Okay, where to start. I figured that there was no need for me to review this game as it is so successful, but, as always, All the Steam reviews on the front of the store page are one to two sentenced jokes instead of something actually helpful. Please thumbs-up this, if you like this review, for visibility.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Knowledge of prior storylines are not needed to enjoy Oblivion, though a working understanding of TES world lore will always enhance your experience in any of The Elder Scrolls games. A good idea is to just read some of the in-game books, from time to time, as you play the game. Some of the fictional books are amazing little detours from the game world. Oblivion and Morrowind are less fantasy experience and more-so a virtual world that you live
in. With mods, this experience feels more real to me than some of the Dungeons and Dragons campaigns I've played. It's incredibly easy to get immersed into this work.
Oblivion's main story leaves some to be desired. You are a prisoner who meets the Emperor (voiced by Patrick Stewart) and his guards as he flees a rumored assassination attempt through hidden tunnels in the Imperial City prison. Suffice it to say, that its' not really a spoiler that you witness the Emperor's assassination. Before the Emperor's death, he tells you that you are fated by the gods to save the Empire and "close shut the jaws of Oblivion". Long story short, you flee the tunnels and are sent to track down the Emperor's last remaining illegitimate heir (voiced by Sean Bean) as well as pretty much single-handedly repel the invasion of Daedra from Mehrunes Dagon’s hellish plane of Oblivion.
However, in classic Elder Scrolls fashion, the main quest isn’t even the largest part of the game. The entire Imperial province of Cyrodiil is open to you for exploration. There are many guilds to join, whether or not you want to be a mercenary, a mage, a thief, an assassin, or a holy crusader. There is an abundance of miscellaneous side and freeform quests for you to do. I recommend the purchase of a strategy guide, not so that you’ll have a walkthrough, but because you’ll need some way to keep track of where everything is! There are many quests and areas that you will miss if you don’t scour the world for them. You can easily spend around 350 hours if you finish all of the main, side, and faction quests as well as the DLC. Many people just wander across the world, not even touching the main story.
The mechanics have long applauded as an improvement over Morrowind, level scaling aside. Morrowind offers a better story and atmosphere, while Oblivion offers a more modern experience. The graphics are a bit dated by today’s standards, but I still sometimes catch myself stunned by the beauty of Cyrodiil. Skills are a lot more streamlined than Morrowind, which I consider a negative trait, although it does make the game friendlier to newcomers. Combat is not as bad as so many people claim. To me, it really feels like I’m actually swinging the sword. The magic system is a lot simpler than Morrowind’s but a lot easier to use. It is not as good as Skyrim’s magic system, but still useful.
The DLC The Knights of the Nine and The Shivering Isles far
trump Oblivion’s main quest. Knights of the Nine puts on a holy crusade to fight against Umariil the Unfeathered, an ancient Ayleid elf who has come to try to enslave men once more. The Shivering Isles sends you to the frankly breathtaking realm of Sheogorath, the Daedric “Mad God”. Most of the dialogue in The Shivering Isles will have you chuckling to yourself and smiling. And the atmosphere of the realm brings nostalgia from Morrowind to mind.
Now, I am going to discuss mods. Oblivion’s modding scene is unparalleled by Morrowind or Skyrim. There are enormous overhaul mods, plenty of lore friendly stories, and enthralling and immersive stories and factions. You can even reach an added five or six hundred more hours if you play through some quality mods. Morroblivion, brings the entire landmass of the previous game, Morrowind, as well as all of it’s quests, items, NPCs, creatures, etc. You can then travel between the two provinces with your same character. Other mods add some of the other provinces from Tamriel. And a few mods have been so well rated that they’ve become known as unofficial expansion packs.
Oblivion is an astounding RPG that will draw you in and stick with you for a long, long time. The replayability of Oblivion is excellent. The game was released eight years ago and I am still playing it to this day. You will not regret buying this game. Get the Deluxe pack for $25 that comes with all the DLC, themed player lairs, and, yes, even horse armor. It is well worth the price and you will get your money’s worth over and over again.