The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Reviews

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The overwhelming thing about Oblivion isn't knowing where to start, but when to stop. It's an adventure game in the purest sense of the word in its effortless capacity to give the player a seemingly infinite wealth of possibilities - full of intrigue, excitement, risk, reward and this continual sense of the unknown.

Much of this was true of Morrowind, of course, but technically, things have moved on to a breathtaking extent. Stepping out of the game's introductory (and obligatory) dungeon, nothing can prepare you for the genuine sense of awe of entering Tamriel's outside world. The beautiful, sweeping vistas are, without question, the most beautiful game settings achieved to date. Whichever direction you cast your gaze, there are marvellous sights to behold at every turn; lush grass sways over rolling hills, deer bound through dappled woodland, once-proud temples lie crumbling in ruins, while towns of immense, stunning architectural majesty stand proud in the distance, beckoning you to explore their secrets.

Your first dilemma is whether to engage with the plot or not, and whether you stride purposefully towards that red triangle on your compass is your choice. You see, the death of the 87 year-old Emperor of Tamriel and his three sons presents something of a problem for this idyllic land. Without an heir to the throne, several hellish rifts or 'gates' to Oblivion are open, and demons are pouring out of them. As you might expect, they're doing a pretty fine job of doing their evil bidding and laying waste to everything in their path - and for reasons not fully apparent, you've been entrusted with the task of putting a stop to all this.

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