Postcard Review: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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(Editor’s note: In the Postcard Review, members of the Pixelitis staff write small, easily digestible reviews big enough to ‘fit on a postcard’ – hence the title. It can be about the whole experience or just a small piece of the pie. No scores needed.)

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion exists in a strange realm. It is neither a new enough release to be culturally relevant, nor it is not old enough to possess any kind of nostalgic or historical charm. It simply exists within the vaguely dusted era of “early xbox 360 games,” paling in comparison to its two immediate siblings: the much more attractive Skyrim and the infinitely wiser Morrowind.

And yet it’s still my favorite.

While Skyrim holds the best combat, and Morrowind usually holds the title for best story, Oblivion exists in a happy middle-ground. The game does not let you  dramatically behead your foes, but the combat is certainly more gratifying than it is in Elder Scrolls III.

Additionally, Oblivion retains most of the hardcore RPG-ness of its predecessor, still allowing the player to fully customize their stats and appearance. The magic system is also still fun and rewarding; spells are not just fireballs, they can make your opponent’s equipment way too much or charm even the rudest Argonian into dancing. And though the main quest was a bit repetitive, the faction quests are where Oblivion truly shined. Many would agree that the Dark Brotherhood quest-line trumps almost every other in the series.

A common target of criticism for Oblivion is the voice acting and the random conversations NPC’s would have with each other. It certainly does have an off-beat, uncanny valley feel to it…but honestly it’s hilarious.

Perhaps with time, Oblivion will gain the same nostalgic charm as Morrowind.

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Author: Stephen Hilger View all posts by
Stephen Hilger is a recent graduate of Rutgers University. He has a BA in English and his favorite word is "tepid." His involvement with video games most heavily began with ""Duck Hunt" and it has been a blossoming relationship ever since. In addition to writing for Pixelitis, Stephen is also a stand-up comedian and involved in the performing arts both as an actor and writer.

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