Review by kylester5

"Got a decent gaming pc, $50, and a LOT of free time? Get Oblivion, now."

After many years of waiting, the fourth game of the Elder Scrolls series is finally here, but does is it really as good as all the hype has made it seem? Simply put, yes. In every respect Oblivion surpasses its predecessor. Now, read on for the full review.

Gameplay 10/10: The province of Cyrodiil can be a dangerous place, which means you have a LOT of things to do here to clean it up. The main quest alone will take several hours to complete and feels fun the whole way through unlike the somewhat dull and unimportant feeling main quest of Morrowind, but where the game really shines is the sidequests. In Oblivion, there are literally hundreds of sidequests to do, all of which feel varied and original for the most part except for the occasional dull generic “kill the rats in the cave” type of quest which thankfully doesn't happen too often. This game also features several factions you can join, such as the Fighters Guild, the Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves Guild, etc…Upon joining one of these factions, you can get new quests to do as well as access to special features the game has to offer only when you are part of one of these factions. A very useful feature this game features, is the detailed map that lets you “fast travel” you locations you have already been too, which helps eliminate lots of time that would have been used walking for hours from place to place. Another travel related feature, is the ability to buy or steal a horse, and use it to travel to locations you can fast travel too like areas you haven't explored yet.

Graphics 10/10: The graphics of just about every part of Oblivion are amazing. Even on the lowest of settings, it still looks very nice. On the higher graphics settings, with HDR, it gives the lighting in the game a very realistic feel. In the countryside of Oblivion, you will find immense amounts of beautiful varied foliage, just about everywhere you go, which is very easy on the eyes. The characters you will meet in the world of Cyrodiil are especially detailed, from every part of the body, but more-so on the faces, which are complete with little details most games don't bother to include, with things like wrinkles and fluid eye blinking motions. Even the buildings of the game are detailed and all look different from one another. I think that's enough about the graphics, since you simply have to see the game to understand how extremely well done they are, so in summary, they look amazing.

Story 8/10: If you have played Morrowind, chances are you noticed the story quest really sucked, or maybe you didn't know that, because you didn't even know it was there. Oblivion fixes this, by providing a deep and lengthy main quest. Unlike Morrowind, Oblivion puts you right into the action and helps you get involved with the main quest instead of providing it as an afterthought that you can do sometime like Morrowind. It begins as all Elder Scroll games do, which is being a prisoner of some type. In Oblivion, it starts out in a jail cell, with Emperor Uriel Septim(voiced by Patrick Stewart) approaching you, and requesting you to follow him and his guards as they escape the Imperial City, but they are quickly attacked by a group of mysterious people in red robes, and you are entrusted by the Emperor to find his heir, and give him the Amulet of Kings. From there, the plot thickens with the arrival of portals to the world of Oblivion, and so on.

Sound 10/10: All of the sounds in Oblivion are right on, and are crystal clear. The voice acting is extremely well done, and is lip synched well with the game's characters. The music is all very nice and is fun to listen to, even outside of the game.

Replayability 10/10: This game is quite possibly the longest/most replayable game I have ever played. There is just massive amounts of things to do in it that will entertain you for easily a hundred hours at least. If you were to try to do all of the quests, it could easily take you over 200 hours, even more than that if you try to find all of the games dungeons and explore all over the landscape just looking for loot. Ever since I got the game it's all I have been playing from the time I get home from school to when I go to bed. I even eat while I play. If you are capable of being addicted to any sort of game, Oblivion will defiantly draw you into its clutches very fast, and you won't be able to stop. So make sure you have plenty of free time before you start Oblivion, otherwise you probably won't get anything in your life accomplished other than gameplay in Oblivion.

Overall 10/10: Everything in this game just feels so refined and well thought out. Every aspect of it is amazing, except for the somewhat short main story, because although it isn't bad, there are other games out there with far superior plots. The graphics are very easy on the eyes, especially the water, which even has ripples when you swim around in it. But this game really shines in it's gameplay, which will entertain you for countless hours and suck away all your free time due to it's addictiveness. If you have $50 that you don't mind spending and a decent gaming pc, go pick up this game, you will thank yourself later.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/31/06

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