Customer Reviews: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition
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on September 13, 2007
This game is the chief selling point for the XBOX 360, and now it's available with the two major expansions included.

If you already own Oblivion (and especially if you've already bought Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles from XBOX Live), DO NOT BUY THIS ITEM. You will be filled with the righteous fanboy rage you see in the one star reviews below.

But if you're new to the 360, this game is a must have. Even the training mode/introduction is amazing, with Patrick Stewart as the voice of the dying King who sends you on your quest.

Highlights of the game and expansions:

+The quest story lines are well written, and the tone of guild and side quests varies and makes for a lot of fun (especially Thieves' and Assassins' Guilds)
+Great voice acting from the likes of Sean Bean (Boromir), Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard), and Terence Stamp (General Zod/Jorel).
+A more engaging combat system than turn based RPGS, and amazing graphics
+Character customization is more detailed than you could hope for.
+It's a very materialistic game. Looting is great fun, especially at higher levels.
+You get to battle demons in Hell, or whip thieves in caves. There are a lot of varieties of game play.
+The game is absolutely huge.
-You will find the leveling system infuriating about 20 hours into the game. All of your enemies level up with you; so, your best options are to avoid leveling up entirely (which limits your selection of weapons and armor), or to be obsessive about controlled leveling, which takes a lot of the fun out of the game.
-There's no clear sense of "fair play" in the game. You can create a set of chameleon armor that will let you walk through the whole game unnoticed and kill whomever you wish. Once you can do that, how much worse is duplicating items using inventory tricks? You really set your own level of difficulty in how you play, but I find that takes away more than it adds.
-There are really no branching quest lines in the game, and nothing you do affects the story line. Why can't I take control of the Mythic Dawn or Necromancers?
-There aren't really any race or gender specific quests in the game. Why isn't there some sort of elf society in the game that affects the storyline for an elf character?

While I have problems with it (comparing it to KOTOR, as I do all things), I haven't found a better 360 game yet.

+A new guild! They should release more expansions like this.
+You can lower your infamy to 0 by making a pilgrimage.
+If you have a crusader fantasy, this expansion is for you.
+You get some cool items, if you're willing to stay infamy free.
-The quest line is pretty short.

Basically, this is a good early game quest line to take on, but it's not as big as the other guilds.

+This takes place in the realm of the demonic prince of madness. Where Oblivion involves lush, realistic landscapes and scary forays into Hell, Shivering Isles has lots of bizarre, beautiful, surreal images. It's a much different design concept, and worth it for a change of pace.
+The quests are especially ingenious.
+The quest line is long enough to make it interesting.
-Despite what you may see advertised, there's still very little in way of branching quest lines. Really, the only things that differ are when you get certain items and what greater powers you have access to.

This is a really great expansion, and can help you build skills early in the game. And you can become the demon prince of madness, so that's cool.

In short, this is the best game for 360, and one of the best RPG's on the market. It does have its limitations and frustrations, but it will give you about 80 more hours of fun than Bioshock (which is also really cool).
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on September 13, 2007
These statements are in response to previous qustions and reviews.

This pack was designed for people that can not or do not have broadband service and wanted these two huge add ons for Oblivion. there ARE only the two included here yes. two others were available for FREE from Official Xbox Magazine in early 2007. The horse armor was never given for free and is not available on here. OR of course if you do not already have this game then this is the best option available.

if you already own a copy of oblivion and purchase this, you will then have two full copies of the game. about a year ago when bethesda said they will in time release the downloadable content on disc it was known that it would be on its own disc! some hoped it would be a disc update like halo2s extra maps were, but microsoft did not like the ease of someone buying one copy and just giving it to all of their friends.
that would still be possible with disc two in this set, yea but they made sure you are buying the full game along with the extra content. that was the deal made with microsoft.

disc two WILL install all of the patches that were required to play the additional content. then it will ask you which items you want to install, all, one, or neither.
my main character in oblivion is nearing the 300 hour mark. there is no fear of the game becoming "unplayable". the reviewer "mean critic" makes no good points and gives very little facts.

the game will then be played with disc one (a normal oblivion disc) while the other information is streamed from a hard drive or memory card. that is the way the downloadable content WAS PROGRAMMED to work. the information that is stored on the drive loads very fast compared to when loading from the disc.

if you buy this and already own oblivion, you could trade it in at many video game stores if you dont want to own a second copy.
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on September 18, 2007
I've had Oblivion scince I first got my 360 and loved every minute of it, but I felt left out when the expansions started coming out on Xbox live. I don't have the cables necessary to support XBL at my house so when I saw that Oblivion GOTY edition had hit the shelves, I grabbed it up. I know that at least one other reveiver gave the game a 1 star for its $60 price tag, but keep in mind, Oblivion just went down to $30 while Knights of the Nine is still sitting at about $10 to download, and Shivering Isles is at $24. Total, thats $64 before tax. If you don't have Oblivion yet, or are about to pick it up because you just got a 360, GET THIS VERSION. It has the 2 big expansions, plus an update patch that fixes some of the bugs in the game (like the item multiplication arrow trick). You will still have to go online to get the small stuff like wizard's tower or Vile lair, but they cast about 2 or 3 dollars in MS points. Its a good deal for Oblivion first timers, or anyone without XBL.
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on September 15, 2008
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an epic, wide-open 'go anywhere, do anything' action Role Playing Game (RPG), and probably one of the best RPG's on the Xbox 360. In the context of open-ended 'go anywhere, do anything' games, Oblivion certainly takes the cake. With a whole continent at your disposal, a plethora of towns, cities, villages, dungeons, caves, and the expansive wilderness and mountains Oblivion is truly a massive world. And the best part is you can explore it all.

In keeping with the 'go anywhere, do anything' mythos, developer Bethesda crafted a totally non-linear game with hundreds of quests, missions and other distrations in additon to a main plot arc. If you so desire you could put off the main story and get lost in the myriad of side quests located in the game; and believe me there are tons of side quests, missions and distractions available to you. As far as the main story arc goes, its your basic generic 'save the world' story. It would have been nice to get a truly original story line, especially since the game is so huge and you can literally do what you wish.

You start off as a basic, generic character and the emphasis on leveling up and honing your skills is very high. Like most action RPG's the more you use a skill the better you get with it, and Oblivion tracks all your stats by the typical RPG means. When you start the game out you get to do quite a bit of character customization including how you want your character to look, what stats you want to start out with, what skills you want to focus on etc. The level of customization is very high. Following the whole 'do anything' theme you can literally create any character you desire, from the epic warrior, the powerful mage, the sneaky thief, assassin, wanderer, knight, the sorcerer etc. There are so many variations on each type that the options are limitless. As such, even if you do choose one class or character type eventually you can learn the traits and skills of every other class, which pretty much destroys any replay value and kind of breaks the realism of the game.

In addition to being able to be any type of character you desire, you can literally do anything you want. If you choose you could wander the world collecting various items and weapons, be a world class thief and see how much loot you can gather, be a traveling merchant, you can be an evil character and kill everything in sight. In addition to being any character you want, you can even choose to be an outlaw (which will happen if you get caught stealing or killing innocent people). If so, you will be constantly hunted by town and city guards and any official in the game. If caught you can either pay a fine, resist arrest or go to jail (where you can literally sit there and live out your sentence or choose to serve your time and get out). This adds to the overall realism of the game world.

Virtually every NPC is killable (save for important quest giving NPCs). There are hundreds of items and weapons to find, some rare and some not so rare. You can wield any weapon you desire, however depending on your current skill with the weapon you may or may not be good with it. This can easily be remedied by either practicing with the weapon or paying of training from the various NPCs that offer the training. The same goes for all the magic stats and skills, of which there are plenty to keep you busy. Alchemy is also an option which offers up plenty of time wasting quests and options. You can spend your time hunting down various ingredients to create potions, spells, enchanted weapons etc. You can create your own recipes for these, or you can search the world and find already created recipes; the choice is yours. There are also various books and bookstores scattered about the world, and from these you can learn the history of the game world and learn some skills, recipes and hidden locations as well.

Scouring the world in search of treausre is very fun, and it can take you to some really interesting places.Everything has a stat and everything has a skill that you can level up. There is literally hours upon hours of things to do in Oblivion.

As most RPG gamers know a good chunk of time is spent interacting with the various townsfolk and non-playable characters (NPCs) scattered about the game world, and Oblivion does not deviate from this formula. You will spend a lot of time talking to NPCs, as they hold much info in regards various aspects of the game. Plus they are usually the ones who hand out the quests and side quests. All of the dialogue is spoken, so you don't have to wade through lengthy pages of text each time you talk to an NPC. There is however one major flaw in the NPCs and enemies that is worth mentioning: Their Artifical Intelligence (AI) is rather shoddy. This is really nothing new since most video games have lame AI, but in an open ended game like this it really stands out, especially since during development Bethesda promised gamers a truly unique experience called 'Radiant AI' which basically meant that every NPC character would have their own lives with their own daily routines and wants/needs. The final product is far from 'radiant' as not all the NPCs have routines and wants/needs, and the ones that do are very repetitive. It was a promise that in my opinion is not possible in the gaming world yet. Also, NPCs will randomly talk to each other as well, however their conversations are usually worthless and very repetitive. Even still it is quite fun interacting with the various NPCs and their interesting personalities. In a change from previous Elder Scrolls games all of the dialogue in the game is spoken by real voice actors, but again this feature falls a little short, as spoken dialogue gets really old, as do the character voices. It seems Bethesda only used 4 or 5 different voice actors for hundreds of NPCs, and it gets really stale to hear the same voice over and over again.

The quests you will embark on in your journey through this amazing world are plentiful, however they all fall under either a 'fetch' quest (go here and get this) or a 'kill' quest (kill x NPC etc). This is a big problem in my opinion as the quests can get very boring and sometimes tedious. Some NPCs will have you going back and forth across the continent just to talk to some other NPC or to gather some item to bring back to them. This is made easy with the 'fast travel' system (any place you been before you can easily teleport to with the click of a button), however this also breaks the immersion factor. Alternatively you can choose to walk everywhere or buy a horse and take the long route (I prefer this way because it allows you to explore at the same time). You are also given a map and a compass with which to aid you in your adventures, however the developers designed them so that they basically 'hold your hand' the whole time. Important places and NPCs are easily found via the compass, which has red and green arrows to mark where you need to go. Coupled with the fast travel things start to get very easy and simple, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you want to play.

There are a few guilds and factions available to join, from the Thieves guild, the fighters guild, the mages guild and The Dark Brotherhood (assassin guild). This is where the bulk of the quests and missions come from. In keeping with the whole freedom aspect of the game you can join every guild. While this opens up many options for gamers it breaks the replay value since you can join every guild in one playthrough. Also it breaks the realism of the game world since technically you shouldn't be able to join every guild with the same character. I personally would have enjoyed it more if you could only join one or the other. I mean, if you are in the Mages guild or the Fighters guild you shouldn't also be allowed to join the Thieves guild since their core values and goals are diametrically opposed.

In addition to all of this there are also houses and a castle that you can eventually purchase and fully furnish, giving you safe havens to store your items and places to hang out.

Oblivion is a truly next generation game, and the graphics are a testament to that, offering up some of the best looking visuals on the Xbox 360. Oblivion pushes the systems hardware to the limit and the result is some stunning graphics. Trees are wonderfully detailed and rendered, grass and weeds, flowers, rocks, water and wildlife are all wonderfully animated and living.

In keeping true to the 'go anywhere, do anything' theme of the game, anything you can see you can exlore. This includes mountains, caves, forests, towns, villages, cities...everything! You can spend hours just wandering the countryside and climbing the mountains if you so choose, and the amazing graphics will stun you the whole time. Oblivion is a true next generation experience that will please action fans, adventure and RPG fans with over 100 + hours of gaming. And with the two expansion packs available in this 'Game of the Year' edition, the hours of gameplay are extended by at least 20 + more hours or so.

One major fault worth mentioning is that, since the game allows you to do anything you should technically alter and affect the game world, however only certain quests and actions do this. For example, the main story line quests will resonate through the world, which NPCs either commenting on your feats or your failures. However other actions do not. If you rob a store owner blind (and they do not notice) they will never mention it, almost as if it never happened, and they will continue to stock their store as such. This breaks the immersion factor. A store owner should realize that they are constantly being cleaned out, right? Also if you kill NPCs without being caught, no one will miss their presence, which seems a little weird, don't you think?

Another glaring flaw is with the town and city guards. They somehow have this magic ability to hear and see what you are doing even if they are far away from you. In some instances when you are robbing a house or killing someone they will magically know you are doing this, even if they are nowhere in sight! This gets very frustrating, and shows the true flaws in the games' AI.

In Oblivion there are many enemies, wild animals and rogue NPCs that you will eventually have to fight, and the combat is very fun. The controls follow your typical action adventure game: Right Trigger attacks, Left Trigger blocks, Right Bumper is your spells, Y is jump, B opens up your menu etc. All of the combat is in real-time, which further adds to the fun of Oblivion. All of the enemies are scaled to your current level, so as you level up the creatures and enemies get harder, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing.

All in all, Oblivion is a fantastic game that truly shows off some of the next generation of video gamings best features. It offers up hundreds of hours of gameplay and will certainly keep you occupied. Oblivion allows you to live out your fantasies allowing you to do, see and explore everything. There are some faults, but these shouldn't keep you from having a blast.

The Good:
Some of the best graphics ever seen on the Xbox 360
A wide open 'do anything, go anywhere' gameplay
High level of character customization and level grinding
Hours upon hours of quests and gameplay
Virtually unlimited options. Be a hero, be a villain and everything in between.
Many things to do, many things to see, many things to kill.
Some very cool quests at times

The Bad:
Poor AI
The majority of quests are rather simple (kill this, fetch that)
The go anywhere, do anything mythos allows you to do everything in one play through - thus killing much of the supposed replay-ability.
Much of your actions do not affect the game world.
NPC dialogue gets really annoying, and the lack of variety in character voices is all too lame.
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on July 5, 2013

first off let me give a brief background of my time in the world of the elder scrolls. I played the first game Arena back in 95 and i have played every elder scrolls game in existence. i have put around 4,500 hours into this game alone since i bought it in 2007. it almost ruined my marriage lol ! this game like most elder scrolls game begins with a
unknown prisoner serving time for a unknown crime. in this case you are person in a dungeon you create your character and the story unfolds from there. i will not go further into detail of the story. The story is medium length but there are hundreds of quests in which you can play. You can do so much in this game anything from causing mayhem by killing innocent people in the Imperial city to helping a women find lost potatoes. You do not have to play the other elder scrolls games to understand the story.
the map size is huge it took me around 200 hours to find half of everything in the map and another 120 to find the rest. i would heavily recommend this game it alone is worth buying a Xbox 360 for. If you a fan of western RPG's with a good storyline many different quests and the ability to shape the world to fit your character this game is for you.
it takes time to get into the game so some patience is required (for me it took around a hour) i will also outline some of the major Guilds (you can join a guild for a place to sleep for money and for quests)
the fighters guild- a guild that serves the public by completing quests like clearing a mine full of goblins Etc
The Dark Brotherhood- a guild which kills certain targets (hint you make good money on this plus there are some good bonuses)
The arena - a guild which fights in a coliseum as gladiators
The thieves guild - a guild in which you rob and steal (the quests for this are amazing)
The mages guild - a guild dedicated to the magic oriented player ( lots of quests)

words cannot give this game justice! drop what you are doing and go to gamestop and buy it! its under 10 dollars and worth every penny!
also please visit the website [...] and look around there Oblivion page it may help you in deciding whether or not you want to purchase it

In conclusion now is the time to buy. this game and skyrim can keep you occupied until the new systems are launched

also i would recommend the PC or xbox version over the ps3 version as there are some major bugs on the Ps3 version
Happy gaming

Harris Eugene Blake
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on October 2, 2013
So I've reviewed this game before on a different page on Amazon. Still Oblivion: GOTY edition. I originally played it for only a few hours and turned it in for something different. To get things straight, I did play Skyrim before Oblivion. So I'll break it down like this:

Graphically: Yeah this game looks like it came from 2006. The graphics are clunky and look unfinished. The NPC's in the game look unfinished. No matter how cool you want your character to look it's gonna look like a fat headed monkey. The screen automatically zooms in on NPC's talking to you. I know they did that in Fallout 3 and NV, but the people actually looked like people. It's hard to tell what race the characters are because the graphics make them look so ambiguous. Things trying to kill you sort of blend into the environment as well simply because the graphics can't process them, not because of camouflage. The font in the menus is supposed to be some sort of old script calligraphy, and that's fine, but it's difficult to read because it's the same color as the borders they framed all the menus in.

Game Play: For the most part, it plays like Skyrim (if you played Skyrim first like me). You swing a sword like it weighs 20 lbs. Shooting arrows is difficult because you can't tell if you hit your target until the target dies. Leveling is a bit confusing, but for all the people complaining about leveling in Oblivion, get over it. Yes it's confusing at first but you learn. If you want the enemies to be easy for the whole game, don't sleep and you won't level up. If you want the enemies to get harder and also get leveled loot, sleep so you can level up. That's all the detail I'm getting into on leveling up because there is a whole convoluted scheme as to how it works. A few minor bummers: you can't sprint or run and there are no shouts (once again, Skyrim first).

Story: I honestly haven't done much of the main story, but apparently you're supposed to wander the countryside closing Oblivion gates to stop the Daedra from overrunning Cyrodiil. You can join the Thieves Guild, Mages Guild, Fighters Guild and Dark Brotherhood for some different armors and perks. If you choose to do the Knights of the Nine quests, you may want to forego doing any of these other guild quests until afterwards. Unlike Skyrim, THERE ARE NO DRAGONS! I can't say I'm bummed about that. I loved fighting dragons in Skyrim, so now in Oblivion I feel a little less at risk of dying. Because there are no dragons and because you move CONSIDERABLY slower in Oblivion than Skyrim, the whole game feels a bit laid back.

There are plenty of weapons and armors and things to do. Not as much as Skyrim or Fallout, but still plenty. I do feel like I ruined Oblivion for myself by playing Skyrim and Fallout first. HOWEVER I am enjoying Oblivion on a different level. It feels laid back and therefore I'm playing it a bit more casually. It's a good tool for passing the time. I feel like I'm more out for a stroll in the park with thieves about than worrying about a dragon dropping out of the sky or a werebear attacking me. It's ok overall. Good luck enjoying this if you want something more fast paced.
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on January 5, 2011
I won't say I'm a long time fan of the Elder Scrolls series; in fact, I grimaced the first time I tried playing Morrowind on PC. It looked fun but was just cumbersome and the learning curve was awkward. Thankfully, eventually I decided to try Oblivion on Xbox 360 some years ago, and was instantly impressed. While Bethesda is infamous for unattractive character models, their knack for architecture and environment and overall quantity of content makes up for it. Oblivion doesn't do anything too revolutionary for the RPG or Fantasy genres, certainly nothing that hasn't already been done, but it does everything with a sort of clumsy effectiveness.

If you want to pick up a sword and hack (first person OR third person) though hordes of trolls, imps, demons, bandits and any number of other adversaries, all the while flinging spells hither and thither and picking every darn lock you come by, you won't be let down. There's a handy (pun-intended) pick-pocket feature, and you can steal anything you see lying around, but be ready to be labelled "criminal scum". You can infuse items with magical effects, enchant staves with spells, plunder dungeons for rare lost treasures, and slay all manner of hideous, forgotten creatures. However if you're looking for an immersive, rich story with deep characters, etc. then look elsewhere -- I recommend Bioware's Dragon Age (or for a sci-fi stint, the Mass Effect series). Where Oblivion excels in variety and flexibility, it lacks in polish and depth. Sure there may be 100-something caves and ruins to explore, but they're all very similar. The overworld is mostly steep cliffs, rocks, and forest, and while somewhat realistic in that you can walk in a straight line for an hour without ever finding anything interesting, well, this is a video game and you should really be finding a little bit more unique places. In all honestly, the game does feel a bit like an MMORPG scaled to fit a single player, including a persistent world and scaled difficulty. You never have to grind, and if you grind you only end up fighting harder monsters -- they scale up in power as you do, too (a double edged sword found in all of Bethesda's recent RPG releases).

One of the coolest features in the game is the class system. In essence, there IS no class system. You are forced to pick a class, or make a custom class, during the beginning portion of each character you make. However, any character can use any weapon, any spell, any armor, and learn any ability, so long as sufficient practice or training are endured. There is nothing stopping you from making a swordsman proficient in healing magic, and later on you decide you like using bows and fire spells more. Further yet, abilities are strengthened through direct use, ie. casting fire spells strengthens your Destruction Magic, landing arrow shots strengthens your Marksman skill, and so on. There is no experience system to speak of, and your character level is merely a summation of your "primary" skills. You level up by leveling up your "primary" skills, then going to sleep. You are allowed a number of attribute points to distribute, as well as the automatic attribute increase each level. All in all, your class and starting skills have almost no effect after about 5 hours into the game. The only class-related obstacles encountered are strict limits on spells; you simply cannot attempt to use a spell (or enchant with a type of spell) if you do not have high enough skill in the respective school of magic, although all characters have at least enough skill to learn the most basic spells of each type and practice them.

The Game of the Year edition specifically includes the "Knights of the Nine" and "Shivering Isles" content packs, which include a lengthy quest and an entire new region complete with quests and unique loot respectively. Both are top-notch content and add an estimated 5+ total hours of gameplay per character/playthrough. Unfortunately, this version does not include any of the smaller DLC packs such as the spell book loot add-on, or any of the housing add-ons (Frost-Crag Spire being my personal recommendation).

Overall, I would say this is a Love It or Hate It game. You'll likely either be bored to death before even finishing the mandatory introductory tutorial (which doubles as the character creation), or you'll find yourself 2 weeks later having spent every waking minute delving through moist dungeons and dragging hauls of loot back to market. So get out there and hack up some Daedra, hero!
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on October 1, 2007
I never owned a copy of Oblivion , I finished most of the quests in 2006 with a GamesPass rental from Blockbuster. So when Shivering Isles download came out I was sad that only those with XBOXLIVE access could download it. Back then the cost of Shivering Isles was $30 plus the cost of the game $60. So I heard that this disc was coming out . So I waited to get this version. (if youo don't own Oblivion ,this is the version to get) Boy am I glad I did, This version runs much much smoother than the older version I had rented in 06 .I didn't have any problems with this game it ran better than the older first print version ,I can tell they fixed some of the issues. The game runs very smooth compared to last years debut copy.
Since Shivering Isles and Kinghts of the Nine cache to your Hard Drive , the load times are much better when in those areas.

Ive been playing Oblivion now for over 200 hours! There's so much to see and do in this game,its an epic adventure of massive proportions. I easily reloaded my old Oblivion save and took my level 30 character into Shivering Isles quests ,no problem.

If you don't have Xbox Live or don't have Oblivion yet this is by far the best version to get.
If you like adventure games in First or third Person perspective than Oblivion is the best RPG out for any console. Anybody who hasn't played Oblivion yet in missing out on the longest adventure video game experience they may have ever tried.
Count on losing allot of sleep , I know I did, I couldn't put the controller down.With 200+ hours of playtime I still havent seen all the caves and dungeons. There's so many things that you can do in Oblivion This review would be way too long to cover all the aspects of this game. Oblivion is truly an epic RPG.I highly ,highly recommend it.Anybody who already owns Oblivion will not need this version as you can download all of the xtra content on Xbox LIVE.This version is for people without XboxLive or people who have do not own Oblivion.
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on May 6, 2008
We all have our favorite movies, our favorite books, authors, etc.

Some of us have favorite video games. Oblivion is all about sword-fighting and combat, magic and wizards and orcs and monsters... Now, normally I wouldn't consider this my type of gaming - I'm more of a science fiction, action/adventure fan than science fantasy.

But Oblivion... ...oh my, Oblivion...

There is more content, more creativity, more bang-for-your-buck entertainment in this game than frankly any other game I've ever played before. Period. The sheer scope of what this game lets you do is more than I'll ever experience. From enchanting your own weapons and armor to creating your own potions or magical spells, buying and improving houses, managing inventory and treasures. There are so many hidden features and items...'s mind boggling.

You take the roll of a character (which you completely design and name) destined to save the land of Cyrodiil from the evil clutches of Mehrunes Dagon and the parallel universe that is Oblivion. However long it takes is entirely up to you, as along your path to complete the core quests of the game you will encounter simply countless "side jobs" and hidden quests to complete, dungeons to plunder and insuremountable quantities of loot to collect. With epic battles to fight, wild and imaginitive creates to save or slaughter, and a massive landscape to explore, there seems to be no end to Oblivion.

Complaints? Well, the game seems to crash occasionally. Save often and it won't cause much heartache. This game presents enough data to keep these modern gaming consoles working pretty hard. This game would be phenominal online, however no such option exists. Oblivion could very easily be the next World of Warcraft. Other than that, I have no complaints - I played this game to completion on both the Playstation 3 AND the Xbox 360. Again, as a non-enthusiast of Science Fantasy games, that HAS to say something for Oblivion.

Buy it - buy it on Xbox or PC so that you can add some of the downloadable content not available on the Playstation. Buy it, then set aside a LOT of free time to enjoy all it has to offer. I also strongly suggest getting the game guide - read my review on that before buying, though.

And Bethesda, quite frankly I would be relieved if you just made every game that ever comes out from here until the end of time.
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Oblivion is EXACTLY how I imagined an RPG should be like back in the 80's, while playing Ultimas on Commodore 64s and Atari STs.

Oblivion has weather. While there is no wind other than a constant, gentle breeze, you do get rain/thunderstorms, fog, snow (no blizzards though, because there's not much wind). You don't slip and fall on ice but the sound of your steps is different whether you walk on the road, on grass, on snow or on ice.

The world of Cyrodill is not exactly continent-size, maybe some 20-30 miles in any direction from downtown Imperial City but... what a world this is. Cities, settlements, camps, estates, roadside inns, ruins, caves, dungeons, mines, shrines. The landscape is made up of plains, hard-to-climb mountains, rivers, swamps, waterfalls, seas. You can travel on foot or you can ride a horse. You can fight your way into fame and fortune while doing good or you can sneak into other people's houses or pickpocket the unsuspecting. The guards will chase you and throw you in jail if you do illegal things but, if they like you enough, maybe they will look the other way sometimes. Powerful gods or humble people will ask you do 'little things' for them and, if you can make them happy, they will reward you according to their abilities. You can raise to the top of your profession, as a fighter, as a mage, as a thief or as an assassin or you can assemble your own little gang of dreamy crusaders so that you can fight evil and recover the relics of a legendary knight. Or you can do them all and become all, in sequence or make progress in all paths more or less simultaneously while moonlighting as a gladiator as well and, if still bored, how about helping a lady take care of the rats in her basement (that's NOT what you think) or some drunk guy at the inn get rid of the Trolls that took over his daddy's country estate? Oh and, I forgot, there's a world to save or... wait... there's TWO worlds, thanks to the Shivering Isles extension.

This game is so huge, I can't see how you could really 'finish' it. After more than 2 months of almost daily playing, I am maybe 75-80% into the main quest, half a way through the Knights of the Nine, only started the Shivering Isles adventures. I did become the realm's Chief Mage (and the titles earns me no respect from the scholar mages) and the grand master at the Fighters league, got myself 350,000 gold coins in my pocket, 2 comfortable houses and 2 nice offices, completed close to 100 quests, slaughtered 2000 creatures and hundreds of humans, murdered 4 or 5 and all but one by mistake (friendly fire), didn't even come close to the Thieves guild and, foolishly, made it impossible for me to ever join the Dark Brotherhood (these are the assassins). Also, I've never been a vampire and didn't yet start my career as a professional gladiator. I did massacre the peaceful dwellers of a small village but I did that under the influence of some drugs that made them look to me like bloody Orcs - that was the price to pay for infiltrating and destroying the source of that scourge. Oh, and while briefly in the land of Dementia - or was it Mania? - I did, willingly, push buttons that caused a few careless adventurers to go insane and I watched as they were becoming so. I humiliated a lovely princess - or was it a duchess? - and I killed so many fearsome monsters, I lost count myself but the game does keep a count so it's easy to know. In fact, the game keeps track of so many things... I could easily find out how many jokes I told, how many potions I made, how many horses I've stolen (one), how many hours I slept or how many books I read.

Well...? What do you think?

On the 'not so good' side, the game does slow down when you are fighting 4-5 monsters at the same time or when there are other things that keep the machine busy while you are fighting the baddies - like a fire burning. Loading/saving times are a bit too long but, while this is happening, you do get to read some randomly selected good advice on the screen.

The other thing that saddens me is that I don't believe the good people at Bethesda are working on the next chapter yet. I do hope that, as soon as they are done with Fallout-3, they are going to get busy with another adventure in Cyrodill or thereabouts.
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