Oblivion expansion revealed

Shivering Isles due for release in Spring 2007 will feature new lands, quests, foes, and 30 hours of gameplay.

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The first official expansion pack is on its way for the hugely popular The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, report British gaming magazines PC Gamer and PC Zone. The title has already spawned one add-on big enough to be sold on its own in The Knights of the Nine.

Titled The Shivering Isles, the first full Oblivion expansion will add a whole new land to explore. The Isles, which are also known as the Realm of Madness, will be divided into a northern area (Mania) and a Southern area (Dementia). A town called Split on the Mania-Dementia border has two of every citizen, and one of the quests will be to solve this doppelganger mystery.

The Shivering Isles are reachable through a door set in a strange statue and located on a small island that appears in the water in Niben Bay near Bravil. Players will be able to move between Cyrodiil--the realm of the original Oblivion--and the Shivering Isles freely.

The expansion will contain more than 30 hours of new gameplay with branching quest storylines, and the landscape itself will change according to the decisions players make during their adventures. There will also be new creatures, dungeons, and quests. Two of the new monsters include a Gatekeeper, a golem-style creature made up of stitched together body parts, and the Knights of the Order, which are made from tree roots.

Released in November, the boxed PC edition of Knights of the Nine featured a new multipart quest, as well as all of the game's previous pay-per-download updates. The Knights of the Nine was also released on the Xbox 360 as a download available through the Xbox Live Marketplace and will be included in the PlayStation 3 edition of Oblivion when it releases later this year. Neither magazine mentioned whether or not the expansion pack content would be available on other platforms.

A spokesperson for Bethesda Softworks confirmed the expansion's existence but declined to reveal further details at this time.

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