The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

a.k.a. TES IV / 上古卷轴IV:忘却之地 / The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition

published by 2K Games / Bethesda Softworks in 2006-03-20, developed by Bethesda Game Studios, running on Windows
type: action/reflex, beat 'em up, adventure, role-play
genre: Fantasy
series: The Elder Scrolls
setting: Medieval
perspective: 1st person 3rd person selectable
player options: single player
game engine: Gamebryo
languages: eng ger ita pol rus

Personal review

Oblivion, when it still wasn't out in the light, held my hopes of redeeming the errors done in Morrowind for the series, but woe it was not to be so. Oblivion is much like Morrowind, except they ruined the beast races' looks even more (though I kinda like it they chose not to use digitigrade legs for them instead of vainly trying to get them to work like they tried in Morrowind - it was a horrible sight if you don't know).

Anyways, Oblivion did have many improvements over Morrowind, the graphic mood isn't as happy as in Morrowind, but still needs work to reach what it was In Daggerfall to really suit my taste (Battlespire and Redguard had the mood right, too). The graphic side really had gained some improvement (mostly just tech eyecandy), except the land still looks like it's made of bent plastic like in Morrowind.

Unsurprisingly the AI seems to have received extremely little attention, with the opponents blindly rushing in at you or blasting from afar with little regard to tactics or anything else than to attack and.. well.. attack. The last time I saw AI this weak was in Serious Sam, but that game didn't really need it. Still, You'd have expected Oblivion to have something more advanced but no, it seems they ignored it completely.

It's also sad that they still rely on level-scaling the opponents to keep the "challenge" up, but that makes the world seem ridiculous since everything becomes tougher with you. So, in the end, you don't kick the ass out of those pesky rats any more easily then than you did when you just started out of the prison, which leaves room to question, what is the leveling there really for? It seems as if you leveling up means the world is becoming more and more dangerous simply because _you_ are becoming better (by around level 20 pretty much every bandit and God knows what is wearing full Daedric armour and weapons all enchanted to the brink with who knows what), raising curious questions about what your character really is to cause such grand change in the order of things.

Your actions still go largely unnoticed by others and have little impact on things that you can do, making one wonder what they really did for the series. The story goes on, the series gets better tech, but the gameplay stays the same crappy self from year to year.

If they ever decide to make fifth chapter, well... if it looks like nothing's changed from this for the better, then my hope for the series will be gone for good.

# 2007-06-29 01:28:30

Comments (4)

Add-ons: (DLC)
* Knights of the Nine
* Horse Armor
* Frostcrag
* Battlehorn Castle
* Mehrune's Razor
* Orrery
* Thieves' Den
* Vile Lair (Deepscorn Hollow)
* Spell Tomes

Shivering Isles is also DLC but adds ~30 hours of gameplay and is considered an actual expansion rather than minor add-on.
Sanguine # 2009-07-21 15:02:23
Performance optimization:
1) In Oblivion.ini set iMinGrassSize=130 (default: 80), this makes grass more sparse (the grass is mostly CPU intensive).
2) Disable HDR and use only Bloom effect (HDR in Oblivion is very hackish anyway). In most other games HDR doesn't cause much performance issues nor looks as garish as it does in Oblivion.
3) In Oblivion.ini set bDSoundHWAcceleration=0 (default: 1, eanbled) if sounds are strange.

Anything else is just choosing right quality vs speed trade-off with video settings.

4) In case of random crashes, try running the game on single core.

5) There are plenty of user made mods that make the game look prettier, but this is usually accomplished with higher polycount models and larger textures, so if you have trouble running the game as is, don't even dream of it. Not that the performance is any issue for hardware people are transitioning to now.
Sanguine # 2009-06-21 16:43:35
?? 2007? --- Game of the Year (GOTY) edition with Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine expansions.
INT 2009-06-16 on Steam, by Bethesda Softworks (lang: eng) --- GOTY edition, includes Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansions.
Sanguine # 2009-06-17 16:53:27

Technical specs

display: textured polygons

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