Review by Sunsetspawn

"A stunningly beautiful disappointment"

I sit in awe at the "amazing" reviews for this game. Had people been forgiving everything because of the sheer beauty, size, and detail of the game world? When this first came out I honestly gave it a solid effort, and I really tried to like it. My utter disappointment with the game brought me to the conclusion that I was just not a video game person anymore, because, after all, EVERYONE LOVES IT!!11!eleventyone

Now I realize that everyone was blinded by the game's strong suits, because since then I've played a few very good games that have ALL blown Oblivion out of the water. Borderlands, Bioshock, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age are seriously good games, and Oblivion is a failure.

1) VISUALS 9/10 - Hurray visuals. The graphics and art design of Oblivion, to this day, are second to none. They create a world that you would want to visit. Aside from the characters looking a little goofy, this is perfection.

2) SOUND 9/10 - Atmosphere is never lacking is Oblivion, and the sound, combined with the visuals, could keep you coming back endlessly IF the actual gameplay mechanics were just a bit better.

3) GAMEPLAY 1/10 - Now, Oblivion was such a major disaster because it had two separate opportunities to be great, and it failed on both fronts.

ROLE PLAYING - The enemy/loot level scaling was the worst I've ever encountered. I couldn't even suspend my disbelief and pretend everything was cool and I was enjoying my vacation in Cyrodiil. At level 1 you could explore EVERYWHERE and even beat the game, although you'd do it with a rusty sword and a potato sack, because at level 1 you will neither find a challenge nor find semi-decent loot. Once I realized that there was nothing to fear (nor gain) in the depths of any ruin, cave, region, or oblivion, and it was actually my advancing level that posed a danger (or presented treasure), I was through. I got about 1/3 through before the visual beauty wore off and my boredom couldn't let me continue. The level scaling renders EVERY aspect of the character development useless, so there really is no point in talking about character development and skill points. It is THE DEAL BREAKER with this game.

In Morrowind, finding great equipment was a fantastic experience, but you will NEVER find great equipment in Oblivion until you reach the required level to "unlock" it, and then every bandit you encounter will be wearing Deadric Armor. This makes the unique satisfaction of picking off a higher level enemy and jacking him up for his goods something you will not experience.

There are a few other RPG gameplay issues that are present, but I don't really remember them, and they weren't the atrocious, flagrant foul that this enemy/loot level scaling is.

ACTION - Well, this is a First Person Real Time Role Playing Game, so action is one of the two major components of gameplay, and sadly this game fails at being an action game as well. I know the action element can't be that great in a game such as this because it could render the role playing element obsolete, but with the level scaling and all, you don't really need to worry about being so good at the "combat" that you are outperforming much higher level enemies, because, honestly, you will NEVER encounter a much high level enemy.

4) STORY 5/10 - The What? Nobody bought this expecting too much in the story department. It gets the job done and serves as the excuse for the player (that's you) to go romping about in a huge world.

CONCLUSION - I'm sorry I got this game as a present. I actually feel guilty that someone spent their money on me. Yes, it's that disappointing.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/10

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


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