Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Good deal, I guess
on June 30, 2011
Buying the combination of these games together seemed like a steal when I first saw it.
Oblivion. As other reviewers have noted, this is the regular version of the game, not the Game of the Year edition which includes the expansions. I was fine purchasing that since I'm just a casual gamer who probably would never get around to the additional content. The open-endedness of the game is astonishing. If you're familiar with the series (I'm a Morrowind fan myself), then you'll feel right at home with Oblivion. Even though the game is beautiful in appearance straight out of the box, there are plenty of graphical mods out there for Oblivion which will really enhance your experience if you have the system to run it. My system is "okay" or "decent," and I can run it on "Very High" settings at 1280x1024 (my monitors maximum resolution unfortunately) without issues. Additionally, I've installed many, many texture packs (namely Qarl's Texture Pack 3: Redimized), and feel that although the game has become far more impressive in appearance, I still don't have any frame rate issues. My only gripes with the game is that the interface seems like it was ported directly from a console. This can be fixed with mods though.
Bioshock. I really wish I could give this game a great review, but I just can't. I haven't even been able to really experience the game for one main reason. Lots of people who are playing the game on either Vista or Windows 7 (x86 OR x64) have issues where the in-game audio stops after the first cut-scene. I'm one of those. Although there are plenty of work-arounds available on the internet, they are not cut and dry solutions that will work for everyone. Namely, they did not work for me. While I'm sure Bioshock is a great game since it's been lauded so highly by big-name reviewers, I just can't offer it the same. It should be noted that my experience is probably in the minority, but that it is a real risk/problem for potential buyers whose computers are running either Windows Vista or 7.
As a note, although one or more of these fixes has seemed to work for a fair number of people out there suffering from the same problem as I have, they failed to work for me. I have tried the following:
1. "Fooling" Windows into thinking that a microphone is plugged in by enabling the Stereo Mixer audio device under the Control Panel.
2. Tweaking the ini file.
3. Patching to the latest available version (which was supposed to correct certain audio issues).
4. Running the game as an administrator.
5. Running the game in compatibility mode (I've tried XP Service Packs 3 and 2).
6. Messing around with the in-game audio options with the hopes that the "perfect mix" would fix the problem.
Ultimately, I have to say that I'm disappointed because I was really looking forward to playing Bioshock. Without any sound, I just don't feel the game is as immersive or intriguing as it should be. If you're planning to play the game on XP, then I would strongly recommend it. If you're playing on Windows 7 or Vista, then be wary. Although it's unlikely you will encounter this issue, it's certainly an unfortunate possibility.