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whatshot The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.4
Sound 9.2
Value 9.4
Distributor: UbiSoft
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
May 2007
Reviewer:
Shael Millheim

9.4


The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has arrived on the PS3 that features the original game from the PC and XBox 360 version and also the Knights of the Nine expansion. The main story of Oblivion revolves around the death of the Emperor and when the throne of Tamriel is empty, it's time for our hero to place the puzzles together in order to ensure that the sinister plot behind the Emperor's untimely death is discovered and the rightful heir is restored.

With this in mind, Oblivion is a massive game where you can play any way you want, and take however long you want. You can just stick to the main quest, or you can venture off into the wilderness and hunt for rare treasures and fight off an array of creatures hiding in caves, at forts and many other places. Oblivion is a work of art in more ways than one, and is certainly an addictive game.

You start off in a dungeon cell, and before you know it, the Emperor dies and you find yourself searching for the believed heir. Slowly but surely the safety barrier between Tamriel and the Daedric lands lower, and Oblivion gates start opening. During game play, you can join guilds if you wish, or just wander freely on your own. You can join with the Fighters Guild, Thieves Guild, Mages Guild, or the Dark Brotherhood, and the option of working your way up the chain in a guild is always present.

All in all, the world in which you play in is huge. If you wonder, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can go climb that mountain way over there,” you can! There are mountains, caves and caverns, bodies of water to explore, and lots of buildings in each of the different cities. You can go to the Imperial City (where you start in), Anvil, Bruma, Chorrol, Leyawiin, Skingrad, Cheydinhal, Bravil, and the ruined Kvatch, where an Oblivion gate has been opened.

Like first-person view? You’ve got it. Prefer third-person? You’ve got it. There are so many things you can choose in this game it’s incredible. You choose your race, gender, age, skills, birthsign, abilities, and even exactly how your character looks. You can change the face shape, bone structure, hair, skin tone, and makeup. Birthsigns include Mage, Thief, Warrior, Shadow, Lover, Ritual, Serpent, Lady, Lord, and several others. In-game, you can choose to obey the law, or break it. The ability to break into people’s homes can be more than tempting for many. Just make sure to have plenty of lockpicks and don’t get caught by the guards!

The controls take a little bit to get used to. Once you have gotten them down, doing things in a jiffy become so much easier when you figure out shortcuts, like hotkeying your spells, and being able to switch from a bow to a sword or another melee weapon. Getting really good at the controls comes in handy when battling all sorts of nasty things. The addition of hotkeys (much better implemented on the PS3's D-pad than the X360 since corners aren't as twitchy) which can be mapped out and assigned to anything in your inventory also helps changing spells easy on the fly.

Graphics play an important role in sucking the player into the game world. Oblivion has no trouble with sucking you into its beautiful and sometimes frightening world. The graphics are amazing, and great detail goes into every aspect of the game. After escaping the dungeon in the beginning of the game, the most likely remark when seeing the outside world for the first time is, “Wow…” The only downside to the amazing graphics are the sometimes long loading times which are also present in the XBox 360 version. However a small price to pay as most of the loading is done quite subtly in the background.

Music also plays a big part in the game. Listen to the music and you will be able to tell when danger is near. When the music changes again, danger may be gone. Listen to the differences throughout the game, and you will learn what the changes mean. The sounds and music of Oblivion are very well done, and definitely add to the overall game experience.

Since the game world is so large, the option to fast travel comes in handy. If you do not feel like spending time running around on foot, you can get a horse and go a bit quicker along your way, or fast travel. However, you can only fast travel to place that you have already visited and have marked on your map. If you feel like getting a horse, you can either buy one or steal one. Be careful with stealing one though. Theft is a serious crime and will get you thrown into jail if you are caught.

One thing that will excite the vampire fans out there is the fact that in this game, surprise, there are vampires. Another thing that will excite them is that, yes, your character can turn into a vampire. It can be a complete blessing, or a horrible curse, depending on how you play it out. You can become an extremely powerful being if you play your cards right. Getting to hunt around in the night can be fun, but you have to find sleeping victims to feed on.

If you play a vampire, also be very careful with fast travel, if you like to use it. Keep an eye on the in-game time, because although it may be nighttime where you are at now, it might be daytime by the time you get to your destination. Also make sure you feed often enough. The longer you go without blood, the more your appearance changes, and can seriously hinder your interaction with people. With the bonuses of being a vampire come the big prices, unfortunately.

In conclusion, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an amazing game that deserves to be played by many. If you have not gotten the chance to play it, or if you are wondering if it’s worth the money, this game is worth every cent you pay. Just get ready for hours upon hours of game play and possibly some sleep deprivation. Definitely a must have for PlayStation 3 owners! WOW!





 

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