Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Shivering Isles is a bona fide masterpiece and the best that the Elder Scrolls series has to offer.
  2. The download is pricey, but the content is varied, interesting, and most important, plentiful.
  3. Shivering Isles is like Oblivion unleashed and on some kind of psychedelic steroid. While the gameplay remains the same, the artists and level designers kicked things up quite a few notches.
  4. Aside from the lack of new music and some minor crashes, if you have played through Oblivion and are looking for a fresh new experience then you can't go wrong with The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles.
  5. This 15-30 hours of gameplay is a must-play for anyone, even if you didn't finish the main game.
  6. The perfect expansion; it gives you the chance to be good and become Sheogorath's Champion but also lets you be periodically evil, killing and torturing, you can even be the Oblivion version of Frankenstein and create you own monster.
  7. With expansive lands and quests, the Shivering Isles brings forth a landscape that adds further dimension to the already impressive world of Oblivion. Players can find much sadistic joy in going mad.
  8. As far as gameplay goes, Bethesda has delivered in just about every way. In fact, I think they've improved what Oblivion had to offer.
  9. This expansion is a must-have, plain and simple. A gamer on a budget could wait a bit for the price to come down before buying this addition to the game, as exhausting all possible adventures in Oblivion can take a year of real time, but anyone ready for some different-flavored action won’t be disappointed by this worthy addition to the Elder Scrolls series.
  10. 90
    It delivers more of what made Oblivion great: creative quests, a huge land to explore, and tons of things to do there, making this expansion is a solid purchase for anyone who was a fan of the core game.
  11. The new environment additions are beautifully twisted, the characters are much more memorable this round being hilariously insane sometimes, and the last and best add-on in Shivering Isles are the missions.
  12. Shivering Isles is an excellent addition, and any Oblivion fan would be well advised to purchase it. An entirely new land to explore AND some of the most original environments in an Elder Scrolls game? Yes, please.
  13. The relatively short playtime and lack of new music or any major Hollywood voice talent are all a letdown, but the gameplay is great and the imagination that went into the Madgod's world really makes this expansion pack shine.
  14. Undoubtedly the expansion is better value on the PC, and you don’t have to worry about logging into Xbox Live in order just to play it, but both packages still represent good value at a solid 20-40 hours of additional gameplay.
  15. It's overflowing with creative vision and imagination. [June 2007, p.66]
  16. Shivering Isles adds more than enough new and interesting content to give you a great reason to dive back into the world of Oblivion.
  17. 85
    It respects a player's ability to make decisions, offers some useful armor sets and weapons, and delivers up a vivid, more imaginative variation on the traditional high fantasy province of Cyrodiil.
  18. From a shear hours-per-dollar perspective the expansion pack is more than worth it. For those who explored every nook and cranny of Oblivion and were somehow craving more, have at it – you doubtless will not be disappointed. For those, like me, who maybe had enough, more time on the all-you-can buffet line isn’t really a good thing.
  19. As Sheogorath would state in a melodious Scottish accent, Shivering Isles is "more of the same, only completely different." [July 2007, p.62]
  20. Despite the gatekeeper glitch, and a few tolerable crashes at transitioning points, Elder Scrolls IV – Shivering Isles is certainly money well spent. Characters are well developed and the main storyline is interesting.
  21. With new weapons, enemies, spells, environments, quests, and a story that makes the Knights of the Nine seem like child's play, the Shivering Isles really delivers on the promise of a great expansion pack.
  22. Bethesda Softworks wisely followed the “if it ain’t broke” axiom and left much of the core gameplay unchanged, opting instead to toss on oodles of new content and leaving no stone unturned as to how to make the game that much better.
  23. The game does ask the player to make choices, but they seem best decided by a coin toss, as there are no practical or moral reasons to choose a particular path. While a theme of duality runs through the game, it is more narrative conceit than game-play enhancement.
  24. There’s a bounty of new swag, interesting characters and quests to be had in these isles of Mania and Dementia; a great expansion to an already great game.
  25. Kudos to Bethesda for going the extra mile and delivering an expansion pack worthy of their history...as well as taking a risk on such a bizarre setting.
  26. More of the same, but weird, wicked—and psychotically pretty.
  27. It seems that Oblivion wears insanity quite well, and it's a refreshing approach to the established universe. [May 2007, p.65]
  28. Like everything they release, The Shivering Isles is a highly polished gem, well worth every penny. I just wish that they'd tried a little harder to give "honorable" characters a way to win.
  29. My only real problem with Shivering Isles is the not-so-great mission structure and how the worlds of Sheogorath seem a bit more dead than the regular game - despite the beauty of the new world. As a supplement to Cyrodiil, however, they work great.
  30. 80
    OK, so Shivering Isles doesn't reinvent the fireball. But the impeccable design and construction of the original game breathes life into this expansion -- not, as you might assume, the other way around.
  31. The only real problem with this expansion is finding the time to play it.
  32. 80
    Its original problems are still there, but they're more than made up for by the amount of fun to be had in the main quest line. In its current state, the expansion is already fun enough to justify the $30 purchase, and, like the original, we're sure it's only going to get better as time goes by.
  33. This odd land is worth exploring, and its meaty questline worth bashing through. Whether it's worth £18 for the privilege comes down to your appetite for Oblivion's combat.
  34. I can't see anyone who enjoyed Oblivion enough to get through the main quest not buying this. There's lashings of new fighting and exploring, and it's more gorgeous than ever before.
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 121 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    A perfect add-on for an already perfect game.I can't rate it 10 because it deserves 10+.It is just so cool the world the enemies the NPC's the weapons everything is changed and is a change for better.And you can play with the character you already have in The elder scrolls 4Oblivion.Sweet. Full Review »
  2. Aug 6, 2012
    9
    As far as DLC goes, Shivering Isles is a prime example of DLC done right. It is curious how Bethesda's horse armour was a great example of how NOT to do it, and SI is the opposite. Like with Bloodmoon, the pack offers an entire new island which, in my opinion, surpasses the original game in terms of environment design because everything in Oblivion looked exactly the ruddy same. The dialogue in TES games is never that good, but it seems to fit Oblivion's wacky setting; there is some genuinely funny dialogue and the contrast between the areas in the island are interesting. The quests are just as wacky as the setting and the characters seem more colourful than any other Elder Scroll since Morrowind. Bethesda may not see it, but they always seem to be at their best when they're being wacky: such as Morrowind, the 'Gary' vault in Fallout 3 or the drinking contest in Skyrim. So now that you've read this so called review, email Bethesda now and tell them to make TES VI more like Shivering Isles. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2011
    9
    In many respects superior to the main Oblivion game (possibly a case of over-familiarity in the case of the latter); Shivering Isles is huge, features excellent writing, fun and varied quests, improved voice-acting and best of all? The locales and environment are highly reminiscent of those in Morrowind - I had severe bouts of nostalgia exploring the settlements and wilderness areas of the island. Full Review »