's, but better).
Completing Nocturnal's quest makes the security skill completely useless, this is not a good thing.
The Construction Set-Already the modding community is chugging out mods to fix the problems in the game. It's still easy to use, and only takes a couple hours to learn how to start modding.
Oblivion is the greatest game of the year so far. Is it the greatest game or RPG ever made? No, Morrowind was better. It is by no means perfect, and there were many aspects that the developers should have improved before releasing the game. However, that doesn't change the fact that for all it's faults, Oblivion is still a great game. I would recommend it to anyone. As long as you don't get too caught up in the minor details, Oblivion will keep you entertained for at least 300 hours, probably more.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/30/06
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