The Elder Scrolls are quintessential role-playing games for young and old video gamers alike. Whether you like riding dragons or not, whether you like crawling dungeons or not, at some stage in your gaming life you'll have a peek at The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The game series has cult following, with about 4 million copies sold and has evolved a world unto itself... The Kingdom of Tamriel is in grave danger (as usual), a hero will rise (you of course)to save the day and have a good time in doing so (could be worse day jobs).
Playability: Galloping with hair in the wind
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is smooth as a jolly gait to play with. You can zoom out to third person view or zoom in to first person to bulls-eye your nasty enemies with all manners of bolts and arrows. There are few games that can combine first and third person smoothly. I prefer third person as first person immersion usually makes me grab for an airplane bag...
Annoyance: Ye olde apple pie
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion caters to a broad range of gamers. Difficulty setting ranges from ridiculously easy (great for old video gamers) where a staff strike fells a dragon, to ludicrously masochistic (great for your pimply teenage kids). There are tons of side quests for fastidious knights who like to look under every table and peep into every drawer. For those who don't want to spend their life in Oblivion, just following the lengthy main quest will quickly gratify them with a feeling of mission accomplished.
Beauty: Mr Potato
Let's be honest. Without the labor of love of thousands of adoring fan, The Elder Scrolls IV would have been sent to Oblivion a long time ago. Take for example, the more than 2000 bugs fixed by unofficial patches... The base game has beautiful atmospheric scenery, but the series was never renowned for the looks of its characters, unless Mr Potato is your ideal of beauty... All of this can be easily fixed with the right mods ("files made by enthusiasts to alter the program code the game in order to make it operate in a manner different to its original version"). Okay, sounds nerdy, and you probably don't want to use your budding knowledge of mods as a pick up line... Nevertheless, you'll be falling head over heals for the characters once you've downloaded facial textures and other higher definition files.
The Old Video Gamer's Prattle: Endless epic - 70/100 points
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is at times overwhelming. It is definitely not a casual game, more like a video game equivalent of Leo Tolstoy's sagas. The game is a page turner but it is demanding in times and commitment. Gamers who like tinkering will feel right at home with tons of mods available to tweak Oblivion to their specific tastes. Need more generously endowed female characters? got it... Need more hairstyles and tattoos? no problem... Butterflies and birds with realistic weather? already done... Better looking architecture? sure thing...
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