Universal acclaim - based on 54 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1976 Ratings

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  • Summary: Oblivion is a single-player game that takes place in Tamriel's capital province, Cyrodiil. You are given the task of finding the hidden heir to a throne that sits empty, the previous emperor having been killed by an unknown assassin. With no true Emperor, the gates to Oblivion (the equivalent of hell in the world of Tamriel) open, and demons begin to invade Cyrodiil and attack its people and towns. It's up to you to find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel. In keeping with the Elder Scrolls tradition, players have the option to experience the main quest at their own pace, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the vast world and make your own way. Numerous factions can be joined, such as the thieves or mages guilds, and each contains its own complete storyline and the chance to rise to the head of the faction and reap further rewards. Oblivion features a groundbreaking new AI system, called Radiant AI, which gives non-player characters (NPCs) the ability to make their own choices based on the world around them. They decide where to eat or who to talk to and what they say. They sleep, go to church, and even steal items, all based on their individual characteristics. Full facial animations and lip-synching, combined with full speech for all dialog, allows NPCs to come to life like never before. [Bethesda] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 54
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 54
  3. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. 100
    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is less a videogame and more a life in and of itself. The longer I’m away from it the more I come to appreciate it.
  2. 100
    I honestly have to say that I am in favour of most of the changes and I think Oblivion is an awesome achievement from Bethesda.
  3. Oblivion is far from a perfect game, but I can think of very few titles that come as close. It’s among the very best in terms of gameplay, audio, and graphics.
  4. 94
    An incredibly solid RPG. The sheer variety of gameplay elements available, paths you can take, and quests in the game make it well worth a purchase. There is no reason why any RPG aficionado should not own this title.
  5. The 21st Century's finest, most involving roleplaying game so far. [May 2006, p.85]
  6. The number of options is so vast, it's nearly paralyzing figuring out what it is you want to do next.
  7. 80
    Assuming one has a system with the muscle to run the game and the player is willing to accept some technical glitches, there simply isn't a better RPG experience available.

See all 54 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 72 out of 483
  1. OskarS.
    Feb 6, 2008
    This is a wonderful game with loads of options. If you get the expansions and download a few nice mods, the possibilities are almost endless! When you have learned to use the "TES 4 Mod Maker", you can modify the game in any way you like. Any RPG fans who doesn't require a multiplayer part would love this game! Expand
  2. Luke
    Mar 10, 2006
    Are you kidding me if anyone gave this game a lower score then at 10 out of 10 they r nuts its just like morowind with a major graphicall over-hall. This game actualy has a physics engine and its over 100 hrs of gameplay which means ill never finish this one just like i never finished morrowind but at least ill have the time of my life plain it Expand
  3. May 1, 2011
    Honestly, I don't understand most of the negative criticism for this game. A HUGE improvement on TES3: Morrowind in terms of combat and atmosphere. Combat is much more engaging, as it should be for this style of game. Quests are entertaining and tough enemies are very challenging (until you are extremely high level). Coupled with a do-anything-you-want style world, this game will entertain for hours. My only complaint is that it ended so soon. The world is much smaller than its predecessor, Morrowind. Players of that game will find the world somewhat confining, and you definitely won't get the 500+ hours of gameplay like you did in that title. An awesome game, though. Can't wait for TES V! Expand
  4. Jan 26, 2013
    TES IV: Oblivion opened the door of a new kind of RPG playing, it's visuals and it's gameplay are wonderful but still, and as many Bethesda games, t's a bit buggy. Even though, I believe this is one of the best games Bethesda ever made. Expand
  5. Jun 2, 2013
    I am a HUGE fan of the TES games. I have played them all and even modded the tar out of III and IV. TES IV: Oblivion is a fantastic game. The only reason I gave it a score of 8 is because although I love the game, there are a few things I wish Bethesda would have done better or differently.

    Let me start with the BAD: There's a lot here.

    The leveling system I don't care for, because the way the creatures level with you, I never felt like my player got any stronger. I also thought the storyline was a little weak. I felt very unsatisfied when it ended. The Oblivion gates were very tedious. It seems like someone just got lazy and copy/pasted. Not much fun. Furthermore, the NPC races share voices instead of each having a unique voice as in TES III: Morrowind. This was a let down. Furthermore, it doesn't seem like Bethesda put very much effort into NPC realism with this title. For instance, if you get caught stealing or trespassing, the guards will try to arrest you, however, if you get busted in let's say the Imperial City, resist arrest, head to let's say, Bruma and then talk to a guard, they will try to arrest you for that crime you committed in the Imperial City. I guess the guards are all psychic. Weird. I mean, how could the guards know your character was a wanted criminal in another village? Same thing when you steal an Imperial Legion horse. Even though the guard is lying there dead and you take the horse, you can still get busted. Those legion horses are the same as other horses in the game. Are they tagged or branded or something? NPC reactions are pretty bad. As with Morrowind, people had many things to say to your character regarding nudity, the weather, disease, and many other things. You don't see this in Oblivion. Rather dull if you ask me and very unrealistic. Thanks to mods, many of these bad points I've noted have been fixed, but it's something Bethesda should have done. Oblivion seems to have focused mainly on graphics and eye candy rather than realism. Sad but true.

    Now for the GOOD:

    The journal/quest system is awesome. In Morrowind, you could break quests if you weren't careful. This has been very much improved in Oblivion. Great. The graphics are incredible. The combat system I found very fun and enjoyable. The alchemy is a blast to play with as you can make very powerful potions. I especially liked the powerful weather effects. Very good! The guild quests were all good and the side quests were fun as well. I really liked the ability to buy houses and ride horses. The forts and caves all seemed a little repetitive, but were still fun in ways. All in all, although I feel the game has more bad points than good, I still have to rank it as the 3rd best in the TES series. The game is awesome despite its many flaws. 8/10.
  6. StevenS.
    May 6, 2006
    Cool game, good graphics. Expected more variety on spells and weapons. Scaling system sucks big time making the world adapt to you and not vice-versa how it is supposed to be. Expand
  7. bosochargedhercegovan
    Nov 4, 2006
    the graphics are drab, unbearable shit. i just want to tear the screen apart when I see them. its almost as if the developers mixed up their own spit and vomit and used that as inspiration. second, the artists are hired from some shitty mental insitution where they have daily art lessons. there is absolutely NOTHING inspiring or captivating about them at all. Decade old games like Mario or Zelda have more interesting and for the most part better graphics than oblivion. oblivion makes use of innovations like antialiasing and ASF and thats it.

    second the engine used is shit. gamebryo?? lol are you kidding. the programmers are shit. ever1 that worked on this game were the bottom scrapers of the industry. That is because Bethesda is a cheap-arse company that spends all its money on promotion and making crappy movie tie-ins.

    NWN2 is out now!! its not as good as i thought but kicks Obliviooons arse anyday.

See all 483 User Reviews