The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
|The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion|
|Release date:||March 21, 2006|
|Developer:||Bethesda Game Studios|
|Series:||The Elder Scrolls Series|
|Platforms:||Windows, Xbox 360|
|Input:||Keyboard and Mouse, Gamepad|
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, or sometimes just Oblivion, is a single player fantasy-themed action-oriented computer role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax Media and the Take-Two Interactive subsidiary 2K Games.
It is the fourth installment in The Elder Scrolls video game series. It was released on March 21, 2006 for Windows PCs and the Xbox 360. A PlayStation 3 release was shipped on March 20, 2007 in North America, and April 27, 2007 in Europe. One expansion pack, Shivering Isles, and a number of downloadable minor content releases have followed; Shivering Isles will be the last major expansion though. The game was well-received by critics, winning numerous awards and scoring an average of 94% in Metacritic's aggregate. Oblivion sold 1.7 million copies by April 10, 2006, and over 3 million copies by January 18, 2007. A package including both Shivering Isles and the official plug-in Knights of the Nine, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition, was announced on July 9, 2007, and released in North America on September 10, 2007 for Windows PCs and the Xbox 360. The PlayStation 3 version of the Game of the Year edition followed on October 16, 2007.
Oblivion's story focuses on a former prisoner drawn into a Daedric Lord's plan to invade the mortal realm of Tamriel. Gates to the hellish realm of Oblivion are opened, through which many daedra flow. The game continues the open-ended tradition of previous Elder Scrolls games, allowing the player to travel anywhere in the game world at any time, including the option to ignore or postpone the main storyline indefinitely. Developers opted for a tighter pacing and greater focus than past titles, a design choice that was well-received in the gaming press
Guides, Hints and Cheats
Quests complete guide to all main story quests
Side Quests complete guide to all side quests in the game
Achievements complete guide to all xbox 360 achievements
Although it is set after the previous Elder Scrolls games chronologically, the game is not a direct sequel to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind or any other game. Oblivion begins with the arrival of Emperor Uriel Septim VII (voiced by Patrick Stewart), accompanied by a troupe of Blades bodyguards, at the Imperial City prison, seeking to flee from a group of assassins—later revealed to be members of the Mythic Dawn—through a secret underground exit in the city sewers. By chance, the exit is located in the cell occupied by the protagonist. The Emperor frees the player as he believes that he saw the character in his dreams, and sets off into the catacombs as the protagonist follows. At the end of the catacombs, the group is ambushed, and quickly overwhelmed by assassins, which results in the protagonist taking on the task of guarding the Emperor while the surviving bodyguards engage the enemy. While awaiting the result, Uriel entrusts the protagonist with the Amulet of Kings, a special amulet that can only be worn by those of the Septim bloodline. He orders the player to take it to a man named Jauffre. Immediately afterwards, an assassin ambushes and kills the emperor before he is, in turn, defeated. The sole surviving guard, Baurus, questions the protagonist, and explains that Jauffre is the Grandmaster of the Blades, and can be found at Weynon Priory. The character then has to face sewers and some minor opponents before proceeding to the open world of Cyrodiil.
As the game progresses, it is revealed that the prolonged lack of an Emperor has broken an old covenant, allowing multiple gates to Oblivion to open, and a Daedric invasion is to begin as a result. The only way to close down the gates permanently is to find someone of the Septim bloodline to retake the throne and re-light the Dragonfires in the Imperial City. Fortunately, it is also revealed that there is indeed still an heir to the Septim throne: an illegitimate son named Martin Septim (voiced by Sean Bean), who resides in Kvatch. However, the Daedra have Kvatch under siege and the protagonist has to venture into the Planes of Oblivion and close down the gate. After having closed the gate, the protagonist arrives at the Kvatch chapel and persuades Martin to join him/her to travel back to Weynon Priory.
Upon arriving, the player finds that Weynon Priory is being raided by the Mythic Dawn and the Amulet of Kings has been stolen. Recovering from the attack, Jauffre orders the protagonist to escort himself and Martin to Cloud Ruler Temple, the stronghold of the Blades in the Jerall Mountains. At Cloud Ruler Temple, Martin is recognized as the Emperor and is given command of the Blades, and the protagonist is sent off in search of the Amulet. After some investigating, the protagonist arrives at the Shrine of Mehrunes Dagon, a Daedric cult lair run by the Mythic Dawn, believing the Amulet to be held there. The Mythic Dawn's leader Mankar Camoran (voiced by Terence Stamp) escapes to his Paradise through a portal using a mystical book called the Mysterium Xarxes. The protagonist recovers this book and returns it to Martin, who deduces that the only way to recover the Amulet is to follow Camoran, and create a portal to the paradise as well. A "collect-the-pieces" plot begins, as the player must recover three key items that are necessary to recreate the portal. Martin states that the three things are "The blood of a divine" (Tiber Septim's armor, found at the fort "Sancre Tor", guarded by necromancer's magic and Four undead Blades warriors), the blood of a Daedra Lord (any daedric artifact acquired from the Daedra Shrines throughout the world), and a Great Welkynd Stone (found at the Ayleid ruin "Miscarcand" on the road between the city of Skingrad and Kvatch, and guarded by a Lich). Having acquired all three items, Martin reveals a final item that needs to be used in order to create the portal, a Great Sigil Stone used in a Great Gate to the Planes of Oblivion, similar to the one that devastated Kvatch. Martin and Jauffre hatch a plan that involves allowing Bruma to be attacked by the Daedra so that a Great Gate can be opened. The protagonist then must venture into the gate and obtain the Great Sigil Stone. Arriving on the battlefield of Bruma, Martin gives a moving speech before charging into battle against the Daedra. Many men are lost, but a Great Gate is finally opened. The protagonist enters and recovers the stone.
Upon returning to Cloud Ruler Temple, a portal is created and the protagonist ventures through, arriving at Camoran's paradise. After fighting through Camoran's men, the protagonist confronts him in his throne room, and slays him in battle. Upon his death, the protagonist takes the Amulet from Camoran's neck, and sees Paradise evaporate around him. The protagonist returns the Amulet to Martin, and the Blades travel to the Imperial City intending to re-light the Dragonfires and end the Daedric invasion. However, the Daedra begin a desperate assault of their own and overrun the Imperial City. The protagonist and Martin fight their way to the Temple of the One, in the Imperial City Temple District, to find that a 200-foot tall beast is wreaking havoc in the city, revealed to be the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon himself. Martin fights his way into the Temple, and shatters the Amulet of Kings to merge himself with the spirit of Akatosh, the Dragon-God of Time, becoming his Avatar. He defeats Dagon in one final confrontation, then the Avatar turns to stone. The Amulet of Kings is destroyed, Martin disappears, the gates of Oblivion are shut forever, and the throne of the Empire again lies empty. A final monologue by Martin, describes this in an optimistic light, claiming that the future of Tamriel is now in the protagonist's hand. After the battle, Lord Chancellor Ocato of the Elder Council proclaims the protagonist Champion of Cyrodiil.
Oblivion features the voices of Patrick Stewart, Lynda Carter, Sean Bean, Terence Stamp, Ralph Cosham and Wes Johnson. The voice acting received mixed reviews in the game press. While many publications characterize its voice acting as excellent, others found fault with its repetitiveness, even while commending its general quality. The issue has been blamed on both the small number of voice actors and the blandness of the written dialogue itself. Lead Designer Ken Rolston found the plan to fully voice the game "less flexible, less apt for user projection of his own tone, more constrained for branching, and more trouble for production and disk real estate" than Morrowind's partially recorded dialogue. Rolston tempered his criticism with the suggestion that voice acting "can be a powerful expressive tool", and can contribute significantly to the charm and ambience of the game. Ultimately, his opinions were superseded. "I prefer Morrowind's partially recorded dialogue, for many reasons. But I'm told that fully-voiced dialogue is what the kids want."
Oblivion's soundtrack was created by Jeremy Soule, a video game composer whose past scores had earned him a BAFTA award in the "Game Music Category" and two nominations for an AIAS award for "Original Music Composition". Soule had worked with Bethesda and Howard back during the creation of Morrowind, and, in a press release announcing his return to composing for the series, Soule repeated the words he had said during Morrowind's press release: "The stunning, epic quality of The Elder Scrolls series is particularly compatible with the grand, orchestral style of music I enjoy composing the most." As in his compositions for Morrowind, Soule chose to create a soft and minimalist score so as not to wear out users' ears. Soule has stated that, while composing the music, he did not imagine any specific characters or events; rather, he wanted it "to comment on the human condition and the beauty of life." In a 2006 interview, he related that this desire came as a result of an unfortunate car accident that had occurred during his composition of the score. "I ended up rolling in my car several times on an interstate while flying headlong into oncoming traffic," he relates. "...I felt no fear.... I simply just acknowledged to myself that I've had a good life and I would soon have to say goodbye to all of it in a matter of seconds." Soule managed to leave the accident with only minor injuries, but the feeling he felt in those moments before the crash ended—"that life is indeed precious"—remained with him throughout the rest of the composition.