One of the problems I’ve had recently is that my computer has been overwhelmed by spyware. My own fault I suppose, given that I was after an older piece of software that I should have left in the digital graveyard. Anyway, this has resulted in my hardware having to be completely wiped. And so I’ve started all over again.
One of the things that I was genuinely surprised at was the amount of games that I had on my PC. The most obvious way that it came to light was the need to reinstall them – or rather the lack thereof. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always drifted toward completing console games before PC games.
One game, very notable by its’ absence, was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I’ve covered this game quite a bit in the past, especially on my own blog. However, I quickly found that this was the one game that I couldn’t really do without on my machine. Luckily, I was savvy enough to have saved my game(s), otherwise I doubt I’d have started to play it again, as I have done every night since reinstalling it.
So what makes the game world so compelling? Well part of it is because it’s simply huge. You’re looking a very significant virtual world, with plots to investigate, characters to meet and all manner of things going on. I can’t explain really, unless you’ve played it, just how much there is to see and explore.
The levelling system annoyed some people but I thought it was quite a good idea. Essentially, the monsters levelled behind you, so you’re always met with a challenge. Some complained of say meeting a level 20 rat, but this never did quite happen. Monsters were capped at a certain level after all.
One of the greatest aspects of Oblivion was and is the ability to absorb you into a fully believable virtual world. You could be talking to a Lord in his castle and doing a deal over a house before just riding off on your horse. The level in which you can interact with the world is astounding. Those crazy Scottish reviewers over at Consolevania were actually throwing shoes on rooftops!
So, how many hours altogether have I played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for? Well that’s a question I might not like to answer given that I’m getting older. Probably too much, but then when I load it up I think maybe not enough. It is genuinely one of those games where I don’t feel like I have wasted an hour if I just sit and play it – after all, plenty of people do the same with the TV!
I guess what truly makes Oblivion compelling is the feeling that you’re starring in your own personal Lord of the Rings saga – without the need to rush through and complete it. The graphics of course are great when cranked up and the ambient sounds and music are wonderful. It’s the package as a whole though that makes it truly feel special and I just hope we see more games of this quality out soon.