In my opinion it’s impossible to name anyone given game, the all time best game ever. But oblivion is one of the few games that come close to making me a hypocrite. Stunningly beautiful, immersive gameplay, intense combat, are just a few things that dance through the dreams of gamers who have experienced the game.
To start off, oblivion is basically the non-linear sequel to Morrowind, but only sequel in the sense that the games are both based in the same world, and Oblivion takes place ten or so, years later. Besides that the games have nothing in common, or to do with each other. You’re (as usual) a prisoner of the empire, with no back ground or former life, which is blessed by fate, to be released and play apart in the history of the world. I won’t ruin the plot for anyone who hasn’t played the game, but needless to say, the game gets off to a quick start. And sooner than later you find you’re self in the patented Bethesda free roam world, doing what ever you wish.
Now let’s take a look at some of the gameplay features of oblivion. The combat system for this series has been completely revamped and brings life to a once dull and painful system. Now you can pull off little combos and special attacks to keep things exciting, and also you can block attacks with anything you have equipped, this gets rid of the old Morrowind, “god I hope he blocks this time” feeling. Full physics are also a new feature, bodies have rag doll, arrows stick into wooden objects, and nearly everything in the whole game is affected by gravity, bringing the theory to life in the elder scrolls games, that what goes up, must come down. With this new feature in mind and the general feeling that the whole world your in feels alive, you can approach problems in a whole new way that you never could in any other game. I call it “system bending” or in other words, using the realistic ness of a game’s system over come obstacles. For example, having trouble with the daedra in oblivion? Lure them over a cliff to their demise, or back them into the lava. It’s the realistic game’s system that lets you tackle problems in tons of different ways, just like you can in real life.
The game’s graphics speak…umm…look I guess, for themselves. To say that there’s anything wrong with the looks of this game would be completely insane. Their beautiful, and there’s nothing wrong with them at all. In depth and towering above any other game of it’s time Oblivion’s graphics not only set a bench mark for RPGs but for the whole gaming world. They shove a flashlight up doom’s butt, and beat Gordon and his source engine’s face in with a HDR full shadowed, 3D mace with beautiful fully visible features on it. But the game is also released a while after both games…I’m just comparing that’s all.
There’s nothing special with the sound, other than its gorgeous, bird’s chirp, wolf’s howl, cougars growl and you can listen in on conversations, just like you were right there. Swords and shields bang against each other while you listen to the game’s musical score.
But all of this isn’t to say that the game is perfect. While it distracts you with its shiny flawless surface, you come to realize some of its faults. In my opinion, the plot is the main culprit, Compared to its ancestor Morrowind the plot of this game is weak. Really weak, so weak in fact that I was utterly unmotivated to play the game after the short and rather lame main story completed it’s self. This time around, it was short, and basic. "I need this, here is where it is, and oh, don’t bother taking advantage of the game’s free roaming adventuring nature, there’s a red arrow that always points to exactly where you need to go, oh and by the way you can magically (with no explanation of how you do this) fast travel to your destination…enjoy?". I mean don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but it just wasn’t what I expected from the makers of the piece of art Morrowind. Its like they took Morrowind, and then made the graphics better, and the gameplay, but then actually took away some of the things that made that game so great. It’s like they dimmed it down. And in some ways made it more like a dreaded console game that the immersive and complex RPG it’s supposed to be, I mean come on, a compass? Doesn’t that defeat the point of discovery?. The only other issue is the AI, at times it seemed really, really stupid, like in big battles, how every enemy would only attack you, and follow you around, and then all your useless allies seemed to be obsessed with one of the ten enemies attacking just you. But I think the main thing is, not that the AI is bad, its just that the company led you to think that is was going to be better than it turned out to be. Its not, its still just run of the mill gaming AI, sure they have their own little agendas, but its boring, they talk about the same things everyday, and the do the same things everyday, so its just in my opinion, advanced, auto scripted AI.
Besides it’s “plot” issues. The game is great. And I’m not gonna let a bad story line take away from the fact that the game is still fun, and there’s always the hope of an expansion pack coming around to improve the story. Even still the game is like I said, a great game, near perfection, but not perfect. Its still fun to play and there’s tons of stuff to do, even though I was disappointed with some aspects, I got exactly, and more, than what I wanted in every other category. Its not the best game I’ve ever played in my life, I don’t think I could ever give that to just one game, every game is different and better than other games in different things. But it sure is one of the greatest games ever, and true born classic, a titan of the gaming world. Its name will be for ever up there with, Half Life, Doom, Everquest, Warcraft, Age of Empires, Diablo and all the other greats.
8 / 10