By risseless 16 Comments
So I'm playing Oblivion again, for the third time. Not that I ever finished it mind you. I spent all my time before doing the guild quests instead of the main storyline, and never got around to "finishing" the game. I'm playing on the Xbox this time, so I'll have to finish it now -- achievement whore, that is me.
It's been several years since I played it the last time, and it's surprising how much I remember. I'm playing as a thief/assassin again so there's not really anything new so far. It's like watching a movie you've seen several times already -- good, but not as good as the first time. I'm really looking forward to the thief and, in particular, assassin guild quest lines. Those are some of the most well written quest lines I've ever done, and I've been playing RPGs for a long time. Emil really knew his stuff. Shame he didn't transfer much of that to the Fallout 3 story. There are some very sore thumbs that stick out, however -- the same five voice actors, sparsely populate cities, and of course: the leveling system.
The leveling in Oblivion out right sucks. To be fair, it's not actually the leveling -- I actually prefer a by-use system instead of experience point system -- it's the fact that the whole world levels when you do. And if you aren't careful, they will level better than you do. I learned that a very hard way the first time I played. I got to level 10 or so and was getting routinely owned by wildlife just walking down the road. On the PC, this is somewhat easily remedied. There are numerous useful mods you can download to change the game experience -- saddle bags, flower picking, etc -- but none is more useful than Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. Yes, the leveling is so broken that someone else had to make a 400Mb overhaul to the game to make it work the way it should have from the beginning.
But alas, on the Xbox I have no such luxury. What this means for me is that I spend half my play time running around trying to level up minor skills so I can get +5 on my necessary attributes when I level. Which means I end up running around doing things like punching crabs. And my entire play time is spent with notepad at hand, ticking off marks every time an important skill increases, so I'll know when it's time to punch crabs.
Nonetheless, it's still a fun game overall, even if the luster is well worn. Something has to pass the time until Red Dead Redemption anyway. And if I'm going to get all the achievements (and how can I not?) I'll get to see new quests at some point, to keep the game interesting. For now though, it's all about stealing and assassination. Again.