TODO alt text

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Shivering Isles review

Branching out into Oblivion

Pros

  • Interesting new environment
  • Fresh enemies
  • gear
  • goodies
  • Left-of-center missions

Cons

  • Same voice actors? Argh.
  • Price isn't cheap
  • No guild halls or horses

There are more than 160 missions in the original Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but the one everyone remembers is the errand you ran for the Daedric prince Sheogorath, also known as the %26ldquo;Mad God%26rdquo;. Why? Because it starts with a bunch of people in the woods wearing only their underwear, moves on to the planet's stinkiest cheese, and ends with %26ndash; SPOILER ALERT %26ndash; a hailstorm of flaming German Shepherds. There were other great missions, but this was the one that everyone talked about and made sure their friends all played.

Thus, when you learn that Shivering Isles, the game%26rsquo;s first full-on expansion pack, takes place in the home realm of that same divine nut-job Sheogorath, it should come as no surprise that this expansion is A) pound-for-pound, the most creative and interesting Oblivion content in existence, and B) a must-buy.

The quest begins when you hear a rumor - incidentally, you don't hear it from a particular person. Just install the expansion and wait a day or two, maybe take a nap - about an odd portal on an island near Bravil. Everyone who goes through it comes back unhinged, if at all. Naturally, you dive right in.

Two things define the Shivering Isles: creativity and duality. Everything here mirrors the double-sided persona of its creator: that of a whimsical, brilliant artist, and that of a psychotic killer. Thus, the northern half is colorful, with trees that always look like it%26rsquo;s fall. The southern half is gray and black, with barren trees sticking out of gloomy marshes.

There are new alchemy ingredients everywhere, including two elements: madness ore and amber, which can both be made into sexy, powerful new armor and weapons. Those will come in handy when vivisecting enemies like psychedelically-hued mantis-ants, frog men and exploding monster skeletons.

There are more than 160 missions in the original Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but the one everyone remembers is the errand you ran for the Daedric prince Sheogorath, also known as the %26ldquo;Mad God%26rdquo;. Why? Because it starts with a bunch of people in the woods wearing only their underwear, moves on to the planet's stinkiest cheese, and ends with %26ndash; SPOILER ALERT %26ndash; a hailstorm of flaming German Shepherds. There were other great missions, but this was the one that everyone talked about and made sure their friends all played.

Thus, when you learn that Shivering Isles, the game%26rsquo;s first full-on expansion pack, takes place in the home realm of that same divine nut-job Sheogorath, it should come as no surprise that this expansion is A) pound-for-pound, the most creative and interesting Oblivion content in existence, and B) a must-buy.

The quest begins when you hear a rumor - incidentally, you don't hear it from a particular person. Just install the expansion and wait a day or two, maybe take a nap - about an odd portal on an island near Bravil. Everyone who goes through it comes back unhinged, if at all. Naturally, you dive right in.

Two things define the Shivering Isles: creativity and duality. Everything here mirrors the double-sided persona of its creator: that of a whimsical, brilliant artist, and that of a psychotic killer. Thus, the northern half is colorful, with trees that always look like it%26rsquo;s fall. The southern half is gray and black, with barren trees sticking out of gloomy marshes.

There are new alchemy ingredients everywhere, including two elements: madness ore and amber, which can both be made into sexy, powerful new armor and weapons. Those will come in handy when vivisecting enemies like psychedelically-hued mantis-ants, frog men and exploding monster skeletons.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThis 30-hour campaign is the first proper expansion pack for the enormo-adventure, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and a must-play for anyone, even if you didn't finish the main game.
PlatformPC, Xbox 360, PS3
US censor ratingMature, Mature, Mature
UK censor rating, ,
Release date:27 March 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:Xbox 360
Genre:Role Playing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
We recommend