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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion -- Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360)

Reviewed by: wanderain Global Trader - willing to trade internationally Has Written 9 Reviews Canada
Reviewed on: 27-May-2010


Oblivion, I watched and waited for this title. I have been playing RPG's since you had to play them with paper and pencil... and since that time I have awaited the RPG that makes me feel like I am there and I am that hero or villain trying to save/damn the world.

I have to say Oblivion fell short for me. I didn't buy it when it first came out and heard nothing but awesomess and greatness all around... so maybe it was built up too much for me.

Let me qualify these statements. First some positives; the graphics are beautiful. There are simply stunning landscapes and wonderful and mythological beings that jump from the screen. The motion is fluid and the refresh rate is quite good. But the graphics DO fail at times. I had a number of digital bars across the screen at times, when you tried to go somewhere you were not allowed to go it could get positively wacky. If too many characters or monsters are on screen the graphics slow considerably. I know this is a huge game and should make some allowances for it, but nothing wrecks an immersion experience more than the images you see going all wonky.

The gameplay is solid and has a firm footing in fairly traditional aspects of RPGing, but you can end up spending A LOT of time micromanaging your character. It becomes tiresome and boring very quickly. If this game was more strategy focused I would forgive the micromanaging aspects to it... but this is pure RPG and thus should have a more streamlined interface when dealing with abilities, inventory, map, etc.

The music is great but has an issue that was in Morrowind as well. There are times that the orchestration picks up to a level that you cannot always hear the other sounds or dialogue taking place in the game. This is the sort of game you need to hear what is going on if you are like me, and don't want to have subtitles IN ADDITION to all the reading needing to be done in this game.

For heavens sake fix the horse mechanics on games people... this and every other game out there that involves horses has this problem. A HORSE IS NOT A CAR. If you stop too quickly you should be thrown or potentially injure your horse. If you turn, the mechanic should turn the neck, not the ass of the horse. If a monster shoots at you or slashes at you on your horse, or at the horse itself, that horse will run away with or without you. If you are going for realism with these games then keep going.

I have a significant problem with the beginning of this game, compared to Morrowind, Oblivion makes you feel like you are in the old linear type RPG's. No spoilers here but you spend the first hour going in one direction. The one or two turns are pointless... they could have developed this further to have you feeling a bit more trapped, but once you've played the beginning two or three times you never want to do it again. While the story gets firmly developed at the beginning, it is otherwise insulting to a hardcore RPGer.

I have had this game going on 3 years now and have played it through once. Beyond that I have tried playing new games and get exceptionally bored with it very quickly.

One side note of positivism: The Shivering Isles expansion pack is worth every penny. If I was reviewing that expansion alone it would get stunning reviews.

I will leave you with this. RPG's do not need realism, they don't need endless grind with monsters or with stats, they don't need huge landscapes and thousands of missions; they need an immersion experience that never lets you down... And some of the best RPG's of the last thirty years had little or no realism, small landscapes and few monsters and stats, but they had that immersion quality.