The Best RPG Ever
The best thing about Oblivion is that even though it seems so huge and complicated and overwhelming, it really isnt. The way you level up just makes sesnse. Learning how to do things like use magic and enchant items or steal or murder without getting caught is all explained by joining the right guild. You really learn how to do everything right as you play normally so the experience is really rewarding because at every turn you are finding something new or learning something that greatly changes the way you can play the game.
Im not a huge RPG fan (particularly RPGs of this style), but I absolutely love Oblivion. I have spent 35+ hours playing it in the last week and plan on playing it for a good long while yet. The game is so easy to get into and learn what you are doing and it is so well paced that I can say without a doubt that even if you arent a big RPG fan you will like this game. You dont really even have to play it as a standard RPG. You can go all combat, or all marksmanship, or all magic, or all sneaking and stealing, or any combination of the above and the game is just as fun. You do whatever you want however you want so you can really make your own fun.
I do have a few complaints about Oblivion, though. The game isnt the glitchy nightmare that Morrowind was, but it isnt a smooth experience either. The game will occasionally freeze while you are out exploring and will also hang up on load screens every now and then. Also, you can sometimes get stuck on objects or fall into inescapable areas and the only way to fix it is to load up a previous save. Occasionally, problems will come up where important quest NPC wont show up when they are supposed to or they behave strangely and you just have to reload and hope it comes out correctly the next time. There is also some pop up in the graphics and it is pretty strange to see the grass and flowers loading literally 20 feet in front of you as you explore the wilderness.
None of these things are deal breakers, and are certainly not on the level of annoyance as most of Morrowind was, but they are just things to look out for.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically, Oblivion is a great looking game but it is somewhat inconsistent. When you are wandering through the woods and see the amazing reflections on the water, the lush vegetation that moves with the wind, and the great lighting effects (particularly during sunrise/sunset) you will be in awe. On the other hand, exploring caves and dungeons and interacting with the less than stellar looking townspeople will leave you a little underwhelmed. It still looks great and is definitely a next gen game, but some areas look better than others.
The sound is well done all around. The voice cast, including Patrick Steward and Sean Bean, does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life. Some of the NPCs sound kind of off, but the main quest characters are all perfect. Im also very happy with the music and there are a number of different themes that play in specific situations. One aspect that is kind of weird is that youll hear the enemy nearby music before you see an enemy most of the time which serves to get you ready for combat but also breaks the feeling of realism at the same time.
The Elder Scolls IV: Oblivion is easily the best Xbox 360 game out right now and is also one of the best games overall in recent memory. It is a humongous game that will eat up hours upon hours of your life. The main quest by itself takes 40 hours and with the hundreds of other quests and just goofing off you can do you can easily spend 100-150+ hours on this game. It looks and sounds great and plays even better and the amount of freedom you have to really make the game your own is simply amazing. A nice thing that I enjoy (and other people that arent huge RPG fans will appreciate as well) is that the enemies gain levels at the same rate you do. Unlike Morrowind where you could be killed by, literally, the first lowly mud crab you see outside of the first town, Oblivion scales everything to your level. This combined with the difficulty slider in the options makes Oblivion a game that is very newbie friendly and is very enjoyable for everyone since you can make it as easy or as difficult as you like. Oblivion is a huge game that offers a ton of varied stuff to do and is fun, easy to get into, addictive, and fantastic in pretty much every way. I highly recommend Oblivion for a purchase for any Xbox 360 owner.