By Sam Coles:
We all have those games that are close to are heart where you can revisit it over and over and not get bored of it. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is one of those games for me which introduced me to a living breathing world that carried on even when I turned the console off. I always get a lot of flak when I say I prefer this game over Skyrim and to be honest Oblivion as an RPG is better with its mechanics and world.
Oblivion takes place in the province of Cyrodiil which is the capital of Tamriel where once again in Elder Scrolls fashion you’ve been arrested for an unknown crime. It’s not long before you’re released by the emperor himself where he leaves the fate of Tamriel in your hands as he gives you the Amulet of Kings which only people who are part of the Septum family can wear.
You start off creating a class and you can pick from readymade classes or you can do the smart thing and create your own because you can tweak skills and attributes to your liking. I like this because you can make the world your own and you feel that you make an impact in the game because you can do anything you want which you don’t get that freedom in Skyrim because they use “play it your way” card which is an illusion of freedom and doesn’t let you customised your character the way you want.
After you’ve created your character you’re released into the world and you can do anything you want. Wanted to completely ignore the main quest and go and explore the local village and grab a beer with the locals while reading books about the region? You can! Want to join a guild such as the Thieves, Mage or Fighters and earn extra coins in the skills you specialise in? You can! That’s what I love about Oblivion it doesn’t lead you on a set path it just goes “Here is a world for you to explore go nuts”. Skyrim did have an element of that but I didn’t feel the epic wonder in Skyrim like I did in the previous game it lacked something. There is so much to do in this game at your own pace and the great thing is your skills will constantly increase even little things like your acrobatic skills will increase because you like jumping a lot which then decreases your fall damage.
This game is beautiful considering that this year the game is 10 years old, the character models look a bit off, but the world itself still shines with varied and mysterious locations coupled with awe inspiring architecture like churches and town halls. It just reminds me when I go cycling in the middle of nowhere and stumble upon small villages with medieval churches where I then go to the local pub and catch my breath with a pint of the local ale.
The music is worth taking note Jeremy Soule came back to do the music for the fourth game as he did the music for Morrowind and the score can be haunting to relaxing the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up.
The only problem that I have with this game is that frame rate can dip here and there I played this on the PS3 and it’s far superior to the Xbox 360 and yes I have both before you start. The PS3 version has better textures, draw distance and frame rate.
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the game I can go back to if I need to cheer myself up or if I want to go exploring in an interactive world. If you haven’t played this I would highly recommend picking it up, but if you can get it on the PC.