It's got plenty to recommend it, but apart from its unprecedented visual achievements this is not a life-changing, essential or fully "next-gen" experience. It's a good, solid RPG that doesn't break the mold but instead makes one that's bigger and shinier.
This review is in response to the galaxy brain take from Benjamin Kukkee below.
Oblivion was released fifteen (15!!!) years ago. If you are comparing a 15 year old video game to a AAA title from 2021, that's on you, not the developer. That's like comparing a first gen Nokia 3310 to an iphone 12, and then complaining about how much the Nokia ****. Technology has advanced exponentially. Duh.
It's obvious this person played the game for several minutes and rage quit because they weren't doing well. Lockpicking is laughably easy and you can buy lockpicks from the Thieves Giild (a quest line they obviously didn't do) or from a vendor who hangs out outside the Imperial City walls. You also literally find them everywhere with random loot? I never had a shortage on any of my playthroughs. The minigame to improve NPCs disposition toward you is also incredibly easy. And this business about an unreachable tower? I guarantee there is a path to it if you had the patience to find it. You think you discovered a bug that no one else has in 15 years? Not likely. Also, Bethesda has made quite a few games since 2006 and continues to do so. Unless you're writing this review from the distant past. In which case, buy Google Stock!
Oblivion has the reputation it does for a reason. Solid game play, awesome quests, and at the time of release beautiful graphics. (The graphics are potatoes by 2021 standards, but so is every game from 15 years ago. Go look at Tomb Raider Legend from the same year.) There are some unique mechanics too. I still wish they would bring back spellcrafting like we had in Oblivion. It was sorely missed in Skyrim by many of us. There are quest lines from Oblivion that still have an emotional impact on me. The first time I got to That Part of the Dark Brotherhood? Gut wrenching! The fate of Martin Septim? He was too good for this world.
Does the game have flaws and glitches? You bet. So does every game. I wish folks could go back and play Oblivion when it was new so they could understand how great it was at the time. I replay occasionally for nostalgia (it's a comfort game) but I know it's dated as heck. So is Super Mario Bros. So are all the old gen games we go to great trouble to play on emulators and the like.
Adjust your expectations and enjoy it for what it is. And when you see him, tell Uncle Sheo I sent you
Enemies scale to your level stupidity. I remember dying in a cave so I left it, leveled up, came across the same cave later on and entered it again expecting to kick some butt. But I died again because the enemies leveled up as well. Stupid. Apparently leveling up my character is POINTLESS in this game. The game world is extremely bland and repetitive. Oh look, the same ruins I've seen the last 10 times. Everything is so picture perfect it feels like I'm walking in an urban park. No grit or realism in the world. Caves are pointless to explore all enemies and loot are scaled to me anyway. When you're exploring everything feels spreadsheety. Oh look, I see somebody in the distance I wonder who they are? Oh wait, sigh, they're an enemy that simply charges at me when they see me. No witty or interesting conversation to be had here. NPCs are robotic and major immersion breakers. There are guards hiding in every closet and basement, just watching and waiting to see if you'll steal that spoon, and then they'll get on their laptops and enter your name in a database, flagged as most wanted, putting every guard in the enter realm on high alert and hunt you down like you're OBL. Oblivion gates are ok the first time. But after the first one, ugh. Bethesda doesn't understand what immersion is so I'm walking on the main road to Kavatch when I see a cave just off the road, along with a big "you have discovered such and such cave", well no sh-t, you put it on the main road like a gas station. Don't want to make this next gen gamer have to go out of their way and discover the cave for themselves they might get frustrated and not buy our next game. Who cares about mystery and exploration when we can just put our dungeons and ruins on the main road like tourist attractions. Along the same road was a goblin encampment. At first I thought they must be friendly goblins being so close to the road and all but no, they attacked me on sight (just like every. single. last. enemy. in. this. game.) Someone should probably tell that guard I just saw that THERE'S A GOBLIN ENCAMPMENT JUST OFF THE MAIN ROAD! If you're looking for a good role playing game then pick up Gothic 3 Enhanced Edition. It's a game where you actually have to buy the world map IN GAME, imagine that Bethesda!
I'll give you a heads-up now, just because it's made by the same people who made Fallout 3 doesn't mean it's any good so don't waste your money!!!
Firstly, the AI has hardly been touched. Yes, artificial intelligence is a difficult thing to program but really, when I murder the bandit on the left and the bandit on the right, the guy on the corpse should realize something is terribly wrong, instead of wandering around hopelessly. Similarly, it is brutally and unforgiving when it comes to accidental thievery. Try to click on the bartender to talk to her, and likely you'll accidentally click on an alcohol bottle. THIEF!!! she cries out, and even if you put the bottle down immediately, a guard will escort you to the castle, where you'll have to pay a fine for touching a bottle on a bar. Character interaction is annoyingly weak. To get a character to like you, you'll need to, in a brief period of time, Boast, Joke, Admire, or Coerce him/her, repeatedly, via a mini-game. Bashing heads solves almost every quest, so the talking issues in the game are neatly covered up by massive bloodshed (although corpse cleanup isn't so good; this one poor shop has had 3 naked corpses in it for months now).
Also, the main story line is, no fun. It's not just the "you start in a prison with no equipment or past" lameness that's been done so many times before. Opening up the gate from a hellish world all through the countryside, you're told things like, "You must save him RIGHT NOW" but we still have the theme of do whatever you want so the invasion or execution or whatever will patiently wait until you go off and become head of every guild, visit every city a dozen times, or do whatever else you feel like. The main quest just doesn't feel right in this context. You'll also need to close many gates, and the sense of accomplishment for doing so is a bit boring, as each close the gate quest is almost the same.
Finally, we have an overall design flaw here. Usually, once your character gets above level 25 in any game, there is nothing left to challenge you, making the whole game extremely easy. Oblivion (tries) fixes this by making the monsters and treasures as your character does. So, a cave that would hold rats for your first level character holds trolls at a higher level. It sounds nice, but it creates new problems as well. First, the thrill of exploration drops off a bit; I know the monsters I meet and treasure I gather will all be set to my level, there's no danger in encountering something far too tough for me to defeat with a simple thumping, and there's no thrill of finding a great artifact far outside the power of my character. Second, the non-player characters generally aren't leveled. A number of missions grant you help from additional soldiers and such. If you're too high a level, the monsters you encounter will toss those soldiers around like confetti; leaving you all alone to deal with a horde of monsters (at least you can loot the soldiers corpses for extra gold). Curiously, the best counter to this is to design a character that does NOT go up levels. By basing your character around little used or unnecessary skills, you can get a character that goes up levels at a slow enough pace that you can see all the game has to offer; go up levels too quickly, and you'll miss many monsters that simply won't appear for high level characters.
So like I told you at the beginning, DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY! (The only reason I gave it a 2 was because of the lovely graphics!)
SummaryOblivion 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 de...