If you are oblivious to Oblivion…. please read on, for soon you won’t be. Oblivion is the latest in The Elder Scrolls series, re-defining the benchmark for interactive virtual 3D environments (nevermind the fact that it has definately set an entirely new benchmark for single-player RPGs), and it does it extremely well on the Xbox360.
Note for non-Xbox360 users: I haven’t tried the PC version of Oblivion – but have heard that it can be tedious trying to set up the optimal graphics configuration for your particular setup.
The opening moments are chilling – Oblivion was positioned in the Xbox360 tray, and from the music and even just the initial Bethesda logo (the first graphic to be unveiled), the hairs prick up on the back of your neck. In fact, the unparalleled experience of simply exploring the amazingly detailed, foliage-rich world of Cyrodiil is reason enough to jump head-first into the world of HD (High Definition) and splash out a thousand or two on a 40 inch HD LCD TV – Yeah don’t get a Plasma, get an LCD.
The environment is so detailed and interactive, the character-driven RPG elements are excellently refined. There are hundreds of stories and quests for you to take on when you choose to, and you never have to do them if you don’t want to. For those that like to have goals and know what they are meant to do next – you can just follow the main quest.
Melee Combat is a bit like the style used in “Condemned: Criminal Origins”, but it feels more in-depth – especially if you choose to use bows and magic to assist your fighting. I have to emphasise how sublime the graphics are – you can just end up wandering around looking at scenery and architecture – as if you are on holiday in a fantasy world. Then there are the interiors in buildings, caves, dungeons etc. They are even more detailed, realistic and interactive than the exteriors! It can be fun using telekinesis inside shops or taverns to cause a little bit of chaos.
There’s so much more to say, but I don’t want to spoil any more. This game is a sole reason for buying an Xbox360 and HDTV! In terms of quality and innovation, I would say (like many others have already done), that Oblivion: Elder Scrolls 4 belongs, and feels at home amongst the ranks of all-time classics like Metroid Prime (Gamecube), Zelda Ocarina of Time (N64), Mario 64 (N64), World of Warcraft (PC), Tetris(Gameboy). Buy it, play it, love it.