Review by TheDarkness654

"Oblivion 4 realz"

First off I just have to say that I love the Elder Scrolls games but this one just seems a little too.... easy, such as all the enemies are leveled with you and you actually have a difficulty bar which if you turn down all the way to easy, even a level 1 character can kill plenty of guards without breaking a sweat. Now if you look at Morrowind, the previous Elder Scrolls, that was truly hardcore, but also truly fun.
Graphics- 10
Well you really can't argue here. If you look at Morrowind and compare it to this, you can easily say that Bethesda has put much time into this game. I especially like the face models, which almost look real sometimes. Then there is the scenery, oh the beautiful scenery! From the icy mountains to the dark, damp dungeons you cannot beat the scenery. Another major part of the graphics is the detail. The details on things such as daedric armor are truly amazing, and again the detail on EVERYONES face, not just key characters. Overall these are some of these best graphics yet.

Game play- 9
Oblivion has a nice amount of things to do but somethings are just not good enough. It has a nice variety of styles of attacks, such as hand to hand, spells, and weapons. But sometimes just using a sword can get a little repetitive because of the basic hack n slash style. It does have power attacks that you hold down the trigger to use but it still doesn't add to much variety. Like I said before this game is a little to easy and mainstream. I understand that they wanted to make it more "player friendly" so to speak, and I know that they wanted to sell more copies of the game, but being so hardcore was the best part. In Morrowind in the beginning it is actually difficult to earn money unlike Oblivion. In Oblivion you can easily make plenty of money in a very short span of time. Something that I just have to put in here is the variety of weapons and armor. Weapons range from a dagger to a massive war hammer that can crush enemies in one fell blow! And the variety in each class is truly amazing; I am still continuing to find more and more weapons even after putting 100+ hours into this game. There is also a nice variety of spells to use, and arching is pretty fun, especially when you are at a high level and you head shot someone and kill them in one hit, later to find the arrow sticking out of the victims head. You can also enchant weapons, or in the bow's case, arrows, and poison them to do such things as drain magical resistance or just straight out hurt them even more that usual. But to poison weapons you have to have poison potions, which you can either make or buy from a store. To create a poison, or a potion for that matter, is very simple. It is as easy as getting a mortar and pestle and some ingredients to combine and there you go. But if you want a more complex potion you can get some of the unnecessary equipment that improves upon the quality of the potion or poison. Another thing you can do with a weapon is enchant it, which instead of one use like a potion, has a meter of charge that you must recharge from time to time. Enchantments can cause lighting damage, damage armor, or many other things. Now for the armor. The armor doesn't have many classes, only light and heavy armor, but it still has an amazing amount of it. Some of the types that I can think of off the top of my head are glass, daedric, steel, iron, and there is even more! Another thing you can do to the armor is enchant it, just like the weapons, causing such things as +1 to armor or magical resistance. One very awesome thing is the very beginning where you can customize your character to an extreme amount of depth. It is very simple also, it consists of sliders that you can move back and forth, each of them changing your characters appearance.

Some people who are not familiar with the Elder Scrolls may be slightly confused with the leveling matter. For each level you need to level up 10 of your major skills in any combination. Meaning you can level up in say, four Stealth, two Heavy Armor, three Blunt Weapons, and one in Lock picking. Your major skills are 5 of many skills that you choose. When you choose a certain skill as a major skill, you automatically gain a bonus in each. The skills that you did not choose as major are labeled minor and do not help you level up when they are leveled up. When you get ten major skill points, you will receive a message that says, "You should rest and meditate on what you have learned". This means you should go rest in a bed, you cannot use the wait feature activated by the back button to level up. Once you rest (it does not matter how long you rest) a screen will pop up. This screen has a list of things like strength and endurance, and it gives you three "tokens" to put on these stats. But you cannot stack tokens, meaning no more then 1 token on each stat. Depending on how you played before you level up you get a multiplier, an example is if you battled a lot then you level up you might get a 2X or 3X multiplier, maybe higher depending on the amount of battle you did. It may seem confusing at first, but once you get the whole concept of it, it is really easy to understand.

The quests in this game are really enjoyable. The main story line quests lasts about 25 hours, which is extremely deep, but the real meat of the game comes from the side quests, which will keep you playing for actually hundreds of hours! When I say hundreds I really do mean hundreds of hours, some people have put in over 300 hours! I personally have put in a little over a hundred hours. Then with all the downloads on Xbox Live that adds even more time. I really enjoy the Mehrunes Razor and the Knights of the Nine downloads.

Overall I think the game play is good, but it could have improved on some things, such as the weapon slashing repetitiveness. But for the most part it is pretty good.

Story- 10
Well I have to say the story is one of the best if not THE best story line ever. Some things may be slow, like when you have to find certain artifacts, or go somewhere and talk to someone. But once you start playing the main story line and get into it, I doubt that you will stop even with all the side quests. It actually is pretty deep and has emotion to it and is very exciting. If you are the type of gamer who only buys a game if it has a good story line, then you should have no worries about this game. So overall this game has a very, very good story line that you just cannot resist.

Sound- 9
The sounds are pretty good in this game, from the clash of sword to shield or the screams of civilians as they run in fear from you, or even to the ferocious growl of a wolf. But some sounds do get repetitive, like when you are battling an enemy, say a bandit, and they keep making the same annoying grunt every time you hit them. This really can get really aggravating but you learn to get used to it. Then there is the soundtrack. This game has one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard from a game, and I really do not like classical music. When you listen to it you really get involved with the game, I really like it when you encounter an enemy and the orchestra starts playing. Even when you are just roaming the land the music perfectly suits the mood and feel of the game. If you really do not like the music though, you can turn on a custom soundtrack anytime you want. Overall I think the sound is excellent for the most part, especially the soundtrack, but there are still some disappointments like the annoying grunts, although that really should not stop you from buying this game.

Replay Value- 10
If I could give above a 10 for this I would, because this game has the most replay value that I have ever known. I have made four different characters just for the different types of class, and there are some quests suited for, but not restricted to, certain classes so that is a major component in replay value. Also you have a fame and an infamy counter and how people react to you depends on those. Like I was Grand Champion of the Arena and gave myself the preset nickname "The Butcher" and people would congratulate me and call me that. Pretty much if you do anything major, people acknowledge it. Now lets say you are a thief who steals and kills people. Your infamy should be pretty high and now guards will treat you poorly, like saying, "What do you want!", even if you don't have a bounty. So with these counters you can sort of create a bad guy, good guy thing. Overall the replay value is great, you can put 100 hours into a game, and then start an entirely new game and you will not get bored with it. If you are the type of gamer who likes a long game that still wants to be able to start a new game and not get bored, Oblivion is for you.

Overall- 9
I understand that there is a lot of good things about this game, as I have said in my review, but a few disappointments have kept this from a 10 in my view. I really enjoy this game and I ensure you that if you try it you will also. Rent or Buy. BUY. Trust me, if you rent it instead you will definitely end up buying it, so why waste the money on a rental when you are going to get it anyway?

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/06/07

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