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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

Nov 20, 2007

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 “Mad God”. 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 – SPOILER ALERT – 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’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’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.

The towns and people here are just as friendly and demented as their ruler. The main city of Neo Sheoth is divided in two: the happy, druggy, artsy half known as Bliss, and the dreary, skinning-animals-for-fun half called Crucible. Each is protected by its own army of babes in metal bikinis - the Golden Saints and the Dark Seductresses - who naturally hate each other.

Nov 20, 2007

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 “Mad God”. 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 – SPOILER ALERT – 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’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’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.

The towns and people here are just as friendly and demented as their ruler. The main city of Neo Sheoth is divided in two: the happy, druggy, artsy half known as Bliss, and the dreary, skinning-animals-for-fun half called Crucible. Each is protected by its own army of babes in metal bikinis - the Golden Saints and the Dark Seductresses - who naturally hate each other.

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
Release date27 March 2007 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)