Reviews

 

-Minimum System Requirements: * Windows XP * 512MB System RAM * 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor * 8x DVD-ROM Drive * 4.6 GB free hard disk space * DirectX 9.0c (included) * 128MB Direct3D Compatible Video card and DirectX 9.0 compatible driver * DirectX 8.1 Compatible Sound Card * Keyboard, Mouse -Recommended System Requirements: * 3.0 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor * 1 GB System RAM * ATI X800 series, Nvidia GeForce 6800 series, or higher video card

 

 

The Emperor of Tamriel has been assassinated and his heirs have been killed as well. There is another illegitimate heir left that the assassins have not gotten to yet. Your job is to find him and help him restore his kingdom. To make matters worse there are Oblivion gates opening up and letting monsters into this world and they are destroying cities. These Oblivion gates must be closed and you have to find the source and defeat him. There are tons of side quests to complete along the way, so you’ll be a busy hero.

Game Play 19/20

Like many RPGs you must choose your race, class and weapon/magic/thieving specialty. There are birth signs you can align yourself with to give you a boost in stats or other special abilities. There are many attributes you can assign and specialize your character in. You can increase these attributes by using them, getting trained, or by reading certain books. The best way to get experience is to hunt or fight monsters. Like Morrowind, there are guilds to join and they have trainers who can train you at good prices. Many shop keepers and other NPC’s can train you as well.

Guilds

* Blades (main quest) * Fighter\'s Guild * Mage\'s Guild * Dark Brotherhood (Assassins) * Thieves Guild

What kind of quests will I go on?

The story line is open ended in this game. You can follow it or do your own thing. Often times you will be asked to help other people out in various ways. The guilds you join will have you do tasks to gain rank. Some of these quests include saving rats, solving murders, stealing or finding valuable items and artifacts. You can also fight in the arena and gain prestige. There is so much to do in this game the list goes on!

What do I fight?

Many of the Morrowind enemies make an appearance in Oblivion. The clanfears are much harder this time around. There are no more Cliffracers but mountain lions and timber wolves replace their annoying presence. There are plenty of Dremoras in the Oblivion realm. To prevent the game from getting too easy Oblivion implements level scaling so the enemies get tougher with you. A mountain lion can whoop a level 5 or a lvl 15 player alike. Some people praise this change while others will hate it.

A.I.

The artificial intelligence in this game is awesome but not perfect. It’s cool to watch the NPC’s walk around and chatter with each other. NPC’s will be attacked by roaming monsters and bandits just as you would. There are tons of legion soldiers patrolling towns and side streets to keep people in line. There are some quests where you will have to protect or defend NPCs, and sometimes they get stuck in the world but they will usually reset themselves. It’s annoying but at least it can fix itself.

Graphics 9/10

The graphics in this game are the best I have seen to date. I know several people who had to upgrade their computers to run this game smoothly. It’s worth it though. When you start the game and design your character it’s really in-depth. The design of the face is so thorough that if you put enough time into it, your character can look exactly like you. I spent about a half hour designing my character’s look. The world design is great. From the sky to the grass, the detail is great. The water reflections are amazing. Even in the Oblivion underworld it looks dark and gloomy. The weather changes in this game as well, again the graphics here shine. As pretty as the graphics are, there are some weird glitches. I have seen some horses in really weird positions, like through each other.

Sound 9/10

Just like Morrowind, the game’s music is great to listen to. It’s in MP3 format too! The voice acting is great and Patrick Stewart does the emperor’s voice acting. All dialogue is recorded which is cool, but on the downside that means that there is a lot of recycling due to DVD and hard drive space constraints. As it is, the game takes 5GB.

Controls 5/5

Like many RPG’s, Oblivion uses a keyboard and mouse to explore the world. There are many hot keys you can use and customize.

Stability 4/5

Although the game runs well on my system, it has crashed to my desktop a few times. Fortunately I save early and often. The auto-save feature is nice.

Appropriateness

This game is rated Teen and I don’t know why it was not awarded a Mature rating (Since this review they have since changed the rating to M). There’s violence (-4), and blood (but it can be disabled +1) when you’re slashing things with a weapon. There’s some swearing (-5). There are nine gods in this world so I’m not sure if they’re blaspheming their gods or our God. There are sexual references as in live in couples (-3) and there’s an NPC who asks you about a fine for necrophilia. Magic is used heavily (-5), it’s optional to use it but it will be used on you regardless. On a positive note the Mages guild (for the most part) is against necromancy. With the different races there is prejudice in this game and many of the races hate each other (-1.5). Some characters tend to sleep in their underwear, I have noticed this with female characters. (-3.5) Finally, I was happy to see no occult symbols in this game but there is an occult type religion/worship.

Longevity

Although this game is single player, you will definitely get your money’s worth. With all the quests and guilds you can spend over one hundred hours easily. There are official plug-ins but they are not free like the Morrowind ones were. They cost $2.50 or less. As with many good times, Oblivion has a strong community and there are tons of free mods made by the gamers. Be careful there are some “mature” mods out there as well.

Final Thoughts

Although I have not completed the main storyline quest yet, I have clocked in many hours playing this game. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s fun and addictive but it does have quite a laundry list of appropriateness issues. I recommend this game for mature players only.

Final Ratings

Game 46/50 Appropriateness 28/50

Final Score 74%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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