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About the product
- Includes Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine expansions
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Oblivion Game of the Year edition presents one of the best RPGs of all time like never before. Step inside the most richly detailed and vibrant game-world ever created. With a powerful combination of freeform gameplay and unprecedented graphics, you can unravel the main quest at your own pace or explore the vast world and find your own challenges. Also included in the Game of the Year edition are Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansion, adding new and unique quests and content to the already massive world of Oblivion. See why critics called Oblivion the Best Game of 2006.
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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!
But overall a very good play experience and no game lockups where I had to reboot in 60 plus hours of play.
As a (former) prisoner of the Imperial City jail, you, the hero, have to find the emperor's (now dead), final heir, help stop the opening of Oblivion gates, and save the land of Cyrodil.
+Each race is fun to play as, although the beasts will always be my favorite choice (Argonians ftw!).
+The game progressively gets more difficult as you level. Now this can be a plus or a minus depending on the skills and stat points you've assigned to your character, so another plus is that the difficultly can be altered anytime during gameplay through the options menu.
+Good story, an ending I didn't expect.
+Dungeons are fun to explore
+More pluses then I can list, really. (Many more I can't really think of off the top of my head.)
-Graphics are ok. Nothing special. No frills really.
- Refer back to Plus #2. It can be either good or bad
Overall, an excellent title. 4.5/5
Will update later.