Review by MasterShake21

"As someone who wasn't a Morrowind fan, I still think this game is amazing!"

Before I start, let me clarify this a little more. I wasn't a fan of Morrowind. I didn't like the pace of it, and found it to be very boring, and at times, very frustrating. Oblivion throws out everything bad from Morrowind, keeps all the good things from it, and adds new things altogether.

Anyone who has seen a screenshot from this game will agree with me. The graphics are breathtaking, by far the best looking Xbox 360 title, currently. The only game that competes with it graphically is Fight Night Round 3, IMO. From the sun glinting off of your weapon to the lush forests and flowing rivers, the graphics are downright gorgeous. The detail on some of the weapons are amazing. You can see engravings on them, everything.
Graphics Score: 10/10

The sound is also done really well in this game. The ambient sounds, the clash of swords, the musical score, it's all there. I haven't taken the time to notice too many of the ambient sounds, but what I have heard is great. For instance, when I first walked out of the Imperial Sewers, it started to downpour. The rain, the rumbling thunder, it all sounded very realistic. The battle sounds are also great. Every weapon sounds accurate, whether its the noise of steel on steel, or an arrow being pulled back and released, it all sounds accurate. The musical score is also quite astounding. There don't seem to be too many songs, since I haven't gotten far, but the songs I have heard are all played beautifully by a huge array of instruments. Some people, including myself, find that hearing the same song over and over again while in a city can get old after a while, though.
Sound Score: 9/10

The bread and butter of any game is it's gameplay. Sure, a game can look pretty, and sound good, but does it deliver where it truly matters? The short answer is yes. The fighting is a lot better and more strategic in Oblivion than it was in Morrowind. Now you need to attack when your opponent is vulnerable, and block to avoid being struck down yourself. You also have a large amount of control over what you do, and how you level. You can make any type of character you want, and can either pick from a list of available classes, or create your own. Do you want to be a bloodthirsty Warrior? How abut a silent and deadly Thief or Assassin? Or what about being an all powerful and mighty wizard? Or maybe even better yet, you could be an Archer if you wanted. You can make any of those, or you can even make combinations of them, such as a fighter with some healing spells and some offensive ones.

There are also many other things, such as the virtually unlimited exploration, or the NPC interaction with themselves and with you. You can walk over every inch of Cyrodiil a hundred times, and every time you do, you will find something different. NPC's in town also interact with you in a variety of different ways, and may be hostile towards you, depending on what you are doing. NPC's also have conversations with one another often times, and it can be quite interesting to watch. There aren't really any huge flaws with Oblivion either, besides occasional bugs or glitches, which, with such a big game, have to be expected. The traveling isn't a pain anymore because you can quick travel to area you need to go if you don't feel like walking. I could go on and on, and talk about pickpocketing others, stealing, murdering, getting in trouble with the law and many other things, but that would take quite a long time, so I will stop here.
Gameplay Score: 9/10

Oblivion looks and sounds beautiful and has awesome gameplay. It has just about everything you want, and gets rid of what you didn't like from the previous games. It has it's minor flaws, just like any other game does, but those are overshadowed buy the good things about the game. It will keep you coming back for more, and has at least 200+ hours of content. You can rush through the main storyline, but it is much more fun to do sidequests, join guilds, fight in the arena, or just go exploring.

Buy or Rent: Buy, buy, buy! There is no way you are ever going to get anywhere by playing the game in a rental. The only way I could see renting the game would be to see if you like it, and if you do, you will definitely want to go out and buy it. It has at least 200+ hours of content, like I said before, so if you want to experience it all, you will need to buy the game, a rental just wont do it justice.
Buy or Rent: Buy

Overall Score: 9/10 (Not an average)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/27/06

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