The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

aka: TES4
Moby ID: 21735
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

A lowly prisoner has been cast into the depths of the dungeon in the Imperial capital of the province Cyrodiil. The fate of this prisoner suddenly changed when Emperor Uriel Septim descended into the prison with his guards, fleeing from unknown assassins who have already slaughtered his children. But even an emperor cannot escape his destiny. Before the last assassin delivered the lethal strike, the old emperor entrusted the prisoner with the Amulet of Kings and asked him to find his illegitimate son, the last of the Septim bloodline. The Septims and the Amulet are the last barrier between the continent Tamriel and the dark dimension of Oblivion, and the delicate balance is threatened by the Daedra Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon, the prisoner being Tamriel's only hope.

Oblivion is the fourth title in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series. The game sticks to the style of its predecessors featuring action-based combat, first-person and third-person views, and vast free-roaming environments. The player's chosen race and class determine the abilities the protagonist has in the beginning. The game allows the player to develop multiple types of characters without being limited to a specific role.

The advancement system, as was the case in previous games, is based on skill usage. When the player repeatedly uses one of the skills, it improves. NPCs offer training (for a price) to help in advancing to the next stage. In time the protagonist can become an Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, and Master and gain certain bonuses for the skill. The skills of the foes are "leveled" to be approximately equal to or slightly above those of the main character.

There are numerous side quests that help the hero advance his or her abilities as well as gain fame. The player is free to roam the world without a particular goal, exploring towns, forts, caves, mines, and old temple ruins. Visiting shrines scattered around Tamriel grants the protagonist specialized skills, some permanent and some temporary.

Weapons and armor wear out with use and need to be repaired either with the help of special non-playable characters or by using an appropriately trained Armorer skill. Enhanced items (weapons, armor, clothing, rings, amulets) abound in the game for protection, resistance, reflection, and special activities like walking on water, exploring underwater, becoming invisible, or lightening the load. It is possible to open the gates to the Oblivion realm to grab their sigil stones, which can be used to make enhanced items. Higher-level mages can create their own spells and enchant weapons, armor, and clothing using filled soul gems in addition to sigil stones.

As opposed to Morrowind, mana points gradually regenerate over time, without the need to rest to replenish them. Active blocking has been added to melee combat. The game features full voice acting for all the NPCs. Dialogues typically contain fewer topics than in Morrowind, but more responses unique to different characters. In addition, the so-called "radiant AI" system makes characters follow their own schedules, engage in various activities, or talk to each other regardless of the player's input. The game features fast traveling, allowing the player to instantly visit Cyrodiil's major cities or previously explored areas.

Spellings

  • 上古卷轴IV:忘却之地 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 上古捲軸4:遺忘之都 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

285 People (239 developers, 46 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 93% (based on 174 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 284 ratings with 13 reviews)

Clear your calendar...

The Good
1. Extended Gameplay. Yes, the main storyline is on the short side (esp. when compared to RPG classics such as FFVII). However, the side quests and faction quests provide 100+ hours of extended game play. As well, purchasing the 'Game of the Year Edition' provides the Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles extensions to further propel the main quest.

  1. Graphics. Simply stated, the graphics are beautiful. It is no longer a monotonous burden to wander through the gaming wilderness.

  2. Customization. The character customization is ridiculously expansive. If you don't fall under a pre-made design, simply create your own character.

  3. Sound. The score is amazing.

    The Bad
    1. Leveling. If you use (and abuse) the character's main skill sets, your character will level insanely fast...and so will the monsters. Good luck to those who prefer to use pure-magic characters.

  4. Bugs. Yes, the 360 will lock up if played for 5+ hours. Save often. It is possible to jumble the quest lines. For instance, I forgot to ask for advancement following every quest in the fighter's guild story line and ended up not being able to be promoted to Master rank because of it. Tip: Buy the Prima Guide.

  5. Addiction. This game is ridiculously addictive.

  6. Oblivion Gates. There are too many of them and conquering them becomes a chore after closing 2 or 3.

    The Bottom Line
    I'm a graduate student who recently purchased an XBOX 360 "for fun." Thus, I own the system to play games like Halo 3, Call of Duty 3 & 4, and NCAA Football. However, this game caught my eye in Best Buy one day, so I started flipping through the Prima Guide. I really enjoyed the Final Fantasy series for Playstation 10 years ago, so I thought I'd give Oblivion a shot. What I didn't realize is how immersed one can get in the game. You start on the main quest line, but is so, oh so easy to get off track with one of the Guilds or Misc. quests. A great game, but make sure you clear your social calendar for a while.

Xbox 360 · by John Marquart (2) · 2008

Stunning

The Good
First of all, the graphics are breathtaking. Superb lighting effects, great 3D models, impressive textures. Second of all, the voice acting is just right, transporting you in the virtual world of Tamriel. The next game of the Elder Scrolls series keeps the races and classes from the previous versions, and adds great features such as horseback riding (present in Daggerfall, but removed from Morrowind) and an active cross-hair showing the health of the NPC (or monster), the possible actions with the NPC, and if it's OK to use an object or not (it turns red when you look at an object that's the property of an other NPC). The new combat system is just great, with the option of manually blocking an attack, and being able to cast a spell even if you have weapons / shields equipped. The story (with it's flaws) is perfectly integrated in the world of Tamriel and there's loads of books and scrolls that add to the Elder Scrolls lore.

The Bad
The bad things... The leveling system is a great idea, but it still allows you to turn your character into a "jack-of-all-trades". I mean there's actually no problem for your orcish character to sneak around pickpocketing people and braking into the NPC's houses, or to become a heavy armored, axe wielding wood elf. The requirements for this game are rather high, meaning that you need a high end system to play it. (Kind of restrictive, huh?) The story: You were a prisoner back in Morrowind. Come on, can't you guys come up with another setting for the start of the game?

The Bottom Line
This is like the ultimate single player RPG. If you enjoyed the previous Elder Scrolls titles, you should play this game. As for all of the game's problems, they'll surely be solved by the massive Elder Scrolls community through mods, just like the previous title, Morrowind.

Windows · by tata_lu_stefan_cel_mare (11) · 2006

Envious doesn't even describe what I feel about this game...

The Good
2nd Update

I remember the vastness of Ultima VI: The False Prophet, one of the few games that made an impression on my childhood. Now we have Oblivion that is like 1000 times bigger than the world introduced by Origin and their motto was "We create worlds". Boy, technology sure seems to go way fast.

Anyways, before I start there is something I need to say. I played Morrowind and Daggerfall (since they're one of those you love it or hate it kinda games). I wasn't quite too fond of the others, regardless playing those dang games for weeks/months. And most people I know don't want to touch Oblivion because of those bad experiences: Too big a world, but monotonous, linear, etc. When I heard about Oblivion, I wasn't too excited. Another Morrowind? Hah. Booring.

Needless to say, I was wrong. Dead wrong. And probably Oblivion was supposed to be what the developers had in mind in the first place, but were technologically speaking insufficient. So here we go. The good stuff.

Big IS Better
OK. This world is big. Huge, enormous. But being big is also boring for some games. Not in Oblivion. The level of graphical detail is amazing! You DO NOT GET BORED walking around without a purpose. You could stumble across ingredients for your alchemy, monsters (of course), undiscovered dungeons and temples. Or you could just watch the sun and the moon and be amazed at its beauty. Better still, if you watch it by the sea. Now if there's a place I would want to take my girl out, its at sunset in Anvil (a seaside port city in Oblivion). Geeky me!

Non-linear
Well, every game is technically linear. Especially when it comes to RPGs. It's as linear at the primary mission. What makes a game un-linear as so introduced by games like Final Fantasy is the choice to do something else BESIDES the primary mission. This is what makes Oblivion fantastic! There are Guild quests, Side quests, didn't know that was a quest - quests. Boy, this game has a lot of quests. And a lot of those quests take a looong time to complete, but it's not just about defeat this and take that item. A lot have stories. Which is why this game is very good. This game has a lot of dang stories. Weird stories, funny stories, sad stories. All embedded in those multitude of quests.

Options in how you want to finish a quest is also plentiful. You can kill the dude, steal from the dude, ignore the dude. Depends on how you want to finish the job. Though some aren't that optional, but there are other ways. I play Oblivion with 2 other friends, we all have different tastes. And for a game like Oblivion (and other game for that matter) is to have other people you know try stuff you would never even think of trying or is against your "rules of engagement" in playing games.

Graphics
Mentioned it before. Not a particular fan of eye-candy. The game doesn't have eye-candy. The game does have "graphical detail" which to me is different than eye candy. Eye-candy doesn't astound you. Graphical detail does. Graphical detail makes you respect the developers that spent months creating something that made you "feel" the atmosphere of the world of Oblivion. Even more amazing is that I played Oblivion at the graphical minimum settings. I can't imagine what more settings would make the game feel like.

Artificial Intelligence
This game rocks! All the beings in Oblivion have a standard of going places, doing things. Needs work though I tell you, but you know the AI is very beneficial when you're running to the city gates being chased by Ogres and Goblins and the City Guards run to help you fight them off. If you're pissed at the Guards, you can hit one of them and run to the nearest guild (of which you're a member of) and see everyone fight each other. This is anarchy in the making!

Personalized Voice-overs and Dialogs
Though you tend to notice sooner or later that a lot of dialogs are repeatable as well as the voice-overs. The magnitude of those that aren't repeated is incomparable though.

Many dialogs also have very funny stories/comments, which apparently was created out of fun by the developers. Here's one of my favorites:

    Dark Elf Shopkeeper: "Do you know what the fine is for Necrophilia?" My answer: "Is this your first time offence?" Dark Elf: "Let's say, yes?" My answer: "Then its around 500 gold coins." Dark Elf: "That's much cheaper than in Morrowind! Thanks!"



The Bad
Unfortunately, the game has a lot of irritating factors too. Among others but in no particular order.

Game Difficulty
About 38 hours later I discovered that you can adjust the game difficulty (doh) - in game. Which is fine, what is not fine is that the enemies don't really adjust to your abilities. The default game difficulty is somewhat too easy. You need to adjust the difficulty a bit more to the right (although adjusting the difficulty to maximum means you couldn't kill that rat no matter what you do).

Another thing is that most of the game difficulty heavily relies on your armor and theirs. Daedra are difficult only because they wear Daedric Armor. If they were naked, they are a little easy to kill. There appears to be an unbalanced use between armor/weapon and skills.

Horses
Oooh, you can ride a horsey. Yay! Er, but that's about it. You can ride them but can't do anything on them. Can't fight on horses, can't cast spells on horses. The driving mechanism is lame (can't move it like your walking). In fact for me, horses have no use what so ever in Oblivion. Can't even get horse meat if you kill a horse (Alchemy reasons). So personally for me I just walk all over the place. Takes longer, but at least you get have time gathering herbs. This is of course, subjective taste...and I wasn't referring to the horse meat :)

Sound and Music
The sound and music in Oblivion isn't one of its strong suits in the game. If I were to say so far, it doesn't fulfill the magnificence the game represents. Oblivion is an "epic" kind of game. While the music for example is almost always the "prologue" kind of music. Never does it hit the "epic" level you hear in epic movies. The sound is so-so. Standard nothing worth mentioning. When it comes to sound and music, nothing ground-breaking happening here.

3rd Person Perspective
You can change your perspective from 1st person to 3rd person. 3rd person is somewhat fun when you're travelling. But when it comes to combat. You always go to 1st person. Why, because the game mechanics weren't made for 3rd person combat. You can't fight very well in this perspective. You can't target you're spells for example, unless you're right in front of the enemy. Even that, you can still miss since you're assuming the direction the spell is going.

Note: I finally realized that for melee special attacks, its actually easier in 3rd Person Perspective. Doesn't work very well in 1st Person Perspective. Now this is quite confusing since now both perspectives have pro's and con's. Someone obviously forgot to mention a combat tutorial somewhere...

Character leveling up
Hmmm, I recall in Morrowind even Minor skills can help you level up in the game. In Oblivion only Major skills effect your leveling up. Pretty stupid from where I'm standing. I'd like to think every little detail effects you. Oh well. This also means there's a faster level cap for Oblivion than previous games...something I'm personally do not like.

Where's my teleport spell?
Mind you, I haven't installed any mods or patches so the version I got didn't have a freaking teleport spell. A game this big and no teleport spell? Hello, what were you developers thinking?

Useless Skills
There are a lot of useless skills in the game however. Speechcraft, Security, etc. Since these can be replaced by certain magical spells. In fact a lot of skills can be replaced by magical spells. In fact come to think of it, you cannot survive this game WITHOUT magical spells. This game is too heavily dependent on magic. There's no way you can defeat an enemy fast without casting a spell or two. This is self evident when you increase your level and try comparing between melee skills and magical skills. More than often, magical spells tend to kill the bloke faster than whacking the monster with an over-sized tree branch.

Re-spawning Items
Well, most of you may disagree, but I personally like that fact that the house I just robbed should REMAIN empty!!! This only applies to items in chests, drawers or any storage object. Items here apparently re-spawn after several days (around a week, I think).

Fan Mod Dependent
If you check out the fan mods created for this game, you'd be surprised at how creative our fellow gamers are. What saddens me is that a lot of those mods should've been minimal standards for the original game release. You really need to do a LOT OF DOWNLOADING to fully appreciate the experience this game has to offer.

Inventory Chaos
Yep. This inventory in this game is somewhat chaotic. The screen isn't very nice, somewhat needs to be more user-friendly: The fonts, the quick linking, etc.

Alchemy Chaos
Yikes, creating Alchemy Potions here is a complete nightmare! My kingdom for an in-game recipe feature, easier filters for ingredients, etc.

Quick-Button Limitation
Now this is the most stupid feature in Oblivion. For a game that has a lot of weapons/spells/items, you really need to switch between one item to the other fast, right? Right. The thing is, you only have 9 Quick Buttons. What? Only 9? You need 2-3 for weapons, 2-3 for potions, at least 20 for spells (hehe). This limited Quick Button feature really is bad, since there are a lot of buttons on the keyboard waiting to be assigned. They shouldn've learned a thing or two from Neverwinter Nights about Quick Buttons.

The Bottom Line
If RPG is the name of your game, this game is the best PC RPG game since Fable. This game will keep you busy for weeks if not months.

Note: If you require low-level intelligence RPGs (hack and slash RPGs) then this probably isn't the RPG for you...

Windows · by Indra was here (20768) · 2006

[ View all 13 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Incorrect group “Gameplay feature: Fishing”? cawa Aug 2, 2023
Odd inclusion in game groups. Indra was here (20768) Sep 8, 2009
The Real Barenziah Unicorn Lynx (181794) Oct 8, 2008
Glowing faces? Daniel Saner (3503) Dec 28, 2007
Perspective DreinIX (10474) Dec 26, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled PSP version

A PSP version was in development and planned for release in the Spring of 2007, but it was eventually cancelled with no official word.

Development

The game has been in development since mid 2002. The long period of development was necessary due to the implementation of a new Radiant AI system and the graphics. A player may encounter while travelling the world of Tamriel: 35.544 shrubs and bushes, 67.730 plants and mushrooms, 94.013 trees and fallen logs, 395,696 rocks and about 1500 NPCs.

DLC

As a part of Xbox Live's Deal of The Week, Bethesda Softworks released all Oblivion downloadable content for half the price in April 2009. For Horse Armor however, the price was doubled, proving that Bethesda didn't take the criticism against their first DLC pricing too seriously.

ESRB

On 05/03/2006, the ESRB re-rated this game from T (Teen) to M (Mature) and added a "Nudity" attribute because of a secret topless skin that is present on the game media and because there is allegedly more blood and gore in the actual game than shown in the video footage that was originally presented to the ESRB for rating.

This is the second Take-Two game that has undergone an ESRB re-rating, the first one being the notorious Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

German version

One book found in the property of a killed necromancer, called "Wälzer des Unlebens" in the German version, contains just bloody drawings of symbols. In the German version, they were replaced a sentence describing the symbols.

References

The 'Shadow over Hackdirt' quest makes several references to one of the most famous novel by HP Lovecraft: The Shadow over Innsmouth. There are references to the 'Deep Ones', the Brethren, a whole town of suspicious people, caverns underneath the earth and so on.

References to the game

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 08/2006.

Title

By highlighting certain letters, it is made clear in the menu menu that it is no coincidence Bethesda chose the title "OblIVion" for the fourth main game in the Elder Scrolls series.

Awards

  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2007 - #2 Game of the Year 2006
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • February 01, 2007 - Best Console RPG in 2006 (Readers' Vote)
  • Games for Windows Magazine
    • March 2007 - Game of the Year 2006
  • GameSpy
    • 2006 – #8 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – PC Game of the Year (Gamers' Vote)
    • 2006 – #2 PC Game of the Year
    • 2006 – #10 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – PC RPG of the Year
    • 2006 – PC RPG of the Year (Gamers' Vote)
    • 2006 – Xbox 360 RPG of the Year
    • 2006 – PC Mod of the Year (for Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/2008 - One of the "10 Coolest Levels" (for "A Brush with Death" because it connects simple technical variations with a big passion for stories. )
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2006 - Ultimate Game of the Year
    • 2006 - PC Game of the Year
    • 2006 - Console Game of the Year
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2007 – Best RPG/Adventure in 2006
    • Issue 03/2007 – Best RPG/Adventure in 2006 (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by EboMike, karttu, Mad Griffith, MDMaster, PCGamer77, piltdown_man and tata_lu_stefan_cel_mare

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Spartan_234.

Xbox One, Xbox Cloud Gaming added by Sciere. PlayStation 3 added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Sciere, UV, Aubustou, tata_lu_stefan_cel_mare, lord of daedra, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack.

Game added March 22, 2006. Last modified February 13, 2024.