Listen to Erathoniel ranting on and on in good ol' conservative Christian fashion.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review (for Xbox 360)
Published on May 1, 2008 By erathoniel In Gaming

Today I'm gonna write a review of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It's an awesome game, really, with well over 25 hours (wonder why I didn't post yesterday) of small-time sub-plot scrabbling around as far as I've gotten. No "xp" system either, like Morrowind, so it plays realistically versus most other RPG's. Its graphics are great (360 version), and it plays quickly and smoothly. Also, it has good challenges (optional and not), which allow the player to play on any difficulty and still be rewarded.

It is extremely dark (I've played as a Khajit, though, so it doesn't matter) in its visual styles. Granted the countryside is bright and happy most of the time, but the interiors and whatnot are realistically lit, and in its low-tech setting, it means that the majority of the well lit places are lit with magic.

All in all, a very decent game, for a gamer who likes FPS/TPS games with melee combat, or in-depth RPG's. Five @'s.

Comments (Page 2)
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on May 16, 2008
...Ahh... but don't stop at Morrowind, there were Daggerfall before it and Arena before that.

I did play both Arena and Daggerfall shortly after release. Oddly, after initially liking them, I found both games rather boring. They gave you a huge world to play in, but it was so generic that after a while I kept getting this "been there, done that, got the T-shirt" feeling no matter where I went and what I did. Actually, I planned *not* to buy Morrowind because at that time I've lost my hopes that Bethesda could produce a game that I'd find engaging for a longer time.

For me, Morrowind is the game where Bethesda hit my personal taste pretty well. I loved the gritty exotic atmosphere, the massive amount of dialogue and background information, the ambiguity in ethics and politics, and the huge amount of quests.

Arena and Daggerfall had a more generic atmosphere, barely any dialogue at all, and only a couple of quests (50?) - after a while you'd seen them all. I liked them for a while, but as I said, I got bored relatively soon. The games certainly do have an appeal as graphically sophisticated quasi-roguelikes, but then again, when I want to play such a game, I rather choose one of the "real* roguelikes because of the more complex gameplay. Also, while the dungeons in Daggerfall were large, they were also incredibly convoluted and not at all believable. The engine randomly threw together everything it had available - I always ached when I found a complete house or barn interior buried several miles *underground*. How the heck was that supposed to get there?

I still like the character generation in Daggerfall though. I was a bit sad that Morrowind only featured a reduced set of skills, no disadvantages like phobias etc. Also, Daggerfall probably never lived to its full potential on my machine because it was (and unfortunately still is) extremely buggy, and that was at a time when patches were much harder to get than today. For example, I never got far in the main quest, because the bugs always locked me out of it. So I never experienced the many alternative endings of Daggerfall's main quest, and I think that's something I would have preferred over Morrowind's single (although differently interpretable) ending.

The biggest difference, however, is the moddability of Morrowind. Daggerfall had a mere handful of mods. Morrowind has about 15,000 - and people still produce new ones. Some mods easily equal an offical expansion in size and quality. I enjoyed the unmodded game immensely, but the mods are what keeps me still playing.
on May 16, 2008

Heck, I can make mods for Morrowind (I have, the only released one is Arg Domurg). That's how easy it is. I haven't tried with Oblivion 'cause I have it for console. Never having played Daggerfall, I didn't care for Arena so much because it was so darn hard. When my adventurer can spend 5 minutes in the dungeon, and he has to find three or four keys, it stinks.

on May 16, 2008
I was a huge fan of Daggerfall. This was the Elder scrolls 2. Back when it was released it really was unsurpassed as an open world RPG experience. Its really dated now graphics wise so i would not recommend playing it, but at the time it was amazing (and buggy) and no RPG has really touched it since imo.

I never got into Morrowind, because it just seemed like an extremely "dumbed down" version of daggerfall. not many have played daggerfall and it seems to slip under the radar. I was really dissapointed in Morrowind, and unfortunately with Oblivion bethsoft just continued this decent. It's so stipped back compared to their classic RPG's that its almost a joke.

If I had a game with the complexity and size of Dagger fall with the physics and latest graphics of something like Crysis, I would be in Heaven. But I very much doubt we will see gaming like that ever.

I think its a fair comment to say the stripped down differences from Daggerfall to Morrowind are comparable from Morrowind to Oblivion.

Personally Oblivion bores me to tears, the gameplay systems are so flawed its not funny. its one of the most overated games of all time.

I hate to think of what will happen to the next ES game, and I shudder to think
on May 16, 2008

I hope they return it to it's RPG roots. Anyone can make an action game, but Bethesda's good with depth.

Oblivion's a decent game. I play it more for its visuals than gameplay, though, though it can be enjoyed for actually playing it.

on May 16, 2008
I hope they return it to it's RPG roots.

I strongly doubt that. With Todd Howard at the helm, Bethesda is much more likely to produce further commercially successful, but shallow games. The people who made previous TES titles great are long gone. Petersen only contributes bits of writing, Kirkbride (whose whacky ideas are sorely missing in Oblivion) dito, LeFay is lost, and Ken Rolston (Morrowind's lead designer) has fled to Big Huge Games. There's an interview of him floating around that's pretty revealing with regard to the direction Bethesda is taken. At one point, Rolston says that he would have preferred the flexibility of written dialogue for Oblivion, but he was told that "fully voiced is what the kids want". It's easy to see why Rolston left. Personally, I'm more interested in the RPG Rolston is developing with Big Huge Games than in TES V.

The really bad thing, however, is that after the Oblivion marketing hype, I can't see myself believing *anything* from Bethesda's PR department in the future. Last time I checked, they *still* had the grossly misleading shopkeeper demo video for download, and still with Pete Hines' continuous comment "This is not scripted, again, this is not scripted!". Of course, when you actually play the game, you'll *never* see the AI behaving like in the video. Hines is also the person who first told people that they would get a construction set where people could change everything, and look at the sorry state the TES IV CS is in. Hines is also known for continuously producing marketspeak like "We have no announced plans to port the game to other consoles" when the PS3 port was already well underway. He could at least have had the decency to decline comment instead of uttering such non-statements which are designed to be misunderstood. Personally, I think it's insulting if a PR manager and vice president of a company is continuously trying to take his customers for fools.

Anyway, TES 5 will have a hard time of winning me over. I'm staking my hopes on other games, like the one Rolston is now working on.
on May 16, 2008

I hate full voiced. It has such wonderful music. So they burn 400 MB of disk space on lousy one-liners that I don't even care for in the worst voices possible. Spend it on the map, make it more scenic, include another province, more Oblivion, I don't care, but full voiced is more of a pain than a gain.

I didn't know they had a company employment shift. Wasn't paying attention. I'm interested in the other Rolston RPG.

on May 16, 2008
I sincerely pity anyone that plays an Elder Scrolls game on a console. They're fantastic games, but they're fantastic because their modability saves them. Neither Morrowind nor Oblivion is all that great in its vanilla form, but with community-made mods they're among the best RPG's ever made.

I completly agree. Many of the issues described have been adressed by mods. When I play Oblivion, I usually use a bunch of diffrent mods (from huge ones to small ones). And that makes the gameworld so much richer. In my opion this is one of the main features which truly defines a good Elderscroll game.

So I hope Bethesda keeps that philosophy when making TESV.

on May 16, 2008

GAAH! Thanks for making me feel bad about getting it for 360. Granted, my laptop rig wouldn't run it, so it doesn't matter anyways. Console or bust, I'd go console.

on May 28, 2008

I like the review written here. I too made the mistake of getting it on the 360 but I have since fixed that issue.

on May 29, 2008
I played Morrowind for what must of been hundreds of hours. Waited anxiously for quite a while before picking up Oblivion. Turns out I should of just kept waiting and spent the money elsewhere. The game just felt like a step backward in so many areas. Think I only put about 10 or so hours into before shelving it. Flashy Graphics couldn't make up for all the things that were missing or wrong with it.
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