The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Reader Review
Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.
When something threatens to steal your life, things canít possibly be good at all. Or can they? Enters Oblivion, with 16 miles to explore, over one hundred hours of gameplay to unravel and thousands of characters to interact with. End of life as we know it is starting to look good after all.
Oblivion, as you should already know, is Bethesda Softwareís fourth game in the Elder Scrolls series, following on from the highly successful Arena, Daggerfall and Morrowind. All of the games so far have given users incomparable freedom, dropping the chosen character into a world where their decisions come first.
Unlike some games which have attempted this formula, notably Fable, the entire world doesnít revolve around you. There are people living their own lives, having their own conversations and doing their own chores, many not knowing and not even caring who you are. Obviously, you can build fame by fighting in the Arena, joining one of the gameís four guilds, or even getting the wrong kind of name for yourself by being arrested. You see, there is so much to talk about in Oblivion, there is no way I can possibly sum up all my experiences in this review.
To be honest, Oblivion is like life itself. You can talk to your real, alive friends, and share each otherís inevitably different experiences. You can brag about becoming the arena champion or boast about that killing spree you went on in town, which raised your bounty to 100,000. Oblivion is about experiences, and experiences it delivers.
But letís not forget that thereís a game here to talk about. Oblivion offers one of the best main quests in gaming yet, not to mention the superb selection of side quests to jump into. Sticking to the main quest line though, the game has you travelling from one side of the 16 mile landscape to the other, in order to complete the main game. Once you have finished the main storyline though, donít even think about telling everybody ĎIíve completed Oblivion, Na, na, na, na, na!í, because you arenít even half way there. The side quests add hours on to the already huge lifespan, meaning youíll be hooked to Oblivionís virtual world for months.
Graphically, this game offers some of the most detailed towns and mountains ever to grace a console - but only close up. Unfortunately, pop up textures and an unstable frame rate deflate your early hopes regarding the graphics. Still, ignore the chugging performance of the engine, and think of how big the game actually is once again. 16 square miles. What do you expect the textures and the frame rate to be like in a game this huge?
Another whammy with the huge game world are the frequent loading times, which can turn in to hefty ones sadly. Still, it gives you time to go and make yourself a cup of coffee whilst the next steps in your new virtual life are loaded.
The music and voiceovers have also been executed very well, with each and every individual having their own, recognisable voice. Actors Patrick Stewart, who voices the Emperor, and Sean Bean, voicing his son Martin, add to Oblivionís celebrity list. But from now on, Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean should be known as the Emperor and Martin, if we manage to actually talk about anything other than our new life again.
So, I must go, as I feel myself being drawn towards my Xbox 360 controller once more, the portal to the other world. The portal which will remain open for months to come. The portal to the rest of my daysÖ.
10 / 10