Review by The Reichman

"Why don't you own this game yet?"

Ah, a "rare" perfect review. However, this is a rare perfect game. I always hate giving a game a 10, but there was no seemingly good justification for putting this game any lower. I'm writing this review while keeping in mind that someone 10 years from now might be reading this and looking to play an old classic. This game is sure to become one.

Gameplay 10/10 - Many of the aspects that made Morrowind somewhat cumbersome to play have been fixed here. I think the biggest change is the spell casting system. It's fun to have a sword in one hand and be able to cast a fireball with the other (without having to wave your hands around and all that crap). While in some ways it feels like a dummied down version of Morrowind (and I'm sure to some extent it is), the game play is fun and remains challenging throughout the game. Don't listen to people talk about how it's pointless because enemies get stronger as you level up. They do, but it just makes things more interesting. What's the use of having the best armor, best sword, 100 strength and 100 blade skill if nothing is a challenge? OH! And that's another thing, combat is greatly improved from Morrowind.

Graphics 15/10 - Let's face it, the first thing anyone notices about Oblivion is that it LOOKS amazing. This game is a couple years ahead of anything else out there right now. It does require a pretty high end computer to run it on max. But for now I was able to run it on low detail with a Pentium 4 2.0ghz, 1gb Ram, and a Radeon 9600 and had no problems at all, except for missing out on some of the graphical goodness. I've since upgraded to a Nvidia 7600gt and an Athlon 3000+ and it's well worth the money. The game just shines, it's beautiful. Hopefully anyone looking at this game 5-10 years from now can appreciate how ahead of its time this game really is.

Sounds 9/10 - Patrick Stewart as the Emperor ir pretty cool. The same three people for everyone else isn't. The music in the game is a typical game fare, nothing amazing. There are some things though that are cool. Just stand on a city street, and you can listen to other NPC's conversations. They'll lead you to important NPCs and some have other cool easter eggs, like the one conversation I overheard that talked about House Telvanni taking care of something back in Vvardenfall. Or one that talked about the Nerevarine seeking new adventure. While it's clear that Bethesda didn't put all their attention into sounds and voices, you can still see that they put effort to keep things interesting.

Replayability 10/10 - If you played Morrowind 100 times just to do every quest, be every race, try different skill sets, etc... then you'll do the same thing in Oblivion.

Overall 10/10 - While this may not be the greatest game ever made, it is still bound to be a classic. Think of it like the Lord of the Rings movie, or Titanic, movies that might not be the best films ever made, but one has to give them credit for being visually stunning. No video game collection will be complete without this title. It will likely be a couple years or even more before we get to a game that looks this good. Once your eyes have feasted on the orgy that is Oblivion, there's a great and fun game there too.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/03/06

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