Review by LWcaretaker

"Oblivion. A great game."

First off, let me say I don't normally enjoy RPGs. This is the first one I really got in to. Sure, I played Morrowind...but I just didn't click with it. This game, though, is I have a few hundred hours of game play on it, and I am still not bored. I find new things literally every time I play. With the huge landscape, all for your exploring, it is really hard not to get addicted. I have made a lot of characters, and I am trying to get in every race with both a mage and warrior class. I don't plan on getting bored from Oblivion anytime soon, what with all the different things to do. So, after you read this review for a great game, think about buying it!

The Story
It is the Third Era, Four Hundred and Thirty-Three.. The location is Cyrodiil, a province in the land of Tamriel. You start out in a prison cell in the Imperial Prison. The emperor of Tamriel, Uriel Septim VII, is being lead to safety by his secrete Knights, The Blades. It turns out your cell is also a passage way to get out of the city. You end up following the emperor and his Blades, until, tragically, the emperor is killed by a head wound inflicted by an assassin, who is a member of a unknown assassins guild. But, before he dies, Uriel Septim gives you the Amulet of Kings. He tells you to go and give it to a friend of his. The emperor had reigned in Tamriel for 65 years, and was aged 87 when he died.

The Graphics
The graphics are simply amazing. With this being on a new generation console, you would expect a lot. You received a lot and then some. Once you exit the tunnels, and into the land of Cyrodiil for the first time, you will be bedazzled at the amazing quality of the detail in the landscape. From the grass, to the water, to the details on people, it is simply amazing.

The Landscapes
To snow capped mountains, to the grassy plains, and from the thick
forests, to the insides of castles, the layouts of many different towns, old and worn out forts, and to caves, or from ruins from ancient people, the different landscapes are, for lack of better terms, sweet. The detail is, as I previously stated, amazing.

The Sound
Brilliant. From hitting a troll with your sword, silently sneaking to pickpocket a bandit, running on your horse, and to swimming, the sound quality is very good. If you step on snow, you can hear the crunching. If you accidentally miss an enemy with your bow, you will here it smacking stone, wood, or on accident, your horse. The music is great to warn you if an enemy has spotted you. After an hour or so from playing the game, you should be able to know when an enemy is near, and when you are
relatively safe.

The Endless Opportunities
From the noble knights, to the sinister assassin, to the faithful monk, to the evil necromancer, from the sneaky thief to the brilliant mage, the opportunities for what you can be are endless. Perhaps you would like to be a battlemage? An archer? A skilled merchant? All possible.

The Guilds
From the Thieves Guild, to the assassins, the Dark Brotherhood, to the Fighters Guild, and the Mages Guild, all with their own long quest line, there is a guild for virtually any character. You can also join some minor guilds, such as the Blades, a vampire hunter guild, and the Mythic Dawn itself. Or, maybe you would like to become a gladiator in the Arena and earn some good hard cash? It's all possible.

The AI
Very advanced. From the undead attacking you, to the Imperial Soldiers patrolling the roads, from the fanatics worshipping a Daedric shrine, to the fighters in the Arena you gamble on, it seems like an endless amount of advanced AI. You can even have a "posse" following you, and fighting with you.

Endless hours of fun? ABSOLUTELY!
Besides the main quest, which is considerably long, there are many side quests. A lot of quests for the various guilds, and a lot of other quests from normal people who could use the help of a hero....or villain. Destroying a gate of Oblivion, defending an empire from many enemies, hunting down vampires, a few heists, and discovering evil plots are all included in the various quests. If and when you do complete all the quests, you can find various things to do..pushing people off a cliff, farming, hunting, and investing in stores can all be done.

Various Races Anyone?
The High Elves, Argonians, Wood Elves, Bretons, Dark Elves, Nords,
Imperials, Orc, Redguards, and Khajiitare all playable. You can make them old, young hairy, sexy, scary, or make them look like you favorite people: Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, LWcaretaker, or Barack Obama. Or..just design your own until you see fit.

The Controls
A little difficult to handle at first, but you will get used to them. The hot keys, using the D-pad, are very useful for using magic and switching to different items you possess. The journal, which is basically your character's main menu, is accessible by press "B".

The Things in the game
From books, weapons, armor, potions, bows and arrows, magic,
enchantments, the things are pretty much endless. The weapons. A LOT OF WEAPONS!!!!!!!!! Iron, daedric, dwarven, elven, steel, glass, ebony, etc, etc, are all at your disposal for materials for use to..kill. Swords, axes, hammers, daggers, bows, arrows, your fists, all to use. Great weapon choice. The armor. Vast amounts of armor. Light armor, heavy armor, which ever kind you like. Helmets, greaves, gauntlets, boots, cuirasses, all for you to wear. The stealth. If you want to be a murderer or thief, this is the game to do it in. When you are sneaking, there is an eye that turns gold if an enemy can see you. If it starts to change just a little bit, you know how close you are to being discovered and can back up. The enchantments. This is a great feature in the game. You can enchant armor and weapons, to make them more powerful. You can have a sword have +15 damage, soul trap, etc, etc. Or have the armor add extra protection or perhaps modify things such as your strength or endurance. The archery. Very fun. If you can time the aiming correctly, and you are sneaking, you can get a lot of extra damage. You can pick up arrows after you use them, so that is very useful. You can also enchant bows for extra damage. The NPCs. Their interaction in this game is great. Their are many conversations in this game, and there is a big chance you can find great reward in asking for rumors. You can bribe, charm, or persuade them into liking you. The swordplay. This is a great Swordplay game. As long as the cursor is on the target, you are bound to hit it, which is an upgrade from an early character in Morrowind. The Magic. Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Mysticism, and Restoration are the schools of magic in the game. You can buy new spells, or create them yourself. The first person magic is superb. The books. There are many books in this game. From love stories, adult stories, books about vampires, books about war, or journals, this game has them all. There are also books that will help you upgrade your skills, such as blade or light armor. Potions anyone? If you want to make a health potion, some poison, or pretty much any kind of potion you can imagine, it is possible.

The Complaints.
Ok..this game his its fair deal of glitches. There are many, most fixed with the official mods, but some of them are the ability to get unlimited gold, making it impossible to meet the requirements for some quests, and some making the game simply freeze up. Constant loading. Though you can barely notice most of the time, there is constant loading through out the open land. The load screen times can be really annoying, taking from five seconds to sixty seconds. Every time you walk in a house or an other building, you load.

The Story: 9/10
The Graphics/Landscapes: 10/10
The Sound/Music: 10/10
The Guilds: 9/10
The AI: 9/10
Hours of Fun: 10/10
The Races: 10/10
The Controls: 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/27/07, Updated 12/08/08

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

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