The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is an unequivocal role-playing masterpiece of epic proportions. After strong showings on the PC and Xbox 360, Oblivion is now available for the PlayStation 3, and it's still every bit a fantastic game. That said, if you've already played Oblivion, you won't find much of anything new in this version. The graphics are slightly better, the load times are shorter, and there is a bit of new content in the form of the Knights of the Nine add-on, which is available as a separate purchase on other platforms. However, if you own a PlayStation 3 but haven't played Oblivion yet, this is one game you won't want to miss.
It seems like you're always stumbling across a new dungeon to explore in the world of Tamriel.
Oblivion takes place in the massive fantasy world of Tamriel. It's an immersive world full of adventure and intrigue that you can easily get lost in for hours at a time. You begin the game by selecting a race and gender to create a character. After a short introductory sequence, you can choose a class and birth sign to further customize your hero. The classes are typical role-playing standards, such as warriors, wizards, and thieves. There are also several hybrid classes, so you're sure to find a perfect class for your style of play. As flexible as the character-creation system is, you can take it a step further by assigning skills and attributes as you see fit to create your own class. You aren't limited by the class you choose though, because all of the skills and abilities in the game are open to anyone. Designing your character is simply a matter of assigning proficiencies. There are seemingly endless options for creating your character, which gives an early indication of just how deep and customizable this game is.
Once you create a character, the world is yours to explore. The main quest involves closing a series of gates to the hellish alternate dimension of Oblivion, which is spawning hordes of evil creatures that are attacking the cities of Tamriel. You can stick closely to the main story quest, which will take about 40 hours to complete, but the majority of the content in Oblivion is entirely ancillary. This is one role-playing game that does a fantastic job of nailing that feeling of truly being in control of your own destiny. Something as simple as picking herbs or hunting deer in a forest can suddenly turn into a dashing adventure as you're attacked by bandits or stumble upon a secret cavern that's just begging to be explored.
The world is full of hundreds of characters, each with unique names, personalities, and problems. It pays to talk to these characters because you never know when one of them might send you on a lengthy and rewarding side quest. You might have to spy on a suspicious person, assassinate someone, collect rare plants to create a potion, expose a crooked merchant, and much more. There are also guilds for each of the basic classes, and each guild has its own elaborate quest for you to complete. If there's a problem with Oblivion, it's that there's so much to do in the world of Tamriel that the scope of it all can feel daunting at times. Rather than trying to experience everything the game has to offer, you might find yourself simply walking about the countryside taking in the beautiful sights, which can be every bit as enjoyable as fighting for your life on the fiery planes of Oblivion.
Fighting is one of the more exciting aspects of Oblivion because the combat is fast and frantic. The tension is also heightened by the game's default first-person perspective. Fighting is as simple as pressing a button to swing a sword, shoot an arrow, or cast a spell, but the adaptability of the combat and the solid artificial intelligence of the enemies ensure that no two battles will ever feel quite the same. You can approach combat head-on, go for a stealth approach and stab an enemy in the back, stay back in the shadows and fire arrows, cast spells to inflict damage or status effects on your enemy, or even conjure up other monsters to do the dirty work for you. If you're averse to confrontation, you can simply make yourself invisible and sneak past enemies, avoiding combat altogether. No matter what strategy you choose, the combat is satisfying because it's quick, dynamic, and challenging enough to make you feel as if you're really fighting for your life rather than slogging through an endless stream of obligatory battles. You're rewarded for your efforts with piles and piles of glorious loot.