Review by ninjacow22

"A fantastic RPG that will keep you busy for a long time."

I am not the biggest fan of RPGs. Usually the turn based games can get on my nerves because they get to be repetitive. But a few games have changed my mind a little bit. I enjoyed Tales of Symphonia quite a bit and the Final Fantasy games are very enjoyable. When I first bought a 360 with a couple games, I saw an add for a game called Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It looked great but when I herd it was an RPG, I lost interest. I thought, why would I shell out 60 bucks for a RPG!? The answer came soon after when I looked up the other Elder Scroll games: It wasn't turn based. It was a game that you could do anything you want!. You don't even have to play the main game! I soon bought it and it is one of the best games out on the 360.

Graphics: 9
This game has some truly breath-taking graphics. Everything is so detailed! The landscapes look almost real and towns look life like. Also, character's faces look very real. When they talk, they have facial expressions that are awesome! You can even see wrinkles on people's faces! But, there is some noticeable framerate drops and pop in that ruins some of the scenery.

Sound: 10
Just hearing the clatter of swords makes this category a 9. The swords sound great and realistic in sword fights. You can even hear the gruesome sound of a sword stabbing flesh. People have their own voices and animals sound as if they should. Heck even the sounds of doors being opened and gates being unlocked sound great.

Music: 10
So peaceful and beautiful! The songs are composed and they are as good as the awesome graphics. When you are walking around towns and the forests, the music will be peaceful. When you enter a dark and creepy place, the music switches to haunting tunes. Finally when you enter a fight the music switches to an action type of music. The music always fits the situation of the game.

Story: 8
The gates of Oblivion have been opened and demons start to march upon the land. Your character must find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the plot that threatens to destroy the land. Overall I thought the story was very good and original but I didn't care to follow it because of all the side quests and things I did that weren't part of the main story.

Controls: 9
The controls are very good and responsive. You can do many things with just one button too. The inventory controls are very good and overall I had no problems. It's when you first start to play that things get wonky. There is a very steep learning curve. You won't know what buttons to press for that moment. But later when you learn them, everything is fine.

Game play: 9
There is so much to do that you might be overwhelmed. Sure you can go through the main story, but what makes this game fun is that you can do what you want. There is more freedom and side quests than any other game I have played in my life. You can join 4 different guilds. The fighters guild which protects people, the Mages guild where you fight against the dark arts using magic, (I think), the Dark Brotherhood which you go on assassin missions, and the Thieves guild in which you use stealth to steal for the poor. Each one has a whole load of missions you can do. Currently I am part of the Thieves guild and was just kicked out of the mages guild and the Dark brotherhood. If that ain't your style than join the Arena. There you go up against other fighters to be the best fighter. You even get a place to sleep! ( The arena is one of my favorite things in the game).

If your not into all that then you can sell stuff and buy a house. Gaining money isn't too hard. You can sell stuff you find for money. Or if you are a part of the Thieves guild, you can sell stolen things for cash.

The customization in this game is incredible! You can choose from a whole ton of different races of people and dress them however you want. There are also diseases that can improve your attributes. My favorite is the Vampire because you get to see in the dark. Also your character's specialty's are up to you. If you want to be an Archer, Spell caster, a Fighter, or something else, it is up to you.

The game plays however you want to play. However, I have some mild gripes. The hit detection isn't the best and the AI is either overly smart or extremely dumb. Also, the mechanic used to charm people is very stupid and annoying. Those aren't that bad of problems though and don't hamper the experience too much.

Replay: 10
There is almost and infinite possibilities. There are so many side quests, guilds, items to find, and there is a lot of exploring to do if you want to find everything this game has to offer. You can always find something to do!

This game does have some violence, but nothing very intense. There is not that much blood, but you will see splatters of it from time to time. Though the game has context for sexual themes, I have found none at all. There is also the choice to drink wine and people swear occasionally.

Buy or Rent: Buy!
This game has so much to do that it seems like a bargain at 60 bucks! It is one fantastic experience that can't be missed! The game is really a 10/10, but I have to be critical on every aspect. But still, get this game!

Rated M (was rated T) for Blood & Gore, language, sexual themes, use of alcohol, and violence.

Overall Rating: 9.3/10 (rounded to 9.)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/06/06, Updated 07/09/08

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

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