The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion review

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your role-playing life

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Character and geographic freedom

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    Never a dull moment

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    Startling amount of content


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    End-game frustration for stealth folks

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    Occasional framerate dips

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    Say goodbye to everything else

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Remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes to hell and is sentenced to eat donuts for eternity, only to find that all of the Krispy Kremes in the fiery abyss cannot quell his unending hankering for the fried doughy treats? Well it won't be long after you start playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion before you're just like the animated éclair-scarfer, except you'll be in hell fighting monsters and it'll be your penchant for adventuring and treasure hunting that'll be insatiable.

For as grand as Oblivion is in its scope, it's equally compelling in its execution. Its depth is immediately apparent as you start by creating any character you like, beginning with a race (such as the battle-ready Redguard, the bow-and-arrow expertise of the High Elf, or the innate stealthy traits of the catlike Khajiit). Soon you'll choose a class, be it a warrior, wizard, thief or any custom combination you'd care to conjure, and then you'll select your birth sign (read: special ability).

Once you've escaped the initial dungeon - a necessary but not overly drawn-out rat-killing trek during which the game instructs you on the basics of blocking, spell casting, sneaking and more - the hand-holding eases and you're free to roam the great outdoors. Here, you canseek out the heir to the vacant throne of the land and quash the hell-spawned threat that could destroy the world. And with only a cursory glance, you'll see that it's a world very much worth saving.

More info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionThe fourth Elder Scrolls entry is utterly brilliant and should not be missed by any adventure-spirited gamer.
Platform"PC","Xbox 360","PS3","PSP"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"","","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)