Review by electric_emu

"Oblivion: Awesome, but not perfect..."

INTRODUCTION
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an RPG for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, but you probably already knew that. As the title suggests, it is the fourth installment of The Elder Scrolls series. It is important to note that you do not need to have played the previous three games, I have not myself. The game takes place in the land of Cyrodiil. It has its own years and months, but the style is very medieval. Okay, I can't think of much more to say here, so, on with the review!

GAMEPLAY: 9/10
I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's pretty amazing. The game gives you the freedom to create a character. Yay! You can choose between multiple races each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You come customize your characters face (and skills) quite a bit, but you don't have any control over the body, which is kind of disappointing. Moving on to actually playing, you have total freedom. Once the tutorial is over, you can essentially do whatever you want. The freedom can overwhelming, and you may be lost at first, but you can catch on quickly. This is probably one of the most open-ended RPGs out there. You can kill, steal, or if you want to be a good person, help people, or go traditional, and save the land. The controls are a little befuddling at first (I play the X360 version). *Just a note, I got the game right after I got the system itself, so the controller was all new to me.* I suppose I can't pass fair judgment on your ability to adapt to the game. I can however, say, the game makes full use of the controller, so your fingers won't fall asleep. Onto combat (oh, yeah, you fight)! You are not forced to fight in any one way. You have four options, essentially; a blade, a blunt weapon, your fists, or magic. You are also not limited to one, you can 'specialize' in all four if you so choose! Along with ways of doing damage, there are also other skills to pick, allowing for total customization of your character. You level up in Oblivion, but not in the conventional 'gain EXP and hit the next level' no. In Oblivion, you gain EXP in individual skills, not overall. When you level up your 'Major Skills' (the seven skills you pick at the end of the tutorial, such as Blade) a total of ten times, you sleep (in a bed) and level up. While unique and can provide even more customization, it can be very tedious and (if you chose certain skills) very, very slow. All in all, the gameplay is unique, and definitely addicting, but as I said, not perfect.

STORY: 7/10
The Story in Oblivion is good, and mildly interesting, but rather short. If you delve straight into the story, you'll find yourself over with the 'Oblivion' aspect of the game quickly. I don't think this game was designed on story, but more on the freedom you're granted. Still, the story is interesting, don't neglect it!

GRAPHICS/SOUND: 8/10
I really wanted to give this a 9, but there are too many problems. The graphics are very good, especially for such a huge game. The music is also good, but it never changes, so it may seem to get old. Also, the game features voice acting, for ALL NPCs, even enemies. A little surprising for a game in which you can name your character. However, there are probably about ten total voices used for over 1,000 NPCs. So, it gets very old too. Also, some NPCs can be very ugly in the face. Overall, not bad, not at all, but, they are noting groundbreaking, yet nothing annoying.

PLAYTIME/REPLAYABLILTY: 10/10
This game can be played forever. There are so many ways to customize your character, that you could create four or five totally different characters. Do you want to be a knight? A thief? A mage? An assassin? A barbarian? It simply never gets old. Especially when you really get into the mechanics of the game, you feel the need to try different builds. Also, you can use certain story arcs to define your character(s). They gain a reputation among the population, very realistic. Overall, this game can have you playing 100+ hours, as I have, just don't forget about real life =P

CONCLUSION
Oblivion is an awesome game. It has flaws, all games do. Overall, you should definitely buy this game, and don't stop there! There are expansions too, which really builds on the open-endedness of the game.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/15/07

Game Release: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Collector's Edition) (US, 03/20/06)


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