The funny part is that you could have just murdered a whole village, but these BAMF's dont give a damn. The guards in this game have balls bigger than Venus. They also have nice shiny silver swords, but getting them is a tad hard, since these guys tend to clusterf**k you if you even accidently brofist them.
Getting back to the review, TES:IV is a classical RPG; you have skills which you level up, and attributes which you can increase to help those skills. The skills are the usual bunch; blade, blunt (maces and such), heavy armour etc, and as you level up skills your proficiency with the related items increase- for example, level up blade and you'll do more damage with swords and daggers, and leveling up heavy armour means you get more protection out of said armour. However, rather than the usual "magic" skill, it is split into the different schools of magic found in all Elder Scroll games- destruction, mysticism and alteration to name just a few.
To save a lengthy explanation of which skills do what, heres a quick guide; destruction nukes the sh*t out of everything, illusion makes you invisible, alteration unlocks stuff, restoration heals you, and the rest are pretty much useless. Who the f**k wants to use telekinesis in an RPG anyway?
Combat is surprisingly fluid in Oblivion. You don't actually miss unless you're aiming the wrong way or too far away, unlike in previous games where if you had a low weapon skill you'd miss all the time. This drove so many people batsh*t insane in Morrowind (Oblivion's predecessor) that they removed it entirely in TES:IV. Whilst this sparked much moaning and crying from ES diehards ("WHY ARE YOU MAKING OUR LIVES EASIER?! F**K YOU BETHESDA!") it vastly improved melee fighting and made it more enjoyable.
"WOW, IF I SWING MY SWORD I ACTUALLY HIT THINGS! THIS IS WAY BETTER THAN MORROWIND!"
Sadly, the same cannot be said for ranged combat, both through bow and magic. Bows in this game are vastly underpowered; even if you had 100 Marksman skill with 100 Agility, it would still be impossible to 1 hit the average enemy, whilst with 100 Strength and Blade/Blunt you can faceroll pretty much anything. Its also very hard to hit an enemy before they sprint towards you, meaning your in the sh*t before you can even get off a shot. This makes ranged combat into running-backwards-as-you-spam-weak-arrows-into-your-enemies-face combat.
Yes, that is a wolf with 6 arrows in an around its face, which only died after the 6th arrow finally made it impossible to lift its head anymore. A* for realism right there, Bethesda.
Magical combat fares little better. At lower levels, if you plan your character correctly, you can nuke almost anything with 1 or 2 select destruction spells, but this advantage quickly disappears as you level up, due to Bethesdays fuuuuuu- inducing levelling system-but more on that later. Magical combat isnt all about damage either; you can shield yourself during battle and even paralyze your enemy, but both spells are very expensive, both in the magicka (elder scrolls version of mana, or magical energy) and money department. Unless you plan to be a hardcore dedicated mage, magic pretty much sucks.
Cyrodil (the kingdom where Oblivion takes place) is relatively large; though most of the gameworld is taken up by impassable mountains or endless plains full of nothing. Bethesda did it's best to populate the world with dungeons and caves, but seeing as all of said dungeons and caves were designed not by a team but by one guy, it soon becomes a case of deja vu.
"Hey, I swear I've been here before. . ."
"Oh yeah, thats because I have."
The cities, however, are all unique in their own way, with cold Bruma in the North consisting of low, log built homes for warmth and balmy Anvil in the West, with stone built houses to keep out the sea breeze. They are all built around the outside of Cyrodil, with the captiol city in the centre- the somewhat unimaginably named Imperial City, where the council and emperor reside.
Now, onto the infamous levelling system. In Oblivion, enemies do not have set health or weapons, and not all enemies appear straight away- instead they change and spawn as your character levels. For example, at level one only basic enemies are spawned with the weakest weapons and armour. However, as you get stronger, so do your enemies, meaning that if you do not carefully plan your distribution of attributes and skills, you are most like going to get killed. Over and over. This has caused much rage in the ES community, and several people have made mods for the computer version which removes the levelling system entirely. This pleased most people, though in the new ES game (Skyrim) , Bethesda are continuing to use the levelling system, so more rage is sure to follow.
This is what modders work on whilst they're not improving the game.
And finally, the story. You start the game as a prisoner, waking up in your cell and getting your daily abuse from the dark elf b*stard who is across the dungeon from you.
Suddenly, the emperor himself appears for no discernable reason and has to esapce from an unseen foe- right through your cell. Here starts the tedious and annoying tutorial which leads you through the imperial sewers and has you dodging assassins, creating rat genocide and killing numerous goblins and leads up to the climatic death of the emperor himself. He hands you the "Amulet of Kings" and from there on out, you are free to do as you please. You could follow the last wish of your emperor and deliver the amulet to his best bodyguard or say "f**k that guy, I want a beer" and head straight to the local tavern. This open world-ness is one of the reasons I love this game so much; it is truly your own game.
Well, that's that. I thank anyone who trawled through this long abomination of the English language and hope it made you wanna pirat- I mean, buy the game. Failing that, I hope it atleast made you smile. Just remember- nobody breaks the law on this guy's watch.