I was never much into role-playing. Sure, I’ve played a few, such as Knights of the Old Republic and PokÃ©mon (on the GameBoy Pocket, which shows how old school I am; it was also a long time ago, so don’t look at me like that), but that was about the extent of it. No, I was never a big Dungeons & Dragons guy. I may have been a nerd, but I wasn’t that much of one.
Anyways, I’ve been hearing a lot recently about Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, a fantasy-themed RPG that actually came out sometime in 2005. On all the forums I frequent, Oblivion was highly recommended, even to people, like me, who weren’t that into role-playing. Forget World of Warcraft; this was the big one. So I figured I’d buy it. To my surprise, every store I went to still had the game priced at $50, the same price it was at two years ago. For most computer games, the price drops sharply after a few months, from $50 to $30, and from there to $9.99 or less in a bargain bin, depending on how good the game is. For a game like Oblivion to stay that expensive for so long was actually a good sign. Usually means it’s still in high demand.
Being the penny-pincher I am, I bought my copy on Amazon, saving a good deal of money on the collector’s edition of the game. Now, one thing about Oblivion is that it looks stunning. The lighting (HDR, baby), the textures, the facial features of the characters…if you’ve got all the graphics options turned all the way up, you’re going to be floored. I’ve seen in-game screenshots of the game and wondered if they were renders. That’s how good the graphics are. Even on my mid-range laptop video card, it still looks pretty awesome. About on the level with Half-Life 2: Episode One, which is a bit newer.
So I installed the game, and immediately ran into problems. Luckily, it wasn’t a problem with Vista or anything, and it was easily solvable. For some reason, my Install Shield directory was corrupt, so I found a quick fix and everything worked great from then on.
In short: the game is awesome. I never thought role-playing would be so much fun. Heck, I didn’t even think it was possibly to make a first-person sword-swinging game. I ran into that with old Jedi Knight games, and it wasn’t very cool swinging a lightsaber in first-person mode. But in Oblivion, it’s freakin’ amazing. The main storyline itself is very in-depth and gripping (and it has Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean doing voicework), and the side quests keep the game going long after the main quest is over. I’ve dropped 50+ hours into this game since I bought it a couple weeks ago, which is unheard of for any game I have. Of course, that’s because Oblivion didn’t end with the main story (like KotOR did) or get insanely boring (like Freelancer did).
There’s just not enough I can say about this game. It’s definitely topped my list of favorite games. I just wish I had a better computer so I could crank up the graphics more. I’ll have to up my sneak skill and go get me some parts…