Oblivion getting $2 evil add-on July 13

Vile Lair expansion will provide vampirism-afflicted characters with underwater safe haven, human cattle pen--and a cure.

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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
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Few things in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion can elicit as many chills as the following notification: "You have been infected with porphyric hemophilia." The disease in question causes vampirism in the expansive role-playing game and leads to players' characters being shunned by society.

On the plus side, though, the undead affliction boosts many of the characters' attributes and several skills. Throw in an assortment of powers such as night vision, invisibility, and charm, and the option of becoming a vampire becomes downright attractive to players looking for a walk on the game's dark side.

Today, Oblivion developer Bethesda Softworks announced it was releasing a new expansion pack geared specifically toward vampire characters. Titled "The Vile Lair," the sixth add-on for the game comes with a literal crypt's worth of goodies for the bloodsucking adventurer.

The centerpiece of the add-on will be a hidden, underground lair called Deepscorn Hollow. Once a base of operations for the infamous vampire Greywyn Blenwyth in his quest to take over the Dark Brotherhood, Deepscorn now provides a multilevel shelter for characters that both embrace and reject their porphyric hemophilia. It sports a "cattle pen" where unrepentant vampires can snack on the humanoid of their choice in privacy, as well as the Font of Renewal, where characters can cure their vampirism.

The Vile Lair will also include a subterranean garden of venomous plants, including the lethal chokeberry, and a disease-curing shrine to the Dark Brotherhood's evil goddess, Sithis. The hideout also houses a "dark minion" that "the player may employ to find gold in a most unseemly manner," according to Bethesda.

Like previous Oblivion add-ons such as the Orrery and the Wizard's Tower, the Vile Lair will cost $1.89 for the PC when it is released on Thursday on the official Oblivion Web site. The pack will simultaneously become available on Xbox Live, presumably for the cost of 150 Marketplace points ($1.88).

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