Its week five, which means its time to talk about a game begining with the letter ‘E’! This was a bit of a challenge, as I haven’t played that many games beginning with ‘E’. Fortunately, one of my favourite games of all time does begin with ‘E’ and I haven’t yet recommeneded it in one of my recommendation posts. Can you guess what it could be? Well, let’s take a look!
I’m going to get straight to the point, this week’s game is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I suspect for long time readers of this blog, this won’t come as much of a surprise. There was a point, back when I was aminly playing games on the Xbox 360, where I had sort of fallen out of love with RPGs. I don’t really know what had happened, I just struggled to find one that captured my attention and heart, liek some previosue games had. Then I picked up The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and it wasn’t long before I remembered why I loved the RPG genre so much.
In Oblivion, you start the game as a prisoner in the Imperial dungeons. Fortunately for you, a strange turn of events, which includes running through the sewers with the Emperor of Cyrodiil,leads to your freedom and the start of an adventure that takes across the land in the hopes of saving the world from a Daedric prince. Whilst the main story has everything you would want from an epic fantasy story- long lost princes, demonic invasion and secret organisations, the best part about Oblivion is the story you create for your character.
The land of Cyrodiil is stuffed full with locatiosn for you to explore and quests to complete. Some of the best memories I have of the game are when I’ve stumbled upon a quest, like when I found the shrine to Sheogorath and ended up convincing some Khajiit that the end of the world is upon us. Or when I agreed to help a mother find her missing daughter and uncovered a Cthulhu like cult. Then there are the four main factions you can join: the Fighters guild, the Mages Guild, the Thieves guild and the Dark Brotherhood. Each of these factions have their own story and interesting individuals for you to interact with. To this day, the Dark Brotherhood’s house party quest is one of my favourite quests in an RPG. If you thought Skyrim was bad for distracting payers with optional content, I would say that Oblivion does it to an even greater degree.
Now, you can probably tell from the screenshots in this post, Oblivion is certainly showing its age. Don’t get me wrong, for a game first released in 2006, it doesn’t look appalling but it certainly isn’t going to win any beauty competitions. Still, visuals are only one aspect of a game. Gameplay wise, Oblivion feels like an RPG inspried by the tabletop RPG classics. As you use skills like athletics, sneak and baldes, they will level up and give you additional perks. This gives you the freedom to play the way you want to play. Want to be a sneaky archer? Go ahead. Want to be a heavy armour wearing conjurer? Go crazy. And that is really why I love The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, freedom. You start the game as a penniless, skilless prisoner and once you escape the dungeons you can be whoever you want to be and cretae your own story.
So, the next time you are wanting an RPG that let’s feel like an epic fantasy hero (or villain) then I suggest trying Oblivion. I believe its high time that Bethesda shows this neglected Elder Scrolls game some love, but in the meantime, I have an Oblivion gate to close, so join me next week, when I’ll be talking about a game beginning with the letter ‘F’. See you then!