The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

A first/third person role playing game where you can live in the fantasy world of Cyrodiil. Be a wizard or a knight. Be a good guy or a bad guy. Do this quest or that quest. It is all up to you.

Release Date

March 2006.

Pros

A very very very large game. And it has an open gameplay structure. You can choose to complete the main story quests or complete the many many side quests. After completing the main quest, the game keeps going, so you can finish all the other many side quests. Although not the first game to do so, Oblivion does have some quests that can be completed in different ways, including failing the quest.

Excellent music. It really adds to the atmosphere for the game.

Excellent graphics. Even though I cannot run it on full, the game simply looks beautiful. The outside scenery, interior of buildings and dungeons, the animals, people and monsters, it all looks great. Of course we also have to thank the map designers and character builders for the good looks.

Lots and lots of mods to try. Check out The Elder Scrolls Nexus

There is day and night cycles with lighting changes depending on the time. The time also affects when shops are open and whether people are a sleep or roaming around. Daytime also affects you badly if you are a vampire.

There are nice weather effects.

Lots of classes, lots of skills.

Cons

You can tell this game was designed for gaming consoles. It only uses a handful of keys on the keyboard. Just like enabling modding for the PC version, they should have used more keys for shortcuts and make them customisable.

There are a few buggy quests. Luckily there are mods out there to fix some of them.

The patch that comes with the Knights of the Nine DVD did not work. I had to download another patch and reinstall the whole Oblivion because it stuffed up the game.

Other Points

Knights of the Nine adds extra quests and locations and stuff. I am really not sure if it adds a lot of value to the plain Oblivion because I never played plain Oblivion by itself.

Some people in the game can die and when they do, it is permanent. This is all nice and real but it also means that if a shopkeeper dies, that is one less person you can sell stuff to.

Biases

Reviewed version 1.2.0416 of game.

I really liked Baldur’s Gate 1, 2 and expansions.

I also liked Lands of Lore 3, Might and Magic 3, 4 and 5.

I have never played any of the other Elder Scrolls games.

I have completed the main storyline campaign.

Mods used:

    1. Auto potion.
    2. Harvest flora.
    3. Harvest containers.
    4. Unofficial Oblivion Patch.
    5. BTMod.

DRM

The disc must be in the drive to play.

Patches

1.2.0416. UK/EU/Aussie – Patches the game up to version 1.2.0416 for UK, Europe and Aussie versions of the game.

1.2.0416. Other versions of the game – No comment.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box)

  • Windows XP
  • 512MB System RAM
  • 2Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
  • 128MB Direct3D compatible video card and DirectX 9.0 compatible driver
  • 8x DVD-ROM drive
  • 4.6 GB free hard disk space
  • DirectX 9.0c (included)
  • DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card
  • Keyboard, Mouse

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

Handy Tips

If you have a joystick connected to the PC and you do not want Oblivion to detect it, go to the My Documents\My Games\Oblivion folder, edit the Oblivion.ini file. Look for the line bUse Joystick=1 and change the “1” to “0”. Found this from 2K Support.

Recommended Mods

Auto Potion – Automatically use potions when your health or magicka is too low. Very handy.

Harvest Flora – When you harvest plants and herbs and stuff, they visibly disappear so you can see that they have been harvested.

Harvest Containers – When you search boxes and other containers, you can see that they have been searched.

Unofficial Oblivion Patch – It fixes a lot of bugs that was not fixed by the 1.2.0416 official patch.

BTmod – Improves the games user interface to be easier to use.

Free Levelling – Monsters and loot of different levels appear randomly. So when you are at low level, you will encounter high level monsters and get high level loot. This makes the game a lot harder when you first start off. Not recommended for first time players, but it is good fun once you know the ins and outs of Oblivion.

Bank of Cyrodiil – Gives a nice bank for you to deposit gold and get interest. You can also buy a safe deposit chest to dump stuff, which is the same as buying a house but cheaper. I get missing textures or meshes, but other than the cosmetic problem, the mod works fine.

CM Partners Mod Basic – Provides companions to join you in your quest. You can get multiple companions to join and they can be commanded to do many things. With extra people fighting with you, it also means the game’s balance is thrown off. A small price to pay for some extra fun.

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