One of the many great things about The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is that even though it features well over 100 hours of excellent role-playing gameplay out of the box, it includes the potential for much more. Following the release of Oblivion for the PC and Xbox 360, publisher Bethesda Softworks proceeded to supplement both versions of the game with downloadable content packs, leading up to the most ambitious one yet in Knights of the Nine. Knights of the Nine is a full-on quest line along the lines of Oblivion's main series of subquests, such as for the fighters guild or the thieves guild. It involves you seeking out a way to defeat a dangerous villain once thought to be dead, while restoring a sacred order of knights to its former glory. The six to 10 hours it takes to fight through this quest is time well spent, and though this download is priced higher than the previous Oblivion downloadable content packs, there's a lot more to it.
Knights of the Nine tells a compelling side story in the Oblivion saga. Even more make-believe fame and fortune can be yours!
Unlike the other Oblivion content downloads, Knights of the Nine is seamlessly integrated into the game. With the other downloads, as soon as you install them and load up a saved game, your character automatically receives a quest update telling him or her where to go; it's pretty contrived, but at least you know exactly what to do. With Knights of the Nine, you don't get a convenient quest update, but must instead ask around for rumors to get your first clue that something's up. It's not that hard to figure out, but apparently it's hard enough that the retail PC version spells it out for you as part of the meager documentation. This particular story begins in the town of Anvil, where you find that the local chapel has been desecrated, its priests slaughtered. An outspoken prophet preaches doomsday nearby to all those who will listen. He informs you that the evil Umaril the Unfeathered has come back to life and will bring about all kinds of wrongdoing if left unchecked; unfortunately, he's immortal. If only there were a way to stop him!
There is a way, of course. It involves questing for the long-lost weapons and armor of the divine crusader, a man who once slew Umaril but didn't entirely succeed. So you'll embark on a very traditional sort of quest: Scour the world for some powerful, ancient artifacts, and use them to kill the bad guy. As your first order of business after taking the prophet up on his challenge, you must gain the favor of the Nine--the gods who preside over the land of Cyrodil--by visiting the wayshrines devoted to them, which are scattered throughout the land. This may or may not take a while, depending on how much of the map you've already uncovered; you may or may not have already discovered fast-travel locations near the different wayshrines. Since Knights of the Nine simply adds another set of things to do in Oblivion, it's yours to decide at what point in your character's life to try to tackle its challenges, and it'll naturally be easier if you go into it with a stronger character. However, the foes populating Oblivion's world gain experience levels as you do, so the challenge does scale to a certain extent.