Review by ImperialSchwann
"Epic? Not really, but a good game nonetheless"
Monster slashing, skill grinding, world roaming; Oblivion is another great RPG which is worth playing. An RPG that contains a huge amount of things to do, 2K Games must have achieved really hard to create this great game. What keeps it from being a pure masterpiece? There are not many negative things, but the game is still far from perfect.
Probably Oblivion's weakest point, this game actually proves that 2K lacks good script writers. Although understandable at best, there are many points in the plot where I didn't understand where the game's story is going. The story starts as your created character is confined in a prison dungeon when a group of knights confront your cell. As the kingdom emperor faces you, he began a tale of how the last bloodline of his royal family has mysteriously disappeared. The demons are returning, and the prophecy states that you are the chosen hero to find this last bloodline and return peace into the kingdom. Sounds epic, doesn't it? It's actually both yes' and no'. Though I was sucked inside the game's elements really fast, there are too many confusing and irrelevant parts of the plot that I would just ignore rather than struggling to understand them.
There is almost nothing wrong with the graphics of this game. The character designs are nice while the varieties of customizations when you create your character are many. Equipment designs are unique and different from each other. What 2K Games can really work on are the spell effects. There is a wide range of spells you can choose from, but the downside is that many of the spells aren't flashy enough to grab your attention. Also, the world of Tamriel may be big, but that doesn't stop the fact that the landscapes are pretty dull at certain areas. The cities are nice though.
As an RPG with a big reputation, I couldn't expect less from Oblivion. With many different types of races to choose from, in-depth quests, and scores of equipments, Oblivion is an RPG that lacks nothing in gameplay. The main story may be a little bit short, but if you care to master all your skills, obtain the best equipments, and complete all the sidequests, this game can keep you going for 100+ hours. The different kinds of monsters also mean that you should take your time finding and seeing them all. What about the sidequests? I was amazed that Oblivion has over 100 different sidequests to keep you busy for a very, very, long time. If you find the game too hard or too easy, you can always set the game's difficulty for a more comfortable play. Even in cities, excitement will always be in every corner. I like the way 2K Games created the dialogue flows in this game. They have successfully made me want to talk to every single person in the city. Shops are plenty throughout the whole game, so the different types of equipments are no exceptions. Nothing could be given less than a perfect score for the gameplay of Oblivion.
The soundtracks and sound effects of Oblivion are magnificent. From the orchestrated battle music to relaxing town tunes, 2K Games has delivered not only an entertaining game, but one that is nice to my ears as well. The opening theme, March of the Septims, is by far the best piece in the game. Composed by Jeremy Soule, it's really skillfully made that I inserted it inside my MP3 Player! The only mediocre parts of the sounds are probably the voice acting. Some of them, like Emperor Uriel's voice, are truly well done, but a few others just don't match with the corresponding character. One of the most annoying sounds in the game is the city guards voice acting. Later in the game, you may feel a bit sick hearing their somewhat strange commanding voice all the time. Still, the sounds are very well done overall. A pat on the back for Mr. Jeremy Soule also.
Since the gameplay is strong, the same thing applies to the replayability. My last save file was around 103 hours before I lost the game. If you still find the game way too short for your taste (which is highly unlikely), 2K Games has made expansion packs so your fun can be prolonged. It never hurts to also try a new game altogether, since the amount of jobs and races can persuade you to replay the entire game.
Overall, Oblivion is a truly well made game that every RPG players should try. With a huge world and a wonderful environment to play in, Oblivion is an experience that should not be missed. Although the game is not suited to everyone's liking, you shouldn't think twice on picking up one of the world's finest RPG from the shelf.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/08
Game Release: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (US, 03/20/06)
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