The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Cover
Platforms Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Genre Epic predecessor
Score 9  Clock score of 9
Buy from Amazon

It's been awhile since I've written anything for First Hour; between marriage, work, college and some gaming, there isn't much time for writing. But this is a special month, a month that I've been looking forward to for a long time.

Last Friday, November 11th, 2011, was the release of Skyrim, possibly the most anticipated game of this year, right next to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. So today, I am reviewing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

I had played Morrowind religiously for roughly six months. In fact, it was the second game I bought for the original Xbox. It was an incredible experience, to face a giant world with so many dangers, and so much customizing, I became massively invested. I played at least six hours a day during the school week and twelve during Saturday and Sunday.

So after years of playing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, my sophomore self was surprised to see Oblivion on the cover of a Game Informer in the high school library. I was in awe at the graphics, the hope for a better combat system. But the most amazing thing, that reportedly happened at Bethesda as well, was seeing what was once thought impossible: they had forests. Real, bustling forests with bushes and shrubbery and groups of trees.

I couldn't stop thinking about it, and then it was finally released. I was amazed at the game. Now, let's take and nice overview about some of the feelings and thoughts of the game before and after Oblivion's release.


There were a couple of controversies (if you can call them that) around Oblivion. One was after the games initial release. The ESRB had originally given The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion a T (13 years of age or older) but then later changed it to M (17 years of age or older) due to an exploit on the PC port of the game allowing modders to see the bare breasts of the main character. This event was used by anti-game groups to claim that the ESRB was incapable of its intended job. No progress on their side was gained, as Bethesda explained that they “...can't control and don't condone the actions of anyone who alters the game so that it displays material that may be considered offensive.” Most reasonable people understood, and even most unreasonable people felt there were more important issues, like terrorism, to criticize.

The one big controversy existed before the games release, and that was whether or not the average computer would even be able to run the game, and with good reason. With images of the game all over the internet, most PC gamers had cause for concern.

At the time, the Geforce 7 Series and ATI X1000 series were about to fade out that year, but people were still worried and with no real new CPU architecture coming anytime soon, there was little comfort for them.

The AMD Athlon 64 series (Athlon 64, X2, FX series) was still the king of consumer processors. My rig, at the time, was an average machine: 1GB DDR RAM, AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.4 GHz and a Nvidia Geforce 6600GT. I was shaking in my boots, because there was no possible way I could hope to afford a new GPU as I was still in the AGP slot phase.

This was when I checked on and saw that they had “Can you run it?” on their website, which was essentially a program that would compare your hardware with the requirements. PC Gamers everywhere released a sigh of relief heard 'round the world when they discovered that they could, indeed, run Oblivion. However, no one I knew could play it on the highest settings.

Oblivion Deer Hunting on Horse


The game plays much like its predecessor, with some tweaks here and there. The biggest thing I cared about was the combat being far more mainstream and enhanced. In Morrowind, you simply swing your weapon as fast as possible – everything else is done for you. You attack in three directions that are somewhat influenced by the way you’re moving. However, there is an option in the game to always swing the most powerful way for that particular type of weapon. The blocking itself is also simply a stat, not controlled by you. It’s almost as if combat is not the main part of the game, and it’s true. The story takes center stage in this game.

In contrast, Oblivion allows for far more control in combat. As you level up your skills in the area of your specialty (blade/blunt/hand to hand) you will be able to perform more complex attacks. It still isn’t extremely involved, as all of your special attacks are performed by moving in a certain direction and holding the attack button (performing a power attack.)

The difference in these two is that the combat in Morrowind is really a necessity. A lot of combat you can avoid, but it still sometimes happens, and when it does you dish out death easily or die quickly. It’s usually that simple, but it makes the story shine.

In Oblivion, the combat is more balanced and more entertaining, but the story just doesn’t deliver like in its predecessor.

Leveling in Oblivion is simpler than in the previous game. Morrowind had 27 skills, while Oblivion had 21. You may say, "but wait, that’s only six fewer!" and that’s correct, mathematicians, but the difference is monstrous. In Morrowind, you had skills in long blade, short blade, axe and blunt weapon. In Oblivion, you have Blade, Blunt and hand to hand. This makes it much easier to level up. It helps avoid making you grind skills just so you can use that special great axe you found.

But, the truth in most of this is that you lose a lot of the customization that you had in Morrowind for the sake of simplicity. But overall, I would say this is was a good choice. The game is still open, still customizable but not nearly as confusing. While some people like downloading and printing hundreds of pages of walkthroughs and skill suggestions, crafting recipes and such, I believe a lot of it is unnecessary for me.

There are a couple of things I really didn’t agree with, and I’ll explain them simply:

The first gripe: The items and monsters level with you – you basically never fight anything beyond your ability. This leveling-with-you deal also includes weapons and armor that level with you, aka, at level 1, you’re getting iron weapons, levels 2-3, steel. Levels 4-5, silver, etc.

In Morrowind, if you go somewhere you’re not supposed to, you’re screwed. This was exciting. Those occasional deaths because you’re fighting something levels above you gives you an eagerness to go back. What treasures lay in store for you? In Oblivion, they hold your hand. The only way to counteract this is to throw up the difficulty, but then everything is harder, rather than having those special places that you’re just not yet ready to face.

The second gripe: You are able to fast travel anywhere that you have visited before, and to the main cities without visiting them once. This means that most of the time, once you’ve visited an important place once, you can simply click the location on your map and just go there. Some people like this, and it does make the game easier to play, but it’s also kind of boring to just be able to go places. I guess, in a way, the game simply doesn’t force you to spend hours walking, and that’s not so bad, however, I didn’t find myself really complaining in Oblivion.

Oblivion Steel Horse Armor


Damn. The graphics in this game are still fantastic. Not exactly the most beautiful, but I still know a lot of people that struggle running this at max settings on the PC. The game’s open world is what makes this game difficult to run. You almost never hit a loading screen, simply because your machine is pre-rendering it all.

The forest, oh man! The forests are awesome. It’s so fantastic, and so immense that I think this might have been the biggest impression on me. The fact that this world was more complete than any game before it was amazing, but what hits home is that it’s still more complex than the majority of games today.


I don’t want to delve too deeply into this part, because I don’t want to risk spoiling it, and it’s hard for me to really explain it. Suffice it to say that the story isn’t anything to write home about. It’s fine, but it’s not fantastic. You’ll play through it; maybe a few surprising twists and turns will barely make you stumble. But overall, this is not the most important part of the game. Considering that I’ve put hundreds of hours into this game, with multiple characters, I’ve only ever completed the story line once. I played through the story of Morrowind every time I created a new character. A bit of a difference, I’d say.

Music: I won’t harp – oh, nevermind. The music is fantastic, and fits the game perfectly; it’s brighter, and even “epic.” As soon as you click “new game” you will be enlightened almost immediately why it is so appropriate.

Oblivion Gate Scary

Overall: 9

Overall, I would say this game’s only weakness is its story, but for me, I didn’t notice all that much. There’s simply so much game to be experienced in Oblivion, so much to be explored, that a few of the less complicated parts make the game better and more mainstream.

This game has so much nostalgia for me, and so much anticipation that I sometimes wish that I could go back and experience that joy again. But at the time of this writing (Thursday night, 11/10/11) I am just waiting a single hour more before I pick up The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

As much as I wish I could go back sometimes, like replaying Oblivion for the first time, or Diablo II, or any of those other games that really hit home with me, I understand that there will always be more groundbreaking games, computer upgrades, consoles and more!

Oblivion is a game, with or without nostalgia, you’ll love. So get it for $15-$20 (the game of the year edition) and get playing!


(No subject)

I am at ray ban occhiali work and this patriots jerseys is vans shoes rushed.
Some covenants chicago bulls jersey are in ferragamo shoes fact not breakable.
The ray ban zonnebril covenant dsquared2 concerning cheap basketball shoes the ralph lauren outlet rainbow is one hermes sided, hogan made nike mercurial vapor by mcm backpack God with mankind. It is one rayban sided cheap nba jerseys not able to coach outlet canada be altered.
What is ray ban sonnenbrillen declared at barbour factory Adam and Eve’s marriage oakley sunglasses outlet is also adidas superstar a one omega watches sided roshe run covenant. God michael kors outlet online decreed ferragamo shoes what the reality of guciheaven shoes the situation ray bans is concerning nike free 5.0 marriage. He made them heat jerseys male air max and female barbour outlet and he decrees true religion jeans upon michael kors outlet the man’s leaving and uggs outlet cleaving ray-ban sunglasses with katespade his wife that thay juicy couture handbags are swarovski henceforth lunette ray ban one flesh. Jesus knockoff handbags applied adidas online that situation with Adam tommy hilfiger outlet and Eve coach factory as what reebok applies to all hermes bags subsequent lawful tory burch marriages. detroit pistons Notice that ray ban outlet Adam free running and rams jerseys Eve’s asics marriage represents two nike shop people lunette ray ban never michael kors purses married before joining lakers jerseys in swarovski jewelry marriage prada outlet making ray ban their status as one flesh unbreakable.
‘Til ferragamo shoes uk death do prada outlet us part’ michael kors taschen does coach outlet in new york knicks fact timberland femme correctly reflect the jimmy choo shoes truth memphis grizzlies jersey of true religion the decree God has swarovski online made over soccer shoes marriage. Like pandora the nike roshe decree burberry outlet store concerning ralph lauren polo the nike shoes rainbow, it stands glasses frames without coach factory outlet negotiation. michael kors Only golden state warriors jersey death terminates bengals jerseys a lawful vikings jerseys marriage. new balance canada If it is burberry outlet online assumed that a dansko outlet divorce certificate can terminate it, coach store the mont blanc person’s charlotte hornets jerseys so michael kors assuming the north face outlet that are rudely awakened to the north face jackets fact that nfl jerseys remarriage converse chucks is purses and handbags adultery, coach outlet clearly identifying the jimmy choo outlet divorce as hogan outlet having soccer shoes outlet done versace outlet online nothing concerning nba jerseys their steelers jerseys actual oakley sungalsses outlet staus before oakley canada God. tory burch outlet They mcm handbags are still husband and wife, one nike outlet flesh.I burberry online shop am tommy hilfiger at air huarache work philipp plein outlet and adidas canada this fitflop outlet is ecco outlet rushed.
Some cheap oakley covenants are burberry sale in indiana pacers jersey fact air max schoenen not breakable.
The ralph lauren outlet online covenant michael kors concerning nike free run the polo ralph rainbow guess factory outlet is one sided, baseball jerseys made by coach outlet God with mankind. It fred perry outlet is fivefingers one cheap ray ban sided north face not boots on sale able to be sacramento kings jersey altered.
What is true religion outlet declared woolrich outlet at fred perry polos Adam and Eve’s nike roshe marriage is nike store also puma online a los angeles clippers jersey one veneta sided mizuno wave covenant. polo ralph lauren outlet online God decreed what coach outlet online the reality of air jordan shoes the situation is concerning jack wolfskin outlet marriage. skechers He made eagles jerseys them male parajumpers and tommy hilfiger outlet stores female and he handbags outlet decrees ralph lauren factory store upon supra footwear the portland trail blazers jersey man’s leaving and houston rockets jerseys cleaving with his redskins jerseys wife plein shoes that colts jerseys thay ralph lauren outlet online are henceforth nike air max shoes one flesh. Jesus chiefs jerseys applied nike roshe that reloj situation converse sneakers with Adam michael kors bags and links of london outlet Eve nike tn as baseball jerseys what true religion jeans women applies to all huarache subsequent lawful marriages. new balance Notice that Adam bcbg max and adidas superstar Eve’s philadelphia 76ers jerseys marriage represents ferragamo two ralph lauren outlet people the north face never broncos jerseys married before joining michael kors outlet in marriage mbt shoes outlet making their jerseys from china status as michael kors bags one flesh ray bans outlet unbreakable.
‘Til ugg boots death do us replica watches part’ adidas does pandora bracelet in dsquared2 sale fact correctly reflect the raiders jerseys truth of burberry outlet online the hermes belt decree supra footwear God pandora charms has ralph lauren made air max over boston celtics jersey marriage. armani outlet Like the decree concerning nike huarache the ralph lauren outlet rainbow, it polo ralph lauren stands michael kors outlet online without negotiation. bottega veneta Only oakley vault death pandora schmuck terminates washington wizards jersey a north face lawful coach outlet online marriage. If christian louboutin shoes it is assumed roshe run that a vans divorce dre beats certificate can terminate it, cc beanies the person’s baseball jerseys so oakley assuming that packers jerseys are chargers jerseys rudely awakened to ralph lauren outlet the ralph lauren outlet fact new balance that ralph lauren polos remarriage is adultery, nike free 5.0 clearly fidget spinner outlet identifying the dallas mavericks jerseys divorce as fossil uhren having polo outlet store done nothing concerning their actual burberry outlet staus before vans schuhe God. They are salvatore ferragamo still michael kors outlet online sale husband thomas sabo and michael kors wife, rolex one titans jerseys flesh.I am at bills jerseys work and cheap nfl jerseys this longchamp outlet is rushed.
Some covenants are in fact not breakable.
The nike air max covenant oakley sunglasses concerning the giuseppe shoes rainbow kate spade outlet online is one san antonio spurs jerseys sided, made hugo boss shop by God atlanta hawks jerseys with mankind. asics gel It is cowboys jerseys one sided mizuno running not jerseys from china able to be air jordan retro altered.
What barbour jackets is burberry handbags declared at mcm backpack Adam ray ban wayfarer and roshe run Eve’s panthers jerseys marriage air jordan is denver nuggets jerseys also a one sided iphone 5s cases covenant. God beats headphones decreed giants jerseys what the reality barbour outlet of adidas online the situation is michael kors canada concerning marriage. He made them puma outlet male chrome hearts and female and he decrees upon jerseys from china the man’s leaving dolphins jerseys and cleaving babyliss pro with jack wolfskin jackets his wife oakley sunglasses outlet that thay are henceforth one fendi handbags flesh. Jesus applied indoor soccer shoes that phoenix suns jersey situation burberry outlet with ralph lauren Adam michael kors and Eve as what nike air max 90 applies to nike shoes all thomas sabo jewellery subsequent lawful marriages. polo ralph lauren outlet Notice that under armour Adam mcm backpack outlet and Eve’s marriage north face outlet represents nike schoenen two jerseys from china people levis jeans never married prada sunglasses before joining nike outlet in marriage tommy hilfiger making hilfiger online shop their status coach outlet online as converse outlet one flesh longchamp unbreakable.
‘Til oklahoma city thunder jersey death do michael kors canada us part’ longchamp outlet does longchamp taschen in nfl jerseys fact correctly cleveland cavaliers reflect the ravens jerseys truth marc by marc jacobs of red bottom shoes the decree God lacoste polos has made timberland boots over marriage. louboutin shoes Like tory burch shoes the valentino outlet decree milwaukee bucks jersey concerning the north face the rainbow, it burberry sale stands without the north face negotiation. stephen curry shoes Only michael kors v?skor death moncler mens jackets terminates minnesota timberwolves jersey a lawful lacoste shoes marriage. If it is assumed rayban that skechers a divorce nike air max certificate beats by dre can red bottoms terminate it, the person’s pandora so juicy couture outlet assuming oakley frogskins that cheap nfl jerseys are rudely awakened to the air max fact michael kors outlet that remarriage is ray ban sunglasses adultery, 49ers jerseys clearly identifying tods outlet the jets jerseys divorce as oakley sunglasses having michael kors outlet online done nothing new orleans pelicans jersey concerning their cheap michael kors actual pandora charms staus belstaff outlet online before ray bans God. coach outlet online They are still husband air max and azcardinals jerseys wife, jordans one flesh.I guess outlet am new balance at marc by marc jacobs work and michael jordan this northface is texans jerseys rushed.
Some rolex watches covenants glasses online are in fact not nike air max breakable.
The covenant nike air jordan concerning nike schuhe the hogan outlet rainbow is toronto raptors jersey one asics outlet sided, made coach black friday by God with givenchy outlet mankind. cheap nba jerseys It is tory burch one ed hardy clothing sided not stone island polos able to coach outlet online be swarovski crystal altered.
What baseball bats is declared at true religion jeans outlet Adam air yeezy shoes and browns jerseys Eve’s marriage is also a converse shoes one sided covenant. God decreed oakley sunglasses cheap what louboutin shoes the zapatillas nike reality of the michael kors uk situation orlando magic jersey is concerning marriage. reebok shoes outlet He nike free 5.0 made them male ralph lauren and saints jerseys female adidas superstar and he decrees upon the coach factory outlet man’s buccaneers jerseys leaving skechers outlet and cleaving with pandora canada his bcbg max azria wife falcons jerseys that thay barbour jackets outlet are oakley outlet henceforth swarovski australia one new balance outlet flesh. Jesus brooklyn nets jerseys applied that prada shoes situation with Adam and prada Eve as iphone case what michael kors outlet online applies to all subsequent lawful marriages. moncler outlet online Notice jaguars jerseys that Adam and Eve’s gafas oakley marriage represents air max 2015 two people never married versace outlet online before ralph lauren polos joining in salomon schuhe marriage cheap true religion making their belstaff status thomas sabo uk as one flesh mcm bags unbreakable.
‘Til nike air max death cheap oakley do coach factory us part’ calvin klein underwear does in ralph lauren fact katespade correctly reflect Sac Hermes the truth of the decree God bears jerseys has timberland shoes made under armour shoes over nike air max thea marriage. Like jordan release dates 2015 the timberland outlet decree lions jerseys concerning polo ralph the rainbow, it stands without negotiation. Only coach purses outlet online death burberry terminates giuseppe zanotti sneakers a kate spade outlet online lawful longchamp handbags marriage. seahawks jerseys If it nike air force is assumed that montblanc a divorce certificate can terminate it, cheap michael kors the person’s oakley so assuming that are rudely awakened to the fact that burberry outlet online remarriage utah jazz jersey is adultery, clearly identifying the nike air max divorce as louboutin having burberry sale done chi hair nothing christian louboutin shoes concerning jordan retro their belstaff outlet actual oakley sunglasses staus before swarovski jewelry God. They are vans outlet still tommy hilfiger online husband and christian louboutin shoes wife, one flesh.

Wow, I never even heard of

Wow, I never even heard of the rating change. So they changed the rating because of textured breasts, even though it wasn't accessible during gameplay unless you broke the game? Or was it because of mods? That would be absolutely bizarre.

And yes, I'm currently hooked on Skyrim :P

By the Nine!

Nice write-up, Ian! However, after playing Skyrim, I don't think many could go back to Oblivion. I loved how big it was, but overall, it was very bland fantasy with by-the-book quests.


You missed the biggest controversy of them all: Horse Armor! I kindly included a picture of some armor you could buy for a few dollars for your horse. Of course, this was absolutely ridiculous back in 2006 but now it's so commonplace we wouldn't bat an eye. People buy clothes for their fake Xbox Live avatars, for example.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.