The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Oblivion was one game that I was really looking forward too.
I had played Morrowind on the Xbox and PC, and enjoyed the free flowing RPG
style that basically let you do what ever you want all the time. I knew that Bethesda would create an
amazing game, utilizing the still mostly un-harnessed power of the Xbox 360 to
their advantage. I came into this game expecting a lot, and I have been
extremely impressed with my game time.
Oblivion starts you off in a Prison, the beginning of the
story in this massive game. You learn the ropes as you begin the game, I won’t
give any spoilers here for those who haven’t played it yet. You find yourself
scrounging around for whatever you can pick up and using them to your
advantage. From the start, one thing I noticed about Oblivion is that the game
is massive. When you take a look around, you see mountains, hills, water, just
a massive sprawling landscape full of places to explore. You may think, whoa,
that is impressive, what an expansive area, but there is more, this landscape
is filled with NPC’s, creatures, forts, buildings items and even wild animals.
The environment allows you to explore for hours at a time, finding new
locations you never even knew existed as you go along. I found myself just
straying away from quests looking for new areas, or rare items.
The story of the game is quite in depth, but being an Elder
Scrolls title, you do not have to follow it if you don’t want too. The main
story line is very involving and takes you all over the land of Cryodiil.
The story includes many twists and turns, and takes you quite a long time to
complete, making this a worth title. Apart from the main quest though, there is
a massive amount of side-quests. These quests could be performing a task for a
certain guild such as the mages or thieves’ guild, or even quests given to you
by NPCs in a city. These quests are just as fun and involving as the main
quest, and add a massive amount of gameplay to the title.
I found myself often straying away from any quest
whatsoever, just to explore, find new towns, areas and Oblivion gates. This is
quite fun in itself as there are a ton of areas to find, and as you find them
you can find new items, add them to your map as found locations so you can fast
travel, and just search around for something new. I have played the game for
quite awhile, but am still finding new places around this vast land. The
storyline and side quests are excellent, and the depth of the NPCS is
excellent, drawing into the different tasks you complete. For example, if you
say murder someone important for example, when you talk to people, they might
mention it. The dialogue in the game is a very important part of the game, as
talking to people about items, especially rumors, brings you new quests to
Being a game this big, there have to be a lot of items to
use. Of course there are hundreds of different items ranging from weapon
related items, general items and even magic items. Each has its own unique
attributes and price. You will often find great items in different caves or
caverns that would be worth a lot more than say an item you would find in a
home in a city. There are your general assortment of different swords, daggers,
axes, war hammers, staffs and even bows. Some have magic bound into them, which
you can actually do yourself using weapon enchantment stations, and can
increase the attributes and add new attributes to the weapon such as fire or
lightning. There is a massive amount of clothes and armor to use in the game
ranging from simple clothes which you can wear, to light and heavy armor
including pieces like helmets shields and even grieves. There are different
foods, pieces of jewelry, magic stones, keys and even books which you can read.
The amount of items is staggering, and you will find yourself searching for new
items, or trying to sell your own. If you start becoming over encumbered, you
can even buy various houses around the land ranging in price. These homes can
then be furnished and you can store items there along with being able to have a
place to sleep.
This review could go on forever explaining everything that
is in Oblivion. The game is just outstanding, and there are a massive amount of
things to do, so gameplay wise, you should expect to see a massive amount of
game time, even without completing the main quest. I have played this game
quite a bit and am always changing what I want to do. This game, with the
addition of the different guilds you can join keep, it fresh and fun
Graphics and Sound
The visuals in this game are stunning. The draw distance is
massive, and the effects you see are great. I didn’t know how they would pull
it off with this game, but the game just looks like an Xbox 360 game should. There
are so many objects to see and even pick up, and these are all highly detailed.
I was just so amazed that Bethesda managed to fit this game on a single DVD.
The amount of terrain in the game is amazing, and great example of what the
Xbox 360 can currently do in its infancy. The visual effects in the game are
excellent ranging from effects like magical spells or even fire. The lighting
is great, and you will really appreciate how well it works when you are stuck
in a cave with only a torch to light your way.
The character models in the game are very well done, and the
sheer number of characters with individual styles is massive. You are even able
to create your own distinct character at the beginning of the game choosing
from a large number of aspects including items like hair, torso dimensions and
facial features. The ability to create your own character is a great feature in
this game as you will be seeing plenty of your character because this game has
a ton of gameplay.
There are a large number of objects in the game, whether they
are pieces in a building, or items you can buy or even steal. The objects are
very detailed, and the amount of different items in the game is outstanding,
and with downloadable content, that number will increase with new downloads. All
of the buildings and areas in the game are also loaded with various items
including weapons, or general items like a paint brush. It ranges from place to
place, but what is there, constantly remains there.
The sound in Oblivion is another highpoint. There are a huge
amount of voice overs from the game that allow every NPC to communicate. This
is an outstanding feature as it has come from games with just a ton of items to
read, all the way to these detailed voice overs. Though there is repetition
between characters, if there were unique ones for each character, I doubt if
this game would fit on a single DVD. The sound effects in the game are well
done with items like the swinging of a sword or the sounds from the rain. I was
impressed with the in game music also. You will find yourself watching
carefully when the music changes to the more intense music notifying you that
there are enemies around. The sound in Oblivion is outstanding, just like the
visuals that show the kind of work that Bethesda has put into this title.
I came into Oblivion already knowing I would enjoy it as I
have always enjoyed the Elder Scrolls series. This game is nothing short of
amazing. The massive environments, the huge amount of quests, and of course,
just being able to mess around in this massive land. The graphics are outstanding
along with the audio in the game creating one massive RPG experience. The
gameplay is outstanding with a ton of quests to complete, easy character setup
and customization, tons of items to equip and use and the vast amount of
terrain to cover with unique elements in each area. I was extremely impressed
with the landmass in this game. It is huge and there are still the interiors of
the buildings and other areas like caves which are still highly detailed and
filled with items. It boggles the mind how Bethesda fit this package onto a
single disc for the Xbox 360. While this game was tentatively titled to come
out in 2005, it was well worth the wait, and Bethesda’s outstanding game
creation has shone again. I was extremely impressed with this game, and it is
definitely a must have for the Xbox 360.