In blurbs in some of my articles, I’ve stated that my favorite item in my possession is my copy of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This is not a joke. I legitimately carry the game everywhere I go, so just in case the need arises, I can play Oblivion. This video game means so much to me, and I carry quite the sentimentality with the game series. (Did I mention I am a fan of the Elder Scrolls?)
However, it has been a long time since I’ve played Vanilla Oblivion. I still play the game today, but in modded form with updated graphics, coding, and gameplay changes. I wanted to review the game in a retrospective lens and see how it has held up 12 years after its original release. With that in mind, I popped in my copy of Oblivion and started a fresh new character.
When Oblivion first released, the graphics were lauded for being cutting edge, even photo realistic. This was a huge deal, especially with an open-world game, which usually lacks in the graphics department. Oblivion was released in 2006, so the next generation of game consoles at the time (Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii) were just released. These graphics on Oblivion pushed the limits of these systems already, and fans and critics alike were blown away with the graphics of the landscape, NPCs and items.
My first impression of the graphics were much better than I thought. I expected to pan the awfulness of the graphics; instead, I was blown away with how well the graphics have held up in the twelve years it has existed. Oblivion’s overall graphics have a stylized approach that has stood the test of time. It is more akin to a storybook about a medieval landscape more so than a realistic world, and I think that is why the graphics looks so tight after all these years.
There is one aspect of the graphics that has aged poorly: the NPCs. Many fans of the game will make fun of the NPCs of Oblivion. The human races look like potatoes, the elves look like sweet potatoes, and the beast races (specifically the orcs) look like Shrek. This is all well and true, and I completely agree with my fellow fans. Despite all of this, the NPCs are very charming and are at least good to laugh at how bad they were designed. They honestly look ridiculous and there are many memes on how bad they look. Then again, it just adds to the overall humor to the game’s community. Continue reading “Retrospective Video Game Review for the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion”