The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: March 20, 2006
Reviewed For: Xbox 360
Being the sequel to Morrowind, many peoples’ 2002 Game of the Year, Oblivion was expected to be great by default. After questions of whether or not the game would even run on the Xbox 360, it was finally released on March 20, 2006 and was one of the 360′s first big hits. Looking back, even Todd Howard has said that he was not sure if the game would ever work during development. Thankfully for us, it did.
Truly Next Gen Oblivion is the definition of a next gen game. More developers need to make games for new consoles that look like this. When I stepped out of the Imperial Sewers for the first time, I had to remind myself that the game was running on a console. Even today, six years later, Oblivion is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played. From the trees, to the grass, to the rabbits running through the forests, seeing Oblivion is what sold me, and many others, on buying an Xbox 360.
Intervention: Elder Scrolls Edition Oblivion will have you turning on your Xbox and saying, “I’ll only play for 30 minutes,” and the next time you look at the clock, three hours will have passed. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to put it down. Oblivion does an incredible job of making you want more. You find yourself getting on to do just one thing, but soon find yourself saying, “I’ll just explore this one dungeon,” and before you know it, every location on the map has been discovered. And lets not forget all of the crafting professions you can get into. After playing Oblivion, your doctor might diagnose you with A.D.D and recommend rehab.
Close Shut the Jaws of Oblivion When it comes to the Elder Scrolls, the player is free to do what they want and they can avoid the main quest line altogether for however long they want. However, in Oblivion, the main quest is one worth playing. The player starts off, in true Elder Scrolls fashion, as a prisoner. The Emperor, Uriel Septim VII, has just lost his sons to murder by a mysterious group of assassins. By chance, the escape route for the Emperor leads right through your cell. After the Emperor hands you the Amulet of Kings, he is assassinated. The player must find the only other heir to the throne and thus begins the quest proper. The story may not seem very exciting at the start, but as it goes on it becomes arguably the best Elder Scrolls story and has one very epic ending.
Cyrodiil and You The sheer number of things to do in Cyrodiil is mind boggling. Although I just stated that the main quest is well worth playing, venturing off and doing whatever you see fit is also a great way to play. First off, Cyrodiil is huge. Just walking from one town to another will feel like a journey. And along that journey, the player will pick up a multitude of side quests to do and it can sometimes seem overwhelming to some. There are also plenty of dungeons and caves for the player to explore along the way which add to the already overwhelming gameplay of Oblivion. No matter how you choose to play, there is so much to do that no two players will have the same experience.
Three Ways to Play In Oblivion, all classes boil down to three different styles: combat, magic, and stealth. Combat uses a sword and shield or two handed weapon in combination with heavy armor to take down opponents. Magic uses different types of spells to burn or shock their enemies to death. Stealth classes sneak around and cheap shot enemies or use bows for long range engagements. Like most RPGs the race and class of your character matter greatly, so make sure to choose what suits your type of play the best. No matter how you play, you will find great success. Just remember to play to your strengths and know your limitations.
This is My Weapon While magic and bows tend to feel real and significant, one and two handed weapons do not. No matter if it is a sword or mace, one handed or two handed, it just feels like using a toy. You can swing a weapon as fast as you can pull the trigger, which seems like a nice feature to have, but does not really stay true to the laws of physics. When being attacked by a group of enemies, one can simply wave their sword or mace about with no real consequence making it seem as if the weapon is made of plastic. I have never had to use a sword in real life, but I am pretty sure that steel is not so easy to swing about wildly. This would seem like a big problem, but the more you play, the less it seems to matter. You will be more interested in finding new weapons to swing wildly than the actual swinging itself.
Its the Elder Scrolls, What Do You Expect Unfortunately, as with every other Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion would not be complete without its own bugs and glitches. Nothing is more frustrating when you walk through a door or go through a load and the game crashes, or worse, when your doing neither of those things and the game crashes in the middle of nowhere. As with every large scale game, there are also the run of the mill problems such as textures not loading and A.I glitching through walls, but other than those, there really is not anything huge to complain about. For a next gen game like this, Oblivion runs surprisingly smooth. And with updates to the game, most of these problems are now nonexistent.
Did Someone Say Game of the Year In case you couldn’t already tell, this is one of my favorite games of all time. There is just too many things to do in this game to mention in one review. If you liked Skyrim or have never played the Elder Scrolls at all, then you should get this game the next time your at the store. As it was foretold in the Elder Scrolls, Oblivion did win many Game of the Year awards for 2006 and for good reason, the game is just an absolute masterpiece and should be played by anyone who considers themselves a gamer. In fact, it should be played by everyone who knows what a video game is.