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Oblivion review at Firing Squad - 60%

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Oblivion review at Firing Squad - 60%

Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 9 February 2007, 03:01:34

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There is an interesting Oblivion review at Firing Squad. The review lists many of the game's flaws and awards the game 60%.

Another “addition” to the game is horseback riding, if you want to call it an addition. I shelled out 5,000 dollars in one town for what were called the “best horses in Cyrodill”. Within moments, both my budget and my heart were both broken. Horseback riding in Oblivion flat out sucks. First of all, when you press forward, the horse goes almost instantly to max speed. When you release the forward key, the horse instantly stops. There is no feeling of weight or inertia to the horse at all. This is totally unacceptable. Also, the fact that you cannot attack, use magic or items, or do anything at all while on horseback really makes me just never want to use my horse. It’s much better to be on foot and be able to attack things, jump around, pick harvest plants, and just feel in touch with the world. In an interview, a Bethesda team member said that the reason you cannot attack from horseback in Oblivion is because it would be imbalanced, what with you being able to circle an opponent and keep slashing him as you run by. First of all, there were ways they could have balanced it, and secondly, I think he was lying. The horse’s lack of animations tell me that this team definitely got lazy. So horses are a disappointment and I find myself not using them, but there’s an even bigger reason for that…
In terms of lore, I must say it’s a lot less rich than in Morrowind. Most of the books are recycled from previous games. Story is a strong point in general for these games, however with Oblivion, the focus around power-gaming as opposed to role playing really can take you out of it. A huge factor taking me out of the story and out of the roleplaying mood is:

AI. They said so many things about what the AI would be in this game, and really, it’s none of those. The 12 voice actors for the game did a shaky job at best, however, because there are only 12 voice actors and around 1,000 NPCs, you end up hearing the same pieces of dialogue, the same voices, all over the place. Hearing the same voice for a vendor in one town as I do in 5 other towns really takes me out of it. Also, there are frequent bugs involving different voice actors playing different parts of an NPC’s speech. So you could be talking to a beggar, and he’s got a kind of old man voice, “Ehhh shunny, could you spare a coin?”, and then suddenly you ask him about the Emperor and it’s the Guard voice, super stern and powerful going into this big speech! What could take you out of the role playing experience more than that? Horrible! Also, the AI is nothing new. The only real advancement in AI would be that they have extremely shallow “routines” that they follow, basically a path that they walk every day. They don’t pick up objects, create things, organize their stores (even if you trash the store, go back a month later, its still trashed), or any of the things that NPCs did in the “Ultima 7”. That’s just shameful. Really, still the only interactions you can have with AI’s are: 1. Kill them. 2. Get quests from them 3. Steal from them 4. Use the embarrassingly bad “persuasion” system on them. Yes, the new system for persuasion is crap. It has everything to do with powergaming and nothing to do with roleplaying.​
Some people are so negative... Hopefully, Bethesda will blacklist this site ASAP!

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