Review by Chronic_Apathy

"Instant Classic"

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the award-winning role-playing game (RPG) for the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 (this review is for the Xbox 360 only). It features some of the best gameplay, graphics, audio, and controls of any game for the 360, and quite possibly any game ever. With more than 100 hours worth of playing, along with the 50+ hours worth of extra downloads and content, this is a game that no Xbox 360 owner should pass up.

The gameplay in this game is one of the best of any RPG out on any console. It also one of the largest RPGs out on any console. There is a main quest, and there are also five guilds, which feature several quests, ranging from stealing one of the Elder Scrolls to assassinating a retired Imperial Captain to killing the most powerful necromancer ever born. Add in more than 100 extra side-quests and you have more than 200 hours worth of gameplay.

The game world itself is huge. There is the Imperial City, which is divided into several sections, and there also several smaller cities scattered across the province of Cyrodiil. As another bonus, Bethsheda created many much smaller villages, inns, and camps across Cyrodiil, many of which having one or more side-quests tied to them. There are also Ayleid (an ancient race) Ruins, Dungeons, and Forts for you to discover, explore, and plunder.

The game features 10 different races for you to use, each with their own strengths and weaknesses in the many skills and attributes in the game. Ranging from strength, to speed, to intelligence, to luck, all the attributes have a job to do. With the exception of luck, they all govern their own set of skills, such at Blade, Atheletics, and different forms of magicka (magic).

There are three basic kinds of weapons in the game, blade, blunt, and bows. The former two also have several different forms as well, such as daggers and claymores for blade, and maces and warhammers for blunt. There is also an incredible array of spells, each falling into one of the types of magic. These range from summoning a creature to help you fight, to healing yourself, and quite a few things in between.

The graphics in this game are excellent. Despite being more than a year old, they still compete with the games more recently released (as of April 2007). There is nothing like climbing a mountain peak, and seeing the land of Cyrodiil before you. In the distance, White-Gold Tower is seen, marking the location of the Imperial City, and beyond that, another town can be seen. The humans and elves look life-like and realistic. The beast races of the Argonians and the Kha'jeet look like lizards and lions respectively. The grass, snow, trees, and other plants are simply gorgeous.

The audio in this game is good, but not perfect. The majority of the voice acting is extremely well-done, but some of it isn't convincing, and it becomes obvious that the voice-actor is reading from a script. The music in this game is some of the best I have ever heard, but it starts and stops suddenly, instead of fading away like other games do. This is especially noticeable in combat situations.

The controls in this game take a while to learn, and even longer to master, but once you do it becomes like a sixth sense. "Y" is jump, "RT" is swing weapon/pull back bow, "LT" is block, "RB" is cast spell, "A" is select items, "B" is go to menu. Clicking "R3" will let you use either first or third person view, depending on what you're comfortable with, and "L3" lets you switch to and from sneak mode. If these confuse you, the controls are fully customizable, meaning you can change how you want to play.

This game has quite a bit of replayability. Although it lacks any form of multiplayer, it still has more than 200 hours worth of gameplay. Add in another 50 hours worth of downloadable content AND thousands of ways to play the game, and you have a game that could theoretically be played for a million hours without using the same character once! With more downloaded content expected and longed for, there's bound to be more play time added later on.

Overall this is a brilliant game, that can only be made better with an addition to the already stunning amount of gameplay. Although it suffers from a few audio issues, they are extremely tollerable, and in no way hinder the game as a whole. I highly reccomend this game to anyone, especially people without Xbox Live, and in need of more than 10 hours of gameplay in a campaign.

Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 8/10
Audio - 7.5/10
Controls - 8/10
Replayibility - 9/10
Overall - 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/04/07

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

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