Review by Wist

"Not a perfect 10, but rounds up to a 10"

Introduction:
Oblivion is the fourth game in the Elder Scroll series. Despite its increasing numbers, they games have little to do with each other. I say little because the history, races, and a few other things stay the same, but the game's stories have nothing to do with each other. They also take place in different lands. So what is this game like at first glance? This game is a gigantic world of freedom, many places to explore, many items to find, many people to meet, many quests to complete, and many different types of characters to create.

Gameplay:
Oblivion is a very large RPG with a seemingly endless amount of stuff to do. You create your character using a pretty in depth character creator. You also customize the class (or choose a premade one) and then venture off into the world. You will face many adventures in this world, get sidetracked on side quests, join guilds, make friends, make enemies, get diseases, collect pieces of epic armor, find amazing weapons, barter, buy spells, train, buy houses, buy horses, and decorate your house with various items. There is so much to do in this world its incredible. The character creation has several different races each have pros and cons, and some are better at some fighting styles more than other (same goes with magic).

When it comes to the fighting the game has a little more flavor than Morrowind. You can swing your weapon using the standard left mouse button, block using the right mouse button and perform power attacks by using a directin and holding in the attack button. Battles can now be very intense. The arena is a gladiator arena where you can fight enemies to the death for money. Not only is this a good source of income, but it also is a lot of fun due to the better combat system. Magic is also more fun and easier to use than in Morrowind and that makes using magic (and/or becoming strictly a mage) more enticing.

Similar to Morrowind you choose major skills and minor skills. The whole character creation seems more polished than Morrowind. Although some parts were taken out (such as medium armor), the game retains the same feel. In order to level you must level your major skills 10 times and then rest. Another neat feature about the leveling in this game is that the enemies in the game level with you. This prevents you from getting ultra powerful and destroying the world, but it also prevents you from getting ultra owned in a cave. This also helps with drops. This prevents you from stumbling across a sword that you shouldn't have (for fairness in the game). However, this feature can potentially backfire and if you put off the main quests for too long they will become amazingly difficult later in the game.

The artificial intelligence is also something to brag about. Yes, the characters in this game actually has artificial intelligence. It's not a character walking about programmed to say a certain thing. They have needs and wants, love and hate you, as well as interact with other characters. Don't expect this to stand out too much though. Its a pretty subtle feature but still impressive nonetheless.

Story:
The story isn't as emotional as a Final Fantasy game but they are very in depth. You feel like a powerful, important character in the game and you feel like you have to fufill your duties. Also, this game allows you to actually role play. Created a mage? Join the Mages guild. Want to be a vampire? Be a vampire. Live at night and feed. This game is so open you can create your own legend. The main quest has a lot more personalized feel than Morrowind. You actually get to know some characters. I think the voice acting helps with this.

Sound:
The sound is really good in the game. I love the fact that they actually have voice acting. This is a major improvement in this game over Morrowind in my opinion. The music is ambient and done quite nice. The sound effects are neat as well and I love how intense the action can get with the clashing of swords and shields. There are grunts and angry words being exhanged as well. This makes the audio very appealing and satisfying. Its also very neat to be walking through a town and overhearing civilians or guards just gossiping.

Graphics:
Wow, what can I say about the graphics. Even if your game can barely run the game the game is still beautiful. If you have a high end system then this game will be absolutely gorgeous. The land is beautiful, the lighting is awesome, the animations are realistic, the cities are glorious and people's faces when they talk are just simply groundbreaking in any RPG. This game is revolutionary in the graphics department.

Flaws:
This game is system hog. If you can meet the requirements, there is still a chance your system won't run it. If you meet the recommended requirements, there is still a chance you won't run it well. This game takes the requirements to the next level and this poses a problem for many gamers. Another problem in the game is the leveling enemies. If you level too much, the enemies will also level. If you do too many side quests and ignore the main quest, well.. the game basically becomes impossible. Other than that the only other complaint I have is the fact that you can't mix and match gloves, shoulder pads, etc. These are very small flaws and don't affect the overall gameplay of the game though.

Replayability:
This game packs so much stuff you will play it for a long time. You will probably want to create multiple characters as well. You might create a warrior first and then attempt to play the game again with a mage or a theif. There are also numerous guilds to join, side quests to do, and 16 square miles to explore. There is a lot to do in the game and you'll probably get bored of the game before you see it all.

Conclusion:
This game has a lot to offer. It has gameplay, graphics, replayability, lots to see and do, as well as lots of fun to be had. This game is a must have for RPG gamers and PC gamers alike. All I can say is buy this game and you'll understand why I gave this game a 10.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/06


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