I was sceptical when I dished out 18 quid for this, after playing morrowind (Which I thoroughly disliked and found, boring, backtracking, dark, and just plain dull!) Entering the game with negativity swimming in my bloodstream, I soon pushed it out and replaced it for a potent mix of pure addiction, wonder, and amazement.
Starting off with a simple 'breakout' from your prison cell, you go through the sewers of the Imperial city, slaying rats and goblins in your path with a swiftly aquired bow and longsword and steering well clear of the Emperor's guards who escort him somewhere important. The storyline is rich and thoroughly engaging, and the action heats up quickly as the emperor is attacked and slain by a mysterious assassin's cult, leaving you to help his guards fight off the assassins and recover an important medallion from the emperor. A brilliant scene-setting to what is undeniably an incredible title for anyone who appreciates quality games.
Prior to your first few tentative steps into the land of oblivion (and after clearing all the sewer muck off those robes!) The game examines how you have been playing and reccommends a class of warrior to you. After being reccommended "bard" ( no ta! ) I examined a huge list of around 15 other pre-made classes, and picked assassin. The classes determine what your characters main and best skills are, and ultimately picking the right class will suit the best way to play the game for you, and that is the best thing about this game...any class is useful. No matter how you like to play, swift and silent, fast and deadly, strong and brutal with the muscle to defend against attacks, you can confidently do every mission in this game. With the chance to ALSO pick your race of character (of which there are 10!) also with their own perks, and one of 12 birthsigns, each with it's own perks, and a frankly INCREDIBLE character design system (you can shape your bleedin' cheekbones...hows that for detail!) you can create your perfect character. From there on, it's up to you...
Follow the main quest to save Tamriel! This is quite an enjoyable and engrossing main quest, and sees you acting as an imperitive cog in the downfall of oblivion (the evil guys!) and the protection of Tamriel from the invasion of Oblivion's minions, the "Daedra".
Or, you can talk to any of the game's thousands of NPC's, accepting enjoyable, unique, fresh quests at every turn...assassinations, item recoveries, taking a team of other fighters to clear mines of goblins, looking for missing people...all the quests are fresh and imaginative!
Or you can just explore the many hundreds of hidden caves, mines, and ruined elf-undercities that litter the game, each with their own story and treasure stowed within.
One of the main selling points of the game is it's size (Clocked over 140 hours before I finally was happy to deem it "finished") but what really strikes me is the detail. Brief standout moments?
You can break into any of hundreds of houses in the game, and steal anything you want while the NPC is in bed or out on business. Sometimes random bandits will ambush you on the road and demand your goods (You can slay them for this heinous act of course!). You can go the realm of Oblivion and close their gates, preventing the invasion of creatures upon key cities. You can spy on people and find out where they've hid important things!
Basically, you can do anything (within reason), and everytime you turn the game on for that quick hour session, something new and exciting will crop up and make you smile at the sheer scope and variety this game throws at you.
This game really is essential, and as far as they go, the best value for money you can possibly get. BUY