Four Years Later Elder Scrolls: Oblivion Is Still The Best Western RPG This Gen

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Elder Scrolls: Oblivion may not be every gamers cup of tea, and I was never much a fan of fantasy RPG’s prior to playing it. However if you decide to give it the time of day, you will be surprised to discover just how much this game has to offer. Mass Effect 2 became my second favorite game this generation(behind Metal Gear Solid 4), which is also a Western RPG. However after playing Oblivion again today, I have fell in love with the game once again, and to this day I cannot deny that it was the best Western RPG made this generation. It is a bold claim to make, so what kind of so called journalist would I be if didn’t try to back it up? Well here are a few reasons why Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is so great.


Cyrodiil is the setting for Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, it is a province of Tamriel. Fans of the whole Elder Scroll series can truly appreciate how all the regions seen in each game are linked. Every region of the Elder Scrolls world has its own secrets and mysteries, not only that but each character race dominates its own region. For example the province of Hammerfell is dominated by Redguards. Cyrodiil is home to the Imperial empire, but you will come across many different races in each of the towns.

Traveling through Cyrodiil requires a lot of patience; due to the fact you have to either navigate by foot or by horse. Regardless It is one of the most beautiful gaming worlds I have ever seen. The land is vast, amounting to 16 square miles (41 km2) in size. However you will never be at a lost for something to discover. The world holds many mysteries and it’s up to you if you wish to learn of them all.

The Plot

Those who enjoy a fluent pace in storyline’s to hold their attention might throw Elder Scrolls: Oblivion to the side very quickly. You are completely in control of the pace of the plot in Oblivion, which is what I love because the game is essentially letting you craft your own destiny however you like it. As an escaped prisoner, the Emperor Uriel Septim VII places the task of seeking out his illegitimate son Martin as he is the heir to the throne (after Uriel Septim VIII himself is killed). As the son of Uriel Septim Martin is the only one that can help you close the portal gates to Oblivion(hell) that have opened all over Cyrodiil.
You must fight constant dark forces until you are able to once and for all eradicate the threats of Oblivion and its ruler Mehrunes Dagon.

It is an interesting quest that will see you exploring the whole of Cyrodiil and closing Oblivion gates. What Elder Scrolls: Oblivion does real well, is give the player complete freedom throughout the quest. You only have to complete as much of it as you wish to. You are never forced to go seeking for all 60 Oblivion gates in the game, if you wish you can just continue with the main tasks given to you until you manage to eliminate the threat of Mehrunes Dagon (which will automatically close all gates). However if you put in the extra work and close all 60 gates before the end, it is most beneficial. You will discover useful items that will allow you to create powerful enhancements that will make you become a force to be reckoned with.

The Quests

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is damn near unbeatable. Sure the main storyline quest is beatable within a couple hours, but the main quest is nothing. There are literally hundreds of quests in this game, and given the world which Bethesda has created for you, you will definitely attempt to complete as many as you can. The fact that there are two huge expansion packs doesn’t make it any easier either. I have had the game for three years now, and I still have quests to finish. What’s incredible is that these quests aren’t just pitiful side quests you see in your average RPG’s or Sandbox titles. In every quest you accept in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion you will face great challenges, and once finished you obtain a great sense of accomplishment.

Many quests will result in something in the world changing, making you feel like you have actually made a difference in the world. Every character you come across in this game has a schedule, their own attachment to the world. The people within the various communities all know and greet each other daily, sometimes meeting at bars or inns for conversation. When the world is so life like, every contribution you make results in some kind of after effect.

To put it simply, these quests aren’t just something you do to level up or earn more money. Every quest has a purpose, and an after effect.

The Freedom

What’s completely amazing about this game is that you don’t even have to do the main quest at all. Once you escape from jail the world is yours (to quote Scarface). You can do whatever you like, and no matter what you choose to do it still feels like an adventure. If you want to get real creative you can come up with a little quest of your own, such as visiting all the towns and killing everybody in the game (which I actually tried to do once). You are only limited by your own imagination.

How about getting into real estate and saving up money to purchase all the available houses in the game? Once you’ve done that you can even become a collector by going out and obtaining certain objects and then decorating your mansion with them. Want to get a job? Join one of the guilds and earn money for your brawn. It is completely up to you, Bethesda has provided you the world, and it’s up to you how you how you wish to live in it. If you choose to go the Grand Theft Auto route, you better be careful because your crimes will earn you jail time (if you get caught). You actually have to serve the jail sentence too, but you can of course opt to skip through the whole sentence, because what kind of game would make you actually sit there through a 100 day sentence? How about becoming the most powerful being in Cyrodiil before you even start the main quest? Yes it is actually possible.

There are novels to read, caves to explore, houses to break into, guilds to discover and unique items/weapons to obtain. I have never played a game this open before, and that is why I have come to appreciate the game so much. If you have yet to enjoy Bethesda’s amazing fantasy adventure after four years, then I hope this article makes you at least think about picking it up.

About The Author
Gary A. Swaby Co-founder/UK Managing Editor
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