Game Review: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


By Ramzi Maducdoc
          The Elder Scrolls series has received quite a transcendent status in the gaming community. Some of the greatest RPGs of all time have come from this series. The three most recent installations of the series, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, are all masterpieces in their own rights.
          The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, released in 2002, was the first of the 3D open world masterpieces of Bethesda. For its time, Morrowind was incredibly detailed and advanced for the technology of the times. Its creators have stated that this project of theirs took “close to 100 man years to create.”
          The following title of the series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, was released on PC in 2006 and received instant praise from critics, improving on technological aspects while also using the same excellent storytelling foundation that Morrowind set.
          It was not until The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, when the series really jumped into mainstream gaming culture. The world was huge, graphics and game engine improved, and the same signature Bethesda storytelling was also present.
          Many fans today debate which of these games provided the most fun in consideration of the technology available for their time. Each one has a good argument in its own right, but Oblivion remains endeared in many hearts.
          In terms of playability today, critics question how well Morrowind has aged. Meanwhile it is generally agreed that Skyrim and Oblivion both are worthwhile, playable experiences today considering how far technology has advanced. Because Skyrim was the most recent release, and is still enjoyed today, the argument for Oblivion’s playability remains a question.
          Coming from Skyrim first, the most immediate difference I noticed while playing Oblivion was the fluidness of character movements and animations. The animations seemed rough and almost inanimate compared to those in Skyrim. That characteristic to me was the most noticable difference between the two games.

          Besides the awkward dialogue played by the same twenty or so voice actors, and the even more hilarious sudden conversation initiation scenes, which have notably been made fun of over the years, Oblivion’s storytelling was compelling and impactful. There are also more quests to venture on in Oblivion, more spells to learn and master, and a nostalgia factor for certain fans that will always keep them returning to this game.
          Overall, Oblivion was a memorable experience for its astute storytelling qualities and sheer content. If one can look past and endure the stiff animations and at times awkward dialogue, then they are in for quite an adventure.