The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Reader Review
1. An imperfection, often concealed, that impairs soundness: A defect or shortcoming in something intangible.
Elder Scrolls IV is a strange beast. On one hand it's a modern marvel of gaming, the development team have created not only a beautiful world, but also a world so large and deep that it makes every other RPG look rather quaint. The towns are incredible, the level of interaction and depth is overwhelming and yet at the same time it fails to be a truely brilliant game because of it's own ambitions.
You see the critical flaw is the whole structure of the gameplay is based around the level of the player. While getting better weapons and more quests available at each level is standard RPG practice, having the creatures and thus the difficulty of these missions go up as well completely negates itself. I now have a sword which can do more damage, yet I must now do more damage to kill the same monsters I killed before. So why did I bother?
You could argue Oblivion is all about the experiance, that it's a sandbox world with a single player story added on in order to give the less imaginative players something to do. But I can't help but feel a big part of the RPG experiance has been taken out of the game by the teams inability to balance the game manually.
Yes, it is a harsh critism considering the size of the task at hand. But certainly for people who played Morrowind to death it's it's an anti-climax to find out that they've taken a step backwards in a couple of areas so that they could take leap forwards in others.
8 / 10