After playing the game for over 100 hours, I finally decided to post a review on Gamespot. I hope you guys like it
eternalxboxfan wrote this review on .
The game kicks off with a character customization screen. You can choose your race, shape the way your face looks, the way your hair looks, your age, and even your eye color can all be customized to your liking. Or if you prefer, you can use the “easy” button to randomize the facial structure and hair structure, so you can simply go through the random faces until you find something you like.
You start out inside a dungeon cell, with no realization of the crimes committed to end up there. A few gaurds and the emperor soon come to your cell and enter. There is supposedly a secret escape route through your cell in which the emperor must use to flee the castle and the attacking assassins. The guards, completely content on apparently keeping the emperor safe from the assassins, are skeptical of your presence, but the emperor “sees” something important in you. So this is your “get out of jail free” pass and your ticket to (hopefully), freedom.
The game has a very clever way of choosing your class and major skills. Based on the way you get through the dungeon, one of the soon to be dead emperors guards judges what class you get. And you don’t even have to choose that, you can create your own custom class with whatever skills you want. These skills, called major skills, are what will advance your level. For roughly every 10 levels you improve on your major skills, you gain a level. When you gain a level you must “rest and meditate on what you have learned”. So you must find a bed or something to sleep with so that you can raise your attributes. Your attributes, such as strength and intelligence, affect your primary attributes. Which are Health, how many points of damage you can take before dieing, Magicka, how many points of magicka you have determines how powerful of spells you can cast, and Fatigue, which affects everything you do in the game from running, swimming, or fighting. For example, gaining a point in strength will increase the amount of things you can carry and will increase how much damage you can cause with weapons, while intelligence will increase your total amount of magicka.
There is also your birth sign to choose. These have certain skill bonuses based on which one you choose. For example, the sign of the steed gives you a permanent bonus of 20 points to your speed.
Before the emperors death, he tells you of what you must do to keep Cyrodiil safe, and he gives you the Amulet of Kings and tells you to “Close shut the jaws of Oblivion”.
You then get through the dungeon and finally breath some fresh out door air.
Oblivion features a completely redesigned graphics engine with realistic facial structures and full voice acting and lip syncing. Not to mention the sweeping environments with forests and mountains and huge sprawling landscapes full of cities and lost ancient ruins just waiting to be discovered or pillaged. Although at times you can see low resolutions on far away landscapes, but it is not something to complain at all about. Perhaps the most striking feature of the next generation graphics is the amazing sense of breadth and scope the game provides. The draw distance is possibly the best ever on any game, you can see as far as the eye can see on Oblivion. Mountains etched in the horizon and towering structures and castles way off in the distance combine to more deeply draw you into the gaming experience like no other game before it. Then there’s the quests.
You want quests, this game’s got quests. Hundreds of them, and believe me when I tell you they never ever get boring. The main quest is perhaps the largest, and can be completed in roughly under 20 hours or so. It provides a captivating story line that involves exploring huge gates to Oblivion or in other words “hell”. You attempt to close shut the gates and assist in trying to protect Cyrodiil from Mehrunes Daegon, the evil Daedric god attempting to enslave the world. Sound interesting? It is. But to even think of the game as being done after completing the main quest is like saying Mozart couldn’t play the piano.
There are also several guilds you can join, each with their own equally interesting story lines and crazily unexpected twists sure to keep you drawn into them until they are completed. They include the standard Mages and Fighters Guilds, a new assassins guild called the Dark Brotherhood, the Thieves guild and the Arena. At the arena, you are basically a gladiator fighting in a dome shaped arena to win money and glory. If you achieve the rank of grand champion, which is the highest rank, you are the greatest fighter the arena has ever seen. And you actually get talked about on the streets. It is truly amazing to be walking down a street to overhear a conversation two people will be having about how someone finally defeated the Gray Prince (the previous grand champion). That person is you, and the feeling you get is actually very nice, and it is just part of the amazing new A.I. Bethesda created for Oblivion.
They call it Radiant A.I, and it apparently allows the people throughout the game to actually make decisions based on their personality and their surroundings. Say a person gets hungry, yes they get hungry, they will either go out and buy some food, if they don’t have enough money they may want to hunt for some deer meat or maybe if they are somewhat evil they might even steal some food. All in all, it is like no other A.I. I have ever seen, but it is a little slouched in the combat situation. I may be attacked by a bandit, and I will simply jump onto a hill they cannot get to and they will simply stand below the hill and hack at the hill with their weapon for ever. But this minor drawback is very small and doesn’t much matter to the overall game.
Another great feature of Oblivion is how you can actually play the game so many different ways and never really run out of things to do. You can play the game with a stealthy character that may be a thief, or maybe a strong sword wielding fighter or magic user that uses a powerful staff. And the sheer amount of quests is staggering, after the guilds there are still dozens of side quests to be found scattered throughout the huge world including several Daedric shrine quests in which you can gain powerful weapons and artifacts for completing tasks for gods. You can also pick ingredients from plants scattered throughout the forest floors to create potions that cause certain effects like restore health. That skill is called Alchemy and is just one of the many skills in the game.
There are also many books that can be found in libraries and on shelves in peoples houses that you can read, some may even give you skill increases, and some may even contain the location of a long lost artifact or gold. There are literally hundreds of hours to be had playing this game, and every one of them is well spent and never dull or boring.
All in all the game provides one of the most in depth gaming experiences ever created, and it is easily one of the greatest RPGs’ I have ever played. If you like RPGs, go out and buy this game. If you don’t like RPGs’, you should still go out and buy this game. It is simply that good, and not one single gamer should miss this one, hardcore or not.