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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion review

Year-old port or not, this huge role-playing epic is one of the most cutting-edge, immersive games ever made

Pros

  • Huge
  • open-ended world
  • 200 hours of game
  • easy
  • Intense graphical detail

Cons

  • No downloadable stuff? Fail.
  • 200 NPCs and maybe ten voices
  • Looks detailed
  • but plain

It's still fantastic. We didn't think it would be, but it is. Despite the fact that we played the PC and 360 versions over a year ago - for nearly 200 hours and counting, incidentally - and despite the fact that we should be completely fed up with this game by now, the PS3 version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has sucked us in all over again. But that's okay, because after massive fantasy role-player, pretty much every non-MMO game on the planet seems small, hollow, and a little bit stupid.

Oblivion's major strength is something that should be a total weakness: it's almost completely aimless. Oh, sure: there's a story, for sure. It's about saving the world from invading demons, which keep popping in from another dimension through flaming portals strewn about the countryside. But you don't actually have to follow it unless you want to.

In the meantime, you can go do your own thing: work your way up through the Fighters', Mages', Thieves', or Assassins' Guilds if you like. That last one has many of the game's greatest quests, by the way, filled with dark motives, surprising twists and at least one brilliant, conversation-based puzzle.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThe fourth Elder Scrolls entry is utterly brilliant and should not be missed by any adventure-spirited gamer.
PlatformPC, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP
US censor ratingMature
Release date21 March 2006 (US), 24 March 2006 (UK)