Review by nemesis2

"An excellent game which only needs slight refinement."

Oblivion is a rough diamond, a great concept, but one that needs slight refinement.

TES:IV Oblivion was one of the most eagerly anticipated games in 2006, due to its massive scale, and its breathtaking graphics. Has it lived up to the hype? For the most part it has. However, there are a couple of major flaws which prevent it from becoming a raw masterpiece.

Graphics- 9.8/10
Absolutely incredible, ive havent even experienced any game which has even come close the graphical excellence of Oblivion. It looks all very lifelike, and so clean. Even on Medium, this game looks great. Due to the quality of the graphics in Oblivion however, you will be needing a powerful graphics card to get the full experience, and trust me, Oblivion is one of those games which you will want to keep the graphics levels up as high as possible. I only have a Geforce 6600, and I only play on medium settings and it still looks great. My only gripe with the graphics is the faces of the character models. Honestly, they don't look all that good, especially the female face models. I really cant get a character which I truly like the look of, male or female, and that is disapointing.

Audio 9.5/10
The Audio is also very good. The voice acting is excellent, and really adds another dimension to the game. The days of bad voice acting in video games is really a thing of the past. The music is also very good, although after a while, you will begin to hear the same tunes again, which may annoy some. However, instead of listening to other music, you will want to listen to the actual music of oblivion, as it adds atmosphere to the game, something which oblivion does very well.

Gameplay 8.5/10
Well, yes, Gameplay does drag oblivion down a little bit. And there are a couple of reasons why.

First, the scaled levelling system.
When you gain a level, you should be able to go back and own the goblins in the first dungeon right? Nope, well not in oblivion. Enemies level up withe you, so if you are level 1, the guards patroling cities will also be level 1 and wielding rusty swords, and so will the goblins. At level 20 however, the said enemies will be wielding mythril swords and armour, which is unrealistic and ridiculous. Thus, you don't really feel superior than anything other than rats and other critters. Conversely, you won't be overpowered by an enemy either so you won;t run into a battle which you simply won't be able to win.

On the other side, if oblivion had a more traditional levelling system, then you would be unable to explore the land at level 1 to your hearts content and it would be a lot more linear in nature. As it is, however, it does have its positives and negatives, but it shouldn't be something that prevents you from enjoying the game.

If you want to use a traditional levelling system, then download a mod such as Oscaro's Oblivion Overhaul (OOO), which gives enemies fixed levels and makes the game a lot harder.

Secondly, Glitches- I encountered more than a few glitches in Oblivion. First, of all, sometimes helping NPC's will just get stuck and won't move and sometimes, quests won't activate and so on and so forth. Some of the glitches were fixed shortly after the game was first released however, so it must of been worse at the games release. Hell, I had to even restart the game once due to a glitch which didn't allow an important NPC to interact with me, so save on more than one save, just in case, Bethesda, themselves, even said that.

Well lets look at other aspects of oblivion, the combat system. Oblivion is based on a first person shooter engine, which the combat is based upon. The combat physics are simple, realistic and in general very good. However, I must have a little groan about the combat classes. The pre-made classes are mostly useless, or in other words gimped which is strange. Luckily however, you can create your own custom class, which is a really good addition, as you can create a class which suits you.

Travelling is very convenient in oblivion, as you can go to any city or dungeon (the latter providing you have already visited the place previously) with the click of a mouse. However, the game also forces you to explore and seek out new dungeons yourself. Speaking of the enviroment, while it looks very pretty, it is kind of samey. The over world is just trees and grass, while the dungeons are just slight variants of ruins and caves. They could of added a few more interesting and more varied places, as with the dungeons now, its like seen one, seen them all. The main quest, although short, has a good enough story, if a little cliche. I won't expain anymore about the story here.

Lastability 9.6/10
There is just so much to do in oblivion. After the main quest, you can attempt to complete the hundreds of sidequests hidden in the world of Cydorill. Or if you have done all that, train your character up until it can be trained no more, so much to do, it will keep you occupied for some time.

Replay value- 9.7/10
Man, after you complete the game once, you can attempt to complete it with a different class, on a higher difficulty level, with advanced mods, a different path,so there is almost no incentive to stop playing this game other than the inevitablity of becoming bored with the game.

Rent or Buy- Buy, if you rent this game, you will have only had experienced a very small portion of the game.

Final word " TES:IV Oblivion is one of the best open ended games currently available on the market, and the flawed levelling system and the glitches
beside, this is a great game which with a few mods, is an absolute cracker.

Score
Graphics: 9.8
Audio 9.5
Gameplay 8.5
Lasting 9.6
Replay Value 9.7

The full wrap of TES:IV Oblivion
Pros
-Great sense of freedom, open ended
-Enough content to keep you going for weeks
-Graphics and Audio incredible

Cons
-Levelling system has some gaping flaws
-A lot of glitches

Overall 9.1/10 (Rounded to a 9)


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/30/07


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