The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Shivering Isles

Key events

The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion is now on Xbox One backward compatibility, an excellent excuse to relive its signature moments. And that means even if seeing them demands a considerable investment of time and, depending on your tolerance for bugs that were never squashed, the uncanny valley horrors of its famously potato-faced population, and the sheer early-gen jankiness of it all, sanity. Playing a game from the early days of the 360 is like watching 90s television: you wonder how we ever coped. You can see how we got from there to here, but it's painful to go back.

VideoWatch: Seven games made better by DLC

It's this week's Eurogamer Show.

It's been a good week for people who enjoy half-cloaks and complicated bits of machinery, all things told. Star Wars Battlefront's new DLC let's you play as cape-sporting cloud man Lando Calrissian, whereas Fallout 4's Contraptions workshop DLC lets you tinker with all sorts of, well, contraptions.

Oblivion 5th anniversary ed UK bound?

New BBFC rating suggests so.

A new BBFC rating for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition has popped up online, suggesting UK gamers may soon see the launch of the 5th anniversary edition of the sprawling fantasy RPG.

Bethesda mentions WOW-like MMO

Elder hell do we know what it is?

Bethesda is working on a "World of Warcraft type MMO", according to legal papers submitted in a court case between the company and Interplay.

All Oblivion DLC now half-price

Except Horse Armor, which costs double.

Bethesda, excited by the onset of spring, has halved the price all Oblivion Xbox 360 DLC. All except Horse Armor, that is, which now costs double.

Wizard's Tower top-selling Oblivion DLC

On Live. Horse Armor in at nine. Neigh!

Wizard's Tower is the most popular premium downloadable for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on Xbox Live, according to developer Bethesda Softworks. (Hrm, this sounded more interesting before we started typing.)

Microsoft reduces DLC prices

Up to 60 per cent off certain bundles.

Microsoft has significantly lowered the price of many popular DLC bundles on Xbox Live as part of a special promotion called Extended Play Download Days.

Last Oblivion DLC on Monday

Inherit a Castle.

Bethesda vocal-chord Pete Hines has revealed that the last ever piece of downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion will be available on Monday.

Shivering Isles 360 box coming

Bundled with Knights of Nine.

Bethesda has announced it will be offering those of you without Live access a chance to play the Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles.

Shivering Isles fixed

PC and X360 patches available.

Bethesda Softworks has finally released a patch for Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles to fix the "FormID" bug that was ruining some people's games.

Shivering Isles patch on Monday

Shivering Isles patch on Monday

FormID bug to be quashed.

Bethesda Softworks hopes to roll out a patch for Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles on Monday that will finally sort out the "formID" bug that's crippled the game for some dedicated players.

The bug, which has already been patched to some extent on the PC, renders the expansion unplayable on both formats after an extended period of time (between 50 and 120 hours on the PC, depending on your frame-rate, and between 75 and 150 hours on Xbox 360 depending on your play habits).

It has to do with the way the game identifies objects in the world. The simple version is that the game eventually runs out of identification numbers (formIDs) for things, confusing the way it manages system memory, corrupting data and failing to register objects when you save your progress.

Read more

Shivering Isles bug breaks game

Unplayable after 50 to 120 hours.

A serious bug has been uncovered in Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles, which renders the game unplayable after as little as 50 hours.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles

Oblivion had more than its fair share of extra baubles and adventures tacked on over the past year, but this is the big one: a full-blown expansion. Not just another quest arc, but a full-blown extra plane of Oblivion, complete with hordes of new monsters, NPCs and items. Although not as enormous as the landmass of the original game The Shivering Isles are an entirely new geography in which to take up quests, wander aimlessly, club wrong-doers, and rummage around in mushrooms.

On being notified by the game that you've heard of goings on with a portal on an island in the Bay of Niben, you are able to seek out The Shivering Isles. It's a bit of a clumsy introduction, but we'll forgive it that. The expansion pack, like all of Oblivion, adjusts to your level, meaning you can go into this new realms from the very start of the game, or with a high experienced character. On entering the portal (which you have to activate half a dozen times, inexplicably) you are challenged by some kind of chamberlain chap in a room that collapses into butterflies. He tells you to seek out the big boss, his boss, Sheogorath The Prince Of Madness. This brief interview and instruction leads on to a no-man's land outside the isles, and a set of gates - The Gates Of Madness.

Once the gatekeeper and early quests are dispensed with, the game plays a neat trick. The Shivering Isles exists in two different parallel realities, Mania and Dementia. These are suppose to represent the different qualities of the lord of the realm, Sheogorath, although The Prince only really seems intent on exhibiting his manic side. Anyway, the two versions of the Isles must be accessed separately from the different gates, giving you what are essentially two thematically polar, although geographically identical worlds to explore. Mania is bright and colourful, and filled with manic drug-loonies, while dementia is gloomy, dark, and inhabited by depressive paranoids. Each has its own quests, and its own residents.

Read more

Shivering Isles on Xbox Live!

Pity Xbox Live is down then.

Shivering Isles - Bethesda's first big expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - has launched on Xbox Live, but unless you noticed it last night then this information will be useless to you for another 13 hours.

Bethesda confirmed at a recent press event that Shivering Isles will be one of the first games to make use of the extra 250 achievement points available for downloadable expansion packs.

Bethesda can't see past RPGs

Quite happy just doing them.

Those of you who enjoy a good bout of rat-punching, like myself, will be pleased to hear that Bethesda has no plans to move out of the role-playing genre, according to voice-of-the-company Pete Hines.

If you're a publisher, how do you show off a game that's as open-ended and sprawlingly emergent as Elder Scrolls? If the journey's the thing, how do you compress a week-long cruise into a half-hour commute? Well, one way is to let people play it - to experience the trip for themselves. But the three hours that publisher 2K Games recently granted Eurogamer to play the new expansion, Shivering Isles, was never going to be enough to experience everything that developer Bethesda has managed to fit into such a rich and vast world.

Oblivion: Shivering Isles details

Oblivion: Shivering Isles details

Bethesda confirms expansion.

Bethesda has confirmed that Oblivion expansion The Shivering Isles is in development for PC and Xbox 360, due for a spring 2007 release.

As previously reported, action takes place in the weird and wonderful Oblivion plane of Daedra Prince Sheogorath. He looks to you to become his champion, to defend his realm from impending destruction.

There's about 30 hours of new content here, as you undertake psychotic trials in either the Mania or Dementia side of the land. You've also got new creatures to contend with, from Flesh Atronachs and hideous insects, to skeletal Shambles and amphibious Grummites: presumably some of which will be part of the levelled-enemy clientèle.

Read more