Well what can I say (apart from the fact Im running on a caffeine overload!). This game is by far the most immersive and detailed experience to ever have graced the PC. This is true on many different levels. From the glorious freedom, to the jaw dropping graphics or the engaging quests and story line, The Elder Scrolls Oblivion brings not just the RPG Genre, but the world of gaming to a new level. The fact that a developer can make a commercial success of such a detailed and broad game is truly magnificent considering the climate we live in of quick commercial movie cash-ins or instant gratification FPS type game play that outnumber this kind of game by at least 10-1.
The fact that Bethesda has pulled off what is essentially a labour of love as much as a commercial enterprise is to be applauded. It is so rare to have such a variety of game play and experiences in a game that truly submerges you into its world. This isnt to say the game is perfect, there are a few irritancies that could have been improved on, but it would be picky of me to suggest that these in any way ruin what is essentially a fantastic gaming experience full of wonderment. Not all gamers will love this game, many will find its depth intimidating, or be lost in its freedom, preferring the instant action, and more directly structured environment of the FPS.
For the RPG veteran though, and particularly the Elder Scrolls aficionado, this will be the ultimate game experience currently available, and with the breadth that this game offers many newcomers will be drawn into its delights. This is often a cliché, but in this case it rings true if there is one game to buy in the next year make it this one!
I will end with a little advice for Bethesda, and incidentally the US government. I dont know about games such as GTA and the controversy surrounding it, but this game should contain a health warning on the front of the box. I have lost DAYS of my life to this and had to succumb to barely waking before hours of propping myself up at my desk at work.
This game could cost lives! Apparently there are over 200hrs of game play if you count all available quests and virtually unlimited replayability considering the different character classes etc. Thats a minimum of 8.3 days continuous game play with no eating or sleeping
Talking of sleeping, my bed is now calling, so Im off to rest before I collapse at my keyboard or I might just see if I can find that trader in Bravil first, itll only take half an hour
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Cyrodiil is a dangerous place, enter it with caution as it is in a dimension all of its own, where 5 hours seems like 10 minutes and an unexpected adventure lies around every corner. Each of these adventures is so compelling as to deprive you of the comfort of your own bed, offering some new interest. Whats more, the freedom of this game is staggering. Go buy and sell, do a few quests, some treasure hunting in one of the many caves or mines, explore the wonders of the land. The list goes on, and thats before you even touch on the main quest.
A hint at just how expansive this game is appears at the beginning with the fantastic character creation tools. I must have spent over half an hour or more playing around with every conceivable detail of my characters appearance and Im sure many others could spend far longer. It is also here that the story begins. With you, as seems to be traditional in Elderscrolls games, starting your journey in a prison cell. As luck would have it, the Emperor happens to be passing through for reasons I wont divulge here, and releases you from your captive state.