Review by DandyQuackShot
"Excellence in Gaming"
Having spent six months playing Elder Scrolls Morrowind and finally being able to acquire an Xbox 360 I went ahead and took the plunge of looking like a geek and picking up Oblivion at the local Gamestop. Now I am not one to try to figure out the story lines in this game because you will do more reading in this game and Morrowind than you ever would in school so there is plenty to read up about on this game. You will understand the plot of Oblivion easily even if you don't decide to read the history of the Elder Scrolls. I have absolutely no complaints against Oblivion, except for the obvious. Whereas it took me six months to finish the main part of Morrowind it didn't take longer than a few days to finish the main game of Oblivion along with some of the fun side quests.
Now the Elder Scrolls series is unlike any role playing game I have ever played. Actually, I'm not a fan at all of role playing games and much less care about any game that does not involve shooting stuff in the first person. However, in Oblivion you will do a lot of first person shooting or third person if you are into that. Oblivion is just about everything you wanted such a game to be. There are plenty of upgrades from Morrowind that more than make up for the loss of game length. Of course I don't think it is possible for one to actually complete this game 100%, and so you are left with plenty of replay value to this game.
The story of Oblivion is relatively simple. The gist is that a king knows you are special and you get to follow him through the underground passage in the dungeon to freedom and then you must go around uniting the area towns and villages to send fighters to take down the gates to Oblivion. Actually you will be doing most of the work, but you will need to unite the areas townships to take the big daddy down. Unfortunately the people of this distant land have no regard for the dead. So if you kill somebody their bodies are very likely to still be there long after you kill them. Perhaps all of the tombs are too full? Eh well, the story in my opinion, is easy to follow if not too short and it is much well worth it to go through the game and completing the various tasks before moving on to the next part of the main game.
The gameplay is simply incredible. Fans of Morrowind need no explanation. In Oblivion the controls are relatively easy and you upgrade as in any role playing game. The enemies will upgrade with you so once when you were hounded by wolves you may upgrade and then they will turn into bears. Fast travel is enabled in a much more convenient way but you must find significant areas before you can jump over to them. Hotels and houses are at your disposal for occupying and you can actually save up money to buy and furnish your own house (or houses) in the game to keep all of your stuff and loot in one place. My preference was just to kill the current resident and take it over. You can be anything you want to be in this game because the penalization for killing somebody is simply a slap on the wrist. And all of the non-playable characters will talk to you. It can be quite interesting what they have to say although most of them are voiced by the same actor so you will hear them say the same things over and over. Some special characters may become your allies and follow you around which is pretty sweet. You can also ride horses-there is just way too much to sit here and try to describe. There is a lot to do in this game!
Graphics and sound are the most impressive aspects about this game. There is detail on everything and human and other races of characters all have their own unique features. You get the excellent Elder Scrolls music to go along with the game play and of course you can take in a lot more scenic areas and views from mountains and hillsides.
There is just way too much to do in Oblivion that you will never actually, completely finish this game. I do recommend going ahead and completing some of the guild quests before finishing up the main plot of the game. Unfortunately the main part of this game does go quickly so it is best to finish it once you have explored and quested all to your heart's desire.
Final Recommendation 9.25/10
Oblivion is a definite buy for any Elder Scrolls or RPG fan. It does have some minor flaws that take away from the experience you had in Morrowind, but there are significant upgrades to this game that you do not get in Morrowind. You still have plenty of replay value to this game once you have finished it and of course the achievement points are easy to get as well as they are also a good measure for your progress in the game. There are a lot of fun things to do in this game and you may just find yourself relaxing on a hill side and watching the sun set. There is a lot to enjoy about this game and it is definitely worth your time.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/13/08
Game Release: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (US, 03/20/06)
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