The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion PS3 Review - 30/07/2007

Well where do I start? The gameplay? The graphics? The sheer size of it? I’ll start where it makes sense – the beginning.

There’s hundreds upon hundreds of storylines in Oblivion, but I’ll stick to the main quest. You play the role of a prisoner that Uriel Septim, the Emperor, has dreamed about meeting in a prison cell, and would eventually [in true RPG style] solve all the problems and help everyone live happily ever after. And what do you know, you meet him in a cell, just like he dreamed. You follow him and a couple of ‘Blades’ [the group of people charged with protecting the Emperor] down a secret passage, where your majesty ends up dieing – leaving loads of mess for you to clear up. Brilliant. Basically there’s only one known heir to the throne and you must find him and give him the amulet of kings, [a necklace that can only be worn by royal blood] so he can relight a special fire and take up his place as the ruler of all Tamriel.

After you have created your fully customisable character and have chosen what race, birth sign and class you’re in, you are free to roam the world [minus the tutorial.] Cleverly, after this 45 minute long introduction the first thing they do is put you straight into the action and have you kill [or be killed by] two travellers who are camping in Vilverin, a little ruined patch just outside of Imperial City. First you could go to Imperial City and get a taste of a town in Oblivion. Or go to the Arena and fight your way to fame and fortune. Me? I just followed the marker on the map taking you to your first stop on the main quest.

As for the graphics, they are an improvement [in most cases] over the previous Xbox 360 version, and are still brilliant. People's faces are well animated and it’s one of the PS3’s strong points graphics-wise, their mouths actually move when you speak to them and you can see age through their face, not just their voice. The forests, hills and mountains you come across when walking [or riding] from city to city look realistic and it’s definitely the first game on Sony’s rocket launcher of a console to look truly beautiful. Deers scupper through forests. Wolf hunt their prey. You generally feel like you’re there, all you’d need is a gentle breeze and the smell of country air to tide you over and you wouldn’t know the difference.

On to the gameplay, and first of all – the fighting. You stand in a first person view, similar to the view in an FPS. It works very well and you can time your block to disarm the opponent or set your self up for a big hit. Some have said it can get a little repetitive, but if you’re a fan of RPG’s [or not in my case] then this is the closest you’re gonna get to perfection [there is also a third person view, but most prefer the original one]. The quests can range from delivering some weapons for a guild member, sneaking into an evil cult's shrine and stealing a precious item or even “Go to the pub and kill that guy in the corner!”

Lastly, the world – and it’s massive! You can choose from a host of cities and towns, Chorrol, Anvil and Bruma to name a few, and each have their own quests and guards and inhabitants and houses and guilds and town eccentrics - there’s no ‘invisible walls’ in Oblivion. Well there is, but only at the edges of the map, not in the middle of a corridor preventing you from turning left or right for example. If I could choose one word to describe Oblivion, massive would be it.

Verdict: With tons of stuff to do, tons of places to go and loads of weapons, armour and other items to buy steal or find. Oblivion just became Emperor.

- Tyler Roberts



Bethesda Softworks
PS3 - 360 - PC