Review by link02129
"Four Words For Elder Scrolls 4: Game of the Year"
After many months of delays, the game that every single Xbox 360 has been waiting for has arrived. On March 20th, 2006, the masterpiece, The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion was shipped out of Bethesda Studios and found its way into stores. Many gamers rejoiced on that fine day. For this review, the four main aspects of Oblivion will be covered: Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, and Replay Value. If you want, you can skip to the Pros and Cons section for some quick info.
Let's just say this: When you're done with the little "tutorial" section in the sewers, you will emerge outside to what is one of the most beautiful gaming landscapes ever created. You will mountains covered in trees, a massive stream, and it's all seamless. Let's just put it this way: if HDTV were to be upgraded above 1080p, that couldn't even do better than this (well, it probably could, but you get the point). Anyways, the movement of your character looks a lot better now than it did in Morrowind, as it doesn't look like he needs a bathroom while he runs. Here's another nice bit of information about your guy: you can customize your face in an never-before-seen way. You can seriously edit every aspect, including the size of the nose's bridge, and even the details of your own chin.
The sound effects of the game are lovely, and they have been vastly improved over Morrowind. However, the big key of any RPG's sound is the music that you hear in the background while slaying enemies. The composer of the game's music is Jeremy Soule, who is credited with the Harry Potter games and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. If you haven't heard those, go over to ocremix.org and check out his remix of "Terra" from Final Fantasy 6. This man was born to create music, which he only does on his PC, by the way. Of course, Oblivion, much unlike Morrowind, features over hours and hours of voice acting. Every line spoken by people in the game can now be heard. The most prominent of course is Patrick Stewart, the voice of Uriel Septim.
Many issues that people had with the gameplay of Morrowind have been fixed in Oblivion. The issue with regaining fatigue? You can now slowly regain it while running. The issue that made magic seem obsolete in Morrowind? Your magika now regenerates over time. That whole "Your weapon will do 1-43 points of damage" thing? That's gone now. What Bethesda has done is taken Morrowind, and they have made that engine as realistic as you can possibly get it. The use of a bow in this game is now more prominent, and everything seems that much more balanced. Sword fighting in the game is extremely simple: right trigger to attack, left trigger to block, right bumper for a spell, and the D-Pad has 8 hotkeys for whatever you need.
REPLAY VALUE (Infinite/10)
First, before talking about replay value, I'd like to point out that one run through this game, including exploring all of the land, completing every quest, and if you so desire, killing everyone, will take you longer than any other game ever made. The open-endedness of this game puts Grand Theft Auto to shame. I, myself, spent nearly 1000 hours over the course of three years playing Morrowind. I have a feeling that this game will be much longer, and an even better experience. If you love RPGs, if you love senseless killing, and if you love a game that requires skill, then Oblivion is for you.
PROS: Great graphics, awesome physics, wonderful character customization, very long gaming experience, best game on Xbox 360 thus far.
CONS: Horse riding is iffy, minor framerate issues (usually when loading stuff)
If you own an Xbox 360, you shouldn't even need this review. You should be playing this game right now. Looking at the message board for the game, there are over 200 pages of topics. That's just about as many that I've seen on any board in my time on GameFAQs. If you loved Morrowind, or any RPG for that case, GET THIS GAME NOW!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/24/06
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