Review by treasonous
"Close shut the jaws of oblivion, and in turn give up your life as you know it."
Upon hearing about Oblivion, my friend laughed and said it would be overhyped. He said that there was no way it could be that truly amazing, because things with that kind of hype usually are duds. However, my friend was wrong. This game DOES live up to the hype. It is every little bit of awe inspiring graphics, Radiant AI, imaginative quests, and immersive combat. I bought an Xbox 360 for this game, and $460 later (plus tax), I am not disappointed.
So then why, you might ask, did I give it a 9/10? There are a few reasons, all very small, and none should stop you from running out and buying the game on the spot. I'm just going to be critical and point them out, and then go on to rave about all the great parts of Oblivion.
So, the issues with the game. First, the load times. Every single review has mentioned this. However, if you simply know how to clear your cache, it should clear up considerably.
The second issue I had was some weird AI issues, and some things that were just weird, and others that were annoying. Such as, needing to get a quest from a guy, only to find out that he's in an "off-limits" area, behind a locked door, or something of the sort...and doesn't come out. This can prove to be frustrating at times, however does not happen very often (and, of course, you can always just break the law ;)
Also, when you first turn on the game, it may take a while to really get into it. There are hundreds of quests, thousands of people to kill, steal from, or pickpocket, tons of uncharted quests, and then just fun little things you could do in your spare time (i.e. collecting every mushroom known to oblivion-kind)...and why am I complaining? Well, it can be extremely overwhelming to someone who doesnt have a ton of spare time on their hands (me). It takes hundreds of spare hours to really make a dent in the game...and then some.
But what are the high points in the game? Just about everything else, really. Still.
Reason Number One: The graphics. This game is pretty much gorgeous stuff. The grass swings in the wind, the rain pitter patters against the ground, the doors open with clever ease, and the houses are pretty much model homes. In other worlds, it makes me feel bad that I wasn't made in a computer graphics program.
Reason Number Two: Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, has a voiceover. Walking down the street, you'll hear conversations between countless NPCS, and then your own conversations. While most of these seem very scripted, its a nice effect nonetheless.
Reason Number Three: The NPC's have schedules. Yes. They wake up, go to work, get food all the while, and then go back to bed. And they dont just walk around their work place, they'll actually hoe the ground, or be the shopkeeper. As a side note, it also makes finding people a pain in the butt. But that is where reason number four comes in.
Reason Number Four: The journal is awesome. When you set a quest to be your 'active' quest, there is an arrow on your map pointing to where you need to be. It makes getting lost a lot harder, and lets go you wander just about anywhere, since its easy to get back on track.
Reason Number Five: I cannot count, name, or pillage all of the dungeons, farms, settlements, and camps into one list. Impossible. There are hundreds of them, and all of them have loot, NPC's, and monsters. It's all worth it.
Reason Number Six: Ragdoll physics. While they may not be completely accurate, throwing your adoring fan down a steep mountain never gets old.
Reason Number Seven: It has all been rolled up into one AMAZING game.
You Will Love This Game If: You hate linear games, you have way too much spare time on your hands, you love violating the law, shiny things make you happy, or if you simply want a great gaming experience.
You Will NOT Love This Game If: You are a sucker for linear games, you lead a busy life, you like having friends, you're trying to start a relationship, or if you are easily overwhelmed (or easily distracted).
An Overall Review:
Beautifully put together, shiny, and makes the world of Oblivion a more immersive place.
Fits perfectly into the game, and the voiceover artists and Professor X pretty much pull it together.
Works well for most of the game, but there are a few glitches here and there in the system, such as not being totally responsive. Also, the B button makes a weird journal. As well, the D-pad hotkeys can be a bit sketchy, and I recommend hotkeying major things to the main four slots, and other side objects to diagonal slots (they're a pain in the butt to reach in the midst of combat.}
Yes, the NPC's have schedules. However, they will tend to disappear when you need them, and are not always the brightest of sorts. Also, I have had a few cases of breaking into peoples houses, and once inside, they suddenly pop in front of me. Rather weird, might I say. Also, imaginary fines have tended to occur (I keep getting charged for murder.) However, it helps that they don't stand in the same place all the time.
Fun Factor: 10/10
Exceedingly fun to play, and with imagination, there is even more to be had then advertised by the company (300 hours my foot, more like 1000 hours). It lives up to Morrowind in almost every aspect, in all terms of improvement.
Good storyline, quite immersive and fun to play. There are storylines for all four factions, smaller quest storylines, and then the main quest storyline. There is no such thing as the end of the game, so you can keep playing for as long as you want.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a good game with some flaws, but mostly success. While you may find yourself overwhelmed by the huge world, or ticked at the AI, it is an enjoyable experience that I for one will be enjoying for quite some time.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/12/06
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