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Oblivion impressions at Gamers with Jobs
Preview - posted by Vault Dweller on Sat 25 February 2006, 16:35:03Tags: Bethesda Softworks; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Gamers with Jobs has shared not overly favourable, but the most informative Oblivion impressions, after playing the game for several hours.
I wasnâ€™t thrilled by the character creation system. Given the myriad of options most sports games offer to their players today, I was a bit disappointed that Oblivion (and most RPGs for that matter) have not followed suit. It never really made me feel like I was really customizing my character, more that I was just tweaking a preset base.
The cities themselves are given the same kind of loving treatment, so that every city really looks like it was built by hand, with some buildings beginning to show the signs of wear and decay, and others standing proud against the sky. Iâ€™ve never seen the thatched roof of a farm look quite so appealing, or looked up at the kingâ€™s palace and really felt like it had a royal majesty to it.
The landscapes really are a graphical achievement, one that will certainly help players immerse themselves in the world. All of this would be absolutely perfect, if not for one small flaw.
Where the problem is most pronounced however, is inside of cities. Upon entering a city, and any building within a city, youâ€™ll have to wait while the game loads the area. Itâ€™s not an agonizingly long time to wait, but the load times are comparable (roughly) to those of GTA: San Andreas for the PS2, which is a bit disappointing.
Combat is still entertaining, if somewhat shallow. The player is given two attacks, a normal swing, and a power-swing, which you charge up before hopefully delivering a solid shot to your opponent that will inflict extra damage, or stun them if they were blocking. Fighting against equally well armed enemies generally felt good, as I had to judge my attacks and wait for openings before launching into the offensive. Against â€œlesserâ€ opponents, like Goblins, things had an unfortunate tendency to degenerate into a whirling, button-mashing hack-fest.
In the time that I played, I only had one experience of combat against a magic-user, a Goblin mage, so I didnâ€™t really get to see what itâ€™s like to fight an experienced wizard. The goblin mage I did fight was obviously designed not to be very challenging and simply charging headlong at him and slicing him to pieces did the trick. I would hope a little more thought is required against other wizards in the game.
However, while being able to recover your used arrows from the corpses of your defeated enemies was a nice touch, the use of archery in the game at all seemed a little superfluous. Anytime an enemy detects you, they generally will come charging at you full-speed, leaving you able to fire a shot or two before whipping out your melee weapons and getting to the evisceration. I understand itâ€™s a unrealistic to expect the Battle of Agincourt when it comes to archery, but I just didnâ€™t see much use for archery in the game.
This brings me to the stealth system and the enemy detection AI. A special stealth icon has been introduced for Oblivion that turns different shades, darker or lighter as you go from undetected to seen. Itâ€™s nice, and it allows for some sneaking, but, unfortunately for those people out there who might want to play the part of a stealthy assassin in this game, detection seemed to be an all-or-nothing gambit. Less pleasantly, some of the enemies seem to be rather deaf, as I managed to get into a hand-to-hand battle with two goblins, with a goblin mage no more than 15 feet away, and the goblin mage never even noticed anything out of the ordinary.