This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering an entry in a series I love. It’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion!
Plot Synopsis: The story begins with the player imprisoned in a cell for an unknown crime. Emperor Uriel Septim VII, accompanied by Imperial bodyguards known as “the Blades”, arrive in the prison, fleeing from assassins who have murdered the emperor’s three sons and are now targeting him. The emperor and the Blades reveal that the player’s jail cell contains a secret entrance to a part of the city’s sewer that functions as an escape route. Pardoned by the emperor, the player follows the group into the sewer, where they come under attack by assassins. All but one of the Blades are cut down in the fighting that ensues. Knowing he is destined to die by the hands of the assassins, Uriel Septim entrusts the player with the Amulet of Kings, worn by the Septim emperors of Tamriel, and orders the player to take it to a man named Jauffre, the grand master of the Blades, at Weynon Priory. Immediately afterward, one of the assassins kills the emperor. The player escapes the sewer and heads out into the open world of Cyrodiil.
Plot: The plot of the game is pretty decent, but it’s also not anything super great either. There are some really interesting sidequests, particularly the Sheogorath DLC, but the main story falls short in my opinion.
Characters: There are plenty of interesting NPCs, M’aiq the Liar for instance, but again most of them aren’t super impressive. To be honest I’ve never felt the same level of affection for the NPCs in Oblivion or Skyrim quite like I did in Morrowind. Granted that in Morrowind you could kill any and all NPCs if you so chose, other than the always present guards, but even then it was a choice….
Gameplay: However that choice was removed starting in Oblivion, which is a real shame, because I actually enjoyed the heck out of learning who I can dispatch and who I couldn’t. It also removed the ability to use the levitate spell from the repertoire of available spells, which again was a massive let down.
Art: The art is very badly aged, and the faces in the game look horrible. Especially the eyes.
Music: Decent, but not as catchy as Morrowind or Skyrim’s music.
Overall: An easily skippable entry in the series, it removed most of what I loved about Morrowind and added DLC Horse Armor instead.