Review by DarkFire21

"A rich and compelling RPG."

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion leads you into a world of destruction and terror. You never know what to expect and every play through is different. You begin in a prison, unknown of how you got there, and all of a sudden, you are following the King and a group called "The Blades". This review does contain major plot spoilers but the sections will be marked with a "|||" so you can skip it.

Being thrown into a detailed environment so quickly usually would cause an issue for some beginners. This time, there is a tutorial at the beginning of the game to give you a feel for the controls.

The Controls - Since this game is multi-platform, the controls vary from system to system. For the consoles, the configuration is set for you and you just follow along with that (but you can still remap some of the controls). For the PC users on the other hand, you can map them out to exactly how you want them.

Since this game is in first-person, at least, it wants you to play it in first person; your normal set up would be with the mouse and a set of movement keys. This is typical for this day and age for first person games. If you chose to use third-person view, it will still function with the First-Person control setup.

The Graphics – What a beautiful game. You can stand on a hill and watch the sunrise or sunset over the water. While playing previous Elder Scrolls games today, I found that it was hard to get through because of the dated graphics. I am the type of guy who cares a lot about how much the game looks, mainly because it's hard to get immersed into a game, especially this series, when you're looking at a pixilated person or landscape.

So, I had to download many texture replacements and all of that, just wasting time when all I would wanted to do, was just play. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that with Oblivion because it games looking great right out of the box. There are no complaints here because this game looks amazing!

|||The Storyline||| - Oblivion leaves you in a world, where the prince of destruction, has opened up gates to "Oblivion". The whole story line revolves around the fact, that after the king was assassinated, he didn't have a heir to keep the Dragon Fires lit. If the Dragon Fires are not lit, the evil can be let into Tamriel (world that this game takes place in). Think of it like a force field. You are sent to find the king's hidden son named "Martin". The whole story after that has you looking to seal shut the gates to Oblivion and help Martin eventually ending with a fight between Mehunes Dagon (Prince of Destruction) and Martin.

During this whole time, there is about 20 hours of game play and even more hours in character development. Well worth playing over and over again because if you choose to steer off the main quest, there are plenty of other quests littered throughout Tamriel. Many complaints for this game, is that there isn't as much depth as Morrowind had. That would be for you to decide because I have yet to become bored with this game.

The Game Play - You start out choosing a race and eventually a class. That is a typical role playing game feature. This adds more depth into the game because if you beat it with one character/class, you can always play through with a different setup. Another complain in this game, is that the fighting mechanics are far too linear mainly because too much time was spent on the graphics engine. I don't think it's really that bad. It's not the most spectacular part of the game, but it won't ruin the game play either. You will also find that leveling up is a little trickier because the whole system relies on leveling up certain attributes at a time. There are quite a few FAQs and websites dedicated to helping you get the best overall character for the class you selected.

I would say that this game plays out just fine and delivers the full Elder Scrolls experience.

The sounds in this game were great and added a lot of realism. Also, there are add-ons like Knights of the Nine of Shivering Isles. These just add more game play and more in-game hours. Not a necessity but help give you more time with this game.

There is not a multi-player portion in Oblivion. Not a big deal because there is so much to do in this game.

Many mods and add-ons to continue with making the game play more rich and fix things that people did not like (like the leveling and combat systems).

If you're a fan of the Elder Scrolls series or have a next-gen console, I would definitely pick this title up. If you're running a powerful PC, you may also want to look at picking this game up. If you don't fit the criteria, perhaps look at Morrowind (Elder Scrolls III). It's just because Oblivion is a massive game and requires fast and current hardware. There are mods that downgrade the graphics (Oldblivion) which allow older PC's to at least play through. Not exactly the same experience though. Also, if you are really into the whole series, make sure you look at the add-ons and the expansion pack "Shivering Isles".

An amazing game that will keep people in the Elder Scrolls series for many years and of course, keeps everyone hoping that Bethesda will continue to develop more and more of this series!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/26/07

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

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