Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion? More like Oblivious...

May 7th, Instant:

I don't write game reviews for a living.

Let me preface my "review" of
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion by saying that both my husband and I are avid gamers (almost to the point of geekdom).

We have a "modest" collection of games for both PC and Xbox/360 in *almost* every genre. That said, neither of us care much for Oblivion.

And here's why...

It's supposed to be an RPG - role-playing game, not rocket propelled grenade. Although, if it *were* a rocket propelled grenade, it might be more interesting or fun to play with. As far as RPGs go, this one doesn't really compare with
Baldur's Gate (PC or console) or Neverwinter Nights/D&D, etc. Oblivion is more of an "action-RPG", but even so, it doesn't compare with Fable as far as game-play is concerned. It's quite similar to Dark Age of Camelot except for one tiny detail... It's not an MMORPG - if it were, it would be awesome...

My chief complaints with the game-play are that the block and attack are static. You use the *same* blessed move each and every time. And when you are being attacked, you just kind of sit there and take it. This wouldn't be so bad except for ONE minor detail... If the physics of a dead body rolling down a hill *after* a battle can be coded in, then why can't the battle itself be more dynamic?

And what is it with people walking *through* doors rather than opening them and going through? 1980s much? It's not as if every blooming character is otherworldy or something. If
Sam Fisher can stealth-open a door, then certainly it could have been coded in here. Shoot... Even DAoC has that capability.

And can SOMEBODY please tell me why of these type of game starts with ginormous rats in a sewer? Can we please have a bit of originality? How about bats in belfries or *something*... Anything??? Anyone??? Bueller???

Sure, the graphics are great, but graphics aren't *everything*. I can forgive so-so graphics if the storyline is good to great (Tenchu/Final Fantasy VII anyone?) but good graphics can never compensate for a lackluster story or (even worse) sloppy coding. All the fancy-schmancy fractals in the world aren't going to help me when I'm so frustrated with the AI that I want to throw my
wireless controller through my HDTV screen.

Overall, I'd give this game a 6.8 out of 10. I'm being generous, too. We rented this from
GameFly and we will not be buying it. I *might* consider it IF and ONLY IF it were re-released as an MMORPG. In my (not so) humble opinion, unless a game like this is party-based and/or an MMORPG, it's not worth the innumerable hours necessary to play through it.

Maybe I'd like this more if I didn't know how computer-games were made. But I don't think so.

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