This post started out as a continuation of my long lost one about the best shooters which you must play. In the end it looks more like a review for oblivion, so I shall officaially declare this the start of a series of reviews I will do on some of the games I own.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
If you know me, you know I despise RPGs in general. The idea of quests to find magical items and weapons, casting spells to do everything and generally the fantasy setting of it all makes me turn away in disgust. However, due to the overwhelmingly positive reviews of Oblivion (and the fact I heard you could play it as a first person adventure/action game) I made the plunge and got it. And boy is it excellent. The start is a bit slow, but it is used to help gauge you so it can recommend the different attributes you start off with. Since I was going for a bow and arrow thief like character, I select Thief as my “birthsign” and “Nord” as my race (these basically give you bonus attributes and abilities when starting off, although you can eventually become proficient in everything, just takes time!)
There is a lot you can say about this game. The graphics are simply awesome. By default the world looks alive and buzzing, and with a few added mods, you can make it look even better! The characters are engaging and the sheer variety of speech they can give you is breathtaking. There are a few standard quest lines – obviously the main story about the death of the emporer and your job in finding and helping the heir get on the throne before the end of the world; the thieves guild where you take on missions for the elusive grey gox to…”acquire” certain objects; there is the Mages guild, where you usually end up doing enchanting and spell casting in order to get into the Arcane university; the Fighters guild where you beat up baddies and protect the innocent and finally the Dark Brotherhood where you take on the role of a deadly assassin. As well as all these, there are countless forts caves and ruins to explore to find treasure. There are also a very sizeable number of side quests, some of them pretty challenging. To give you an idea of how long this would take, I currently have about 80 hours of play time – and have only jsut finished the main quest and all the guild quest lines. I am now tracking down and trying to finish off all the minor side quests. It has to be said I am losing interest now, there are no more promotions with the big boys, but an 80 hour single player experience which hasn’t ended yet, I am happy to start getting bored now.
There are very few thigns I can find wrong with this game. The slightly limited interface for all the items you carry can be easily fixed with something called BTMod – which I recommend for everyone before they even start playing. You also must have a pretty high powered PC to get this game looking its best, although with the settings down, you can still experience the fantastic story and characters, just in less pixels 😛
Yes it is technically an RPG, but I personally never used the third person view, I hardly ever used any spells or potions, unless the quest specifically needed them. I used potions like med packs, to restore my health. And since I played it like thief, I avoided nasty sword fights, I prefer to take them out with my trusty bow and arrow from afar.
I would recommend this game to anyone, even if you are not usually interested in this genre, simply because you play it how you like!