developer: Bethesda Softworks
Game mode: single player
Oblivion is the fourth installment in a popular cRPG series held in very high esteem by many fans of the genre. The title, just as the entire franchise, was created by Bethesda Game Studios.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is set in Cyrodiil, the capital province of the Empire ruling the Tamriel continent. After its last emperor suffered an untimely demise from the hands of mysterious assassins, the throne was left empty. This unfortunate situation would be bad enough as it is, allowing separatistic and anarchistic movements to spread within the empire. In this particular case, however, things are even worse – without a ruler of the imperial bloodline performing an important ritual, the gates of Oblivion (a local counterpart of the Hell) will soon stand open, enabling all sorts of vile beasts penetrate the mortal world. Easy to guess, a massive cataclysm is in the air, and the realm needs a hero. Your mission is to find a rightful heir to the throne of Tamriel and make him the next emperor.
Like all previous installments in the series, Oblivion is characterized by the huge freedom of choice it offers. This includes character creation and progression, exploration, abundance of side quests you can undertake outside of the main plot. You can become a warrior, archer, summoner, wizard, healer, rogue – or a combination of all these. Nothing stands in your way to join many different guilds at the same time and climb up in their ranks. Whatever you do impacts not only the character you control, but also the surroundings. The game’s world is inhabited by nearly 1,000 NPCs, who make choices independently, based on their personality traits, the place they live in and the results of their previous interactions with other persons. All this was possible thanks to the Radiant Artificial Intelligence system.
The game’s world is massive, offering many diverse locations, each with individually shaped terrain and unique ecosystem. Moreover, each is inhabited by a community possessing its own history, culture, and politics. More than 40 species of monsters roam this vast world. Many quests and dungeons are randomly generated each time you start the game, and even the places that you have already visited change over time. Your character can travel by foot, on horse, or simply by paying a carrier. Oblivion also offers a new type of map and a dynamic compass showing the distance to your destination or quest-related characters.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion employs the full potential of DirectX 9.0 libraries, which allowed the developers to implement various visual effects that emphasize the unique character of the fantasy land you traverse, as well as fluent character animations, their mimics and gestures. Physics simulation is implemented based on the popular Havok Engine. Besides, the game is complemented with an editor, The Elder Scrolls Construction Set, which allows for modifying various elements of the world, changing personalities of characters and monsters, adding new locations and items, and creating you own worlds.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 3 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card 128MB (GeForce 6600 or better), 4.6 GB HDD, Windows 2000/XP
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live