Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: 3/20/2006
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By now everyone with a 360 has either played or owned this game. There’s so much about Oblivion that it would pages and pages to describe it all in detail. The main story is you have to restore the Dragonfires so the realm of Oblivion can’t come back to Cyrodiil. The story is very interesting and the side quests add to this. To start with you make your character with an absurd amount of detail and you can even name and customize your own race, abilities, etc. In each city, in Cyrodiil you can choose to join guilds such as mage, fighter, thief, etc. You complete tasks for the guild leader and you get a recommendation to the head place of that guild. You can train there to raise attributes and rest. Now when it comes to talking to people the game uses facial expressions to show you what the NPC is feeling. You can persuade people via a little mini-game that takes a while to master.
Now let’s talk about combat. The combat is very deep and simple at the same time. You block with LT and attack with RT. You can use magic, sword, bows, katanas, staffs, etc. As you use your weapons they deteriorate and you can repair them with hammers or at weapon shops. Some weapons can have attributes like causing your foe to be paralyzed for 30 secs or something like that. You can use scrolls which are magic attacks for defense and offenses that can be used once. When you level up you have to sleep so you can meditate on everything you learned. It takes a long while to level up in this game but it’s well worth it.
The vastness of attributes is insane in Oblivion. The combinations of alchemy spells and everything combined just, literally, make it infinite. Now let’s talk about vastness. The game is huge…bigger than all the GTAs put together. Anything that you see you can walk on or climb. You can ride a horse there or just go there for the hell of it and discover something new. You can pick plants for alchemy, you can find new weapons…or just completely useless stuff like bones, cups, vases, quills, mops, shovels, etc. Some stuff is worth thousands some stuff is worth nothing at all. You’re probably wondering how you travel such a HUGE amount of land? Well, the map lets you warp…thank God for that. Of course, you can’t warp inside a building but you can get the idea. Now the game can let you go good or evil depending on if you steal peoples’ stuff, pickpocket, murder, etc. Or you can choose to be rude to people during conversations. Technically there are some flaws.
The graphics are still pretty good to today’s standards but show some age just a tad compared to recent next-gen games. The music is outstanding and the voice acting is superb. There is some texture pop up here and there and hitches. The constant loading is also annoying but with recent software updates that are remedied this is some. You just have to get this game…it’s so big and so deep you’ll play this for hours and hours…also with all the expansions out there I wonder if there is an end. A note to casual players…stay away. The vastness and depth will turn some players off and will turn JRPG fans off.
UPDATE: After playing another 30 hours through Oblivion 3 years later I still had a lot of fun. While the game may look a bit dated these days it still has a rich story, a great atmosphere, and plenty of quests to keep you busy for hours and hours. It’s rare to have a game do that to you in which you can come back years later and put dozens of hours into it and still have the same great experience. Of course, after about 30 hours I did start getting bored because it feels too dated for today’s standards.
The music is still one of my favorite game OSTs to date and I listen to it even to this day. The music is just full of adventure, and you really feel like you want to jump into fantasy when you listen to it. It’s calming, empowering, and just wonderful to the ears.
There is so much to do in this game I came across items, quests, and people I never came across during my first playthrough. With a total of over 100 hours logged for both playthroughs and still coming across new stuff? Now that’s a damn big game. If I were to give it a score for today it would get a 9 for me only dropping half a point because of the age.