red's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Collector's Edition), The (Xbox 360) review

Great intent, poor execution.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a hard game to review. In the end I guess it just comes down to it not being a very fun game at most parts, but it definitely could be loved by a major D 'n' D fanatic.

Oblivion is really a game with a few 3 great strengths. One is the customizability in the game which is really outstanding. You can make your character any way you want him/her and you have a variety of options to choose from. It's second strength is in it's graphics. The game was really the first stunning game on the 360 and it still looks pretty good to this day, despite having a few major hiccups. The third strength is the scope of the game. You can literally make your character and just do sidequests for the rest of the game and probably have a 30+ hour experience.

Oblivion also has a few major let downs that really shouldn't be in a game. The first letdown is the technical aspect. The game is very glitchy and it'll crash on you a few times but that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about every single character you meet being the same person. The same voice, the same animation, the same lines and no matter who they are, each race pretty much has the same voice for each gender and that's it. It's incredibly annoying to find two people that look exactly the same as the two you just walked by and then to hear them talk in horribly written dialogue about the same thing the other two people just talked about. Unlike most great RPGs, Oblivion has 0 memorable characters. Oh, and there are also no reasonably hot women in the game. I'm not saying that I want Soulcalibur 4, I'm saying that in the world of oblivion, every single woman you see is ugly. Also, don't play the game in third person. The animation for your character's movements are just horrible and feel completely slapped on.

Another let down about Oblivion is it's main story. The main story is pretty bad and with no good characters you feel detached from the whole thing. The missions they give you aren't really exciting either and you never really get an epic feeling.

The game also doesn't really seem like it was made for other classes besides the common melee fighter. My first character was a Theiving-type character except he was just a total wuss and he sucked in combat. I then decided to make a melee-unarmed fighter that would be sort of a also didn't really like that. Then I tried to make a magic character but I found the magic casting to be very annoying, especially with the fact that the game gives you a bunch of spells to use, but you can only have one equiped at a time using the right bumper. The left bumper also strangely isn't used at all. Great design choice there Bethesda.....
If you do get this game, don't go in expected to fight as anything but a pure melee-brute otherwise you will fail.

The final let down of Oblivion is the combat. Although it is a vast improvement from it's predecessor, Oblivion's combat might have the makings of an epic fight but the leveling system makes the game not fun at all. The leveling system itself is fine but the your opponent's level is always the same as yours. While that works in a game like KoTOR perfectly where you always have at least some challenge it fails epicly in Oblivion. You'll be fighting the same guy you fought when you were 5 levels lower but he'll be just as strong as you are. It also makes it seem pointless to do sidequests because besides getting some equipment you won't really get anything out of it and for a game that could allow you to kill all the guards in the city, you never feel like you're powerful.

So, Oblivion is a game that I tried to love, I wanted to love and actually waited to get for a good year but I was sorely dissapointed. The game does have great scope and gives you a lot of freedom but the game has way too many flaws and makes it hard to reccommend.


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