The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
|Platforms:||PlayStation, Xbox 360, PC|
We all know how awesome can open world role playing games be. Beautiful and large areas just waiting to be explored, cities full of life, NPC's with lot of different characters, whole cultures with different customs and on top of that loads of quests to complete. Bethesda Softworks is without a doubt one of the companies that made open world video games so popular - in this case thanks to The Elder Scrolls series. Even though Fallout also falls (literally) into this category, it was Bethesda's decision to push all chips onto Morrowind that ensured continuation of the series, which in 2006 resulted in releasing Oblivion.
It has been 600 years since the Vvanderfell events. Tension mounts in the center of the Cyrodiil Empire. All the sons of an emperor Uriel Septim VII were murdered. On top of that there have been reports about gates of Oblivion being opened all over the country. This is why emperor decides to flee from the Imperial City, using secret network of catacombs. Entrance to catacombs is inside one of the cells in the city's prison. The one which is currently your place of stay. Emperor recognizes you as person from his own dreams and considers the encounter an act of fate. Soon after this he entrusts you with Amulet of Kings and an important quest of finding his last bastard son who is the very last living successor for the throne. Immediately afterwards Emperor is murdered by assassins. You must find this last hope for the Empire and prevent invasion from daedric Prince of Destruction.
Cyrodill is a heart of the whole Septim Empire. It is divided into nine large parts, each with its own city. Whole world is filled with caves, strongholds, shrines, ruins and villages. You can finally use fast travel feature which wasn't available in Morrowind and which now enables you to visit places you've already discovered just by clicking the map icon.
Another news is first use of Radiant A.I., a system that reacts on player's choices in game's world based on his current level of experience. For instance if you receive a quest where you have to visit an unexplored area, this area is populated with enemies the moment you take the quest, balancing them according to game difficulty and player's level. Radiant A.I. was fully utilized in the last part of the series and in later Bethesda games.
Apart from famous guild foursome and their quest lines where Morag Tong was just replaced by Dark Brotherhood, there is now an arena. Player can undergo various life and death duels eventually earning the title of Grand Champion. It's fun and a good relax if you are not eager to continue in the main story line, because that can sometimes be surprisingly difficult. And the reason is... yes, you guessed it - bugs and glitches.
Even those that prevent you from finishing the game were not missing from Oblivion in early version of the game, but hey, most big open world RPG games have this downside. It's almost embarrassing including this unpleasant information in every article, but sadly you have to agree it's something worth mentioning. As usual, last patch fixed the worst. A-bomb, vampirism, Glitch of Doom, they are all gone, but they will never be erased from the internet history.
Oblivin is one of those games you can play so many times, sacrifice dozens of hours of your life and many evenings and the odds are you will never regret it.