Zero Punctuation: Oblivion

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Good review, surprisingly he didn't mention the leveling interface which pretty much breaks the game for me. (Wish I had a PC so I could mod it.)

I agree, unless you play in the factions your missing out on ALOT.

Good review, and I rather agree...mostly. Despite what you say if you really try you can feel immersed as long as you ignore as many npc's as possible, now while you may say that is just delaying the issue, I find that if i run through a town, and hear bits of information and conversation it feels more realistic. The combat and such is decent, and there are some terrain changes, though I agree they are rather lack luster, its like "lets throw some super high quality grass and water around here, put a few trees up, some monsters *based on level* and go on. You didnt comment on how enemys level with you, I was hoping to hear you either say "that is sucked that guards were always too strong" or that "it was good because it never became too easy" anyways a big part of oblivion is mods, which is what makes it a good game. Some mods even present immersive storylines with actual consequence etc, and some fix the fighting system, even allowing decapitations, and slitting throats. all in all though your review was spot on, especially to those not playing on a pc.

I agree with this, especially the beggar/upper class VO. The VO is so lacklustre in some cases and in others it's great. Makes me wonder why they picked Sean Bean for the major storyline NPC, he seems to idly forget that he's playing the role and switches between his Yorkshire accent and his Borimir accent that they obviously asked him to import. Thanks for reviewing this.

Yay! Another hate-filled review! Yahtzee should be banned from reviewing any games he likes.


I'm apparently one of the few people who liked Oblivion, but that's probably because i played it on the 360.

You weren't. I don't know if anybody else remembers the time around when Oblivion came out, but everywhere you turned you would bump up against praise for Oblivion. Basically, a year or two of aging coupled with the need to agree with HM Yahtzee's review in this thread will assure several dozen posts of bile with only a few people left wondering where all the excitement went all of a sudden.

That said, I did start playing it a few weeks ago and I didn't get past the first bridge you cross. I'm not a big RPG fan so this is the first "proper" RPG I have played in ages, and I didn't find it very fun, and I'll take Yahtzee's word as to the uniform look of the game world.

Yeah I'm not going to be jumping on the Yahtzee bandwagon here. I liked Oblivion a lot a year back, played it to death. That is to say the side quests, I loved the Dark Brotherhood and everything but when the time came to get to the main storyline my enthusiasm was stunted. The only objective really was to go into oblivion gates, kill things, steal sigil stone and you're out. It's the same everywhere even in the final Great Gate you're supposed to shut. So I said 'fuck you' to this aspect of the game, started anew as a Nord swordfighter with heavy armor and turned him into a friggin level 38 tank that could run like a life-long trained Kenyan with resistances so high in every aspect I could just run my way through every oblivion gate (even through lava, yes no problem) and get to the sigil stone within 3 minutes just so I could finish the storyline. This was in no aspect fun whatsoever. So if you want to enjoy Oblivion, never start the main story, only do the sidequests and download all the good mods. Unfortunately I don't have that opportunity due to me owning the game for the 360 and having a slow pc so the Oblivion era is dead for me.
Oh, and the replay value also sucks balls since every character you create can join any faction you want, no requirements.

Finally, Yahtzee reviews a game I've actually played! (The last one was Psychonauts, I think.)

And I enjoyed it... but he's right about a lot of things, including the NPC voices (so few! so disjointed! so wacky!) and the fact that it all looks rather mundane (four or five different flavors of it, mind you) compared to Morrowind, land of ash and mushrooms. And when you come down to it, Cyrodiil is more like a theme park version of a fantasy kingdom; the whole Imperial City, which is supposed to be this grand thing, would fit within a couple of blocks, and the province itself is smaller than the county I live in.

My biggest objection/immersion breaker was how the leveling system worked with regard to equipment. After you've done one or two quest-lines to the end, you're going to be in your 20s, the level-up screens tell you that you have nothing to look forward to but gradual decline, and every random bandit on the road is going to be wearing full (or half) suits of glass or daedric armor and weilding weapons of the same. Why don't they just sell that stuff and retire? I've actually set some of my characters' levels back down into the teens (I'm playing on a PC, so I can do stuff like that) just so that the things I was fighting would have steel or leather armor again - not for the sake of easy wins (I can always turn down the difficulty slider for that) but the sake of some sense of versimilitude.


Two quick replies.

1) To the guy who thinks that the Oblivion hatefest is a new thing, try popping over to the Bethesda forums sometime. It was hated before it even appeared. (see also "Fallout3 - Pete Hines lies repeatedly about a steampunk FPS". Not sure if that's the real subtitle but it's close enough)

2) The necrophilia woman is in a shop in the town with the crazy paranoid guy behind the church (I haven't played it for months and months so can't remember the name). Anyway she's one of the lizard things and you need to talk to here as if you were a necrophiliac, then she'll tell you all. So strictly speaking you aren't jailed for that at the start, but the guy who said you were obviously thought he was :D


I am saddened that I am yet to finish this game...

I actually don't think you can.

2) The necrophilia woman is in a shop in the town with the crazy paranoid guy behind the church (I haven't played it for months and months so can't remember the name

That'd be Skingrad, if memory serves.

gone for a good 4 hours and we've gained that many pages. I think I'll respond to some of the early posts.

i wouldn't say you like games that are "instantly gratifying"

I would. Painkiller, anyone?

In Morrowind, you would really feel like an outlander, especially with all the unique creatures and customs. Weird dogs attacking me? Sweet. Wizards grow their towers? Awesome. Varying architecture, TONS of in game literature and lore, et cetera.

Some of that was fun, some of it was incredibly annoying, like how easy it was to get stuck in the Telvanni towers.

Kaos Incarnate:
There is only one part I enjoy in Oblivion, the murdering the five people in the house without the others finding out, that was so much fun, it's a save before entering and loading it up again moment.

Best mission ever.


Finally, Yahtzee reviews a game I've actually played! (The last one was Psychonauts, I think.)

You need to get out more. Like to a friend who does have these games.

and he says he picked a Nord because he lacks creativity and then compares the dialog to "A middle school lord of the rings play to an audience of deaf budgies".

Good review

I was surprised it wasn't the new Ninja Gaiden game, but then I remembered that Australians get the shaft when it comes to release dates.

Anyway, great review, as always.

Awesome and accurate.

However with mods Oblivion changes into quite an enjoyable experience. And this is coming from a "story-driven/party-based/tactical combat WRPG" fanboy who has been loathing Morrowind and this game since they were released.

The dialogues remain horrible though.

I suggest some Shivering Isles. Bizzare characters in a game world that's completely off its rocker.

from what i could tell it a wasn't bad game for him, i personally love oblivion and i agree with what he says, i highly suggest get the game! :D

Good review

I was surprised it wasn't the new Ninja Gaiden game, but then I remembered that Australians get the shaft when it comes to release dates.

Anyway, great review, as always.

Ninja Gaiden game just came out in the U.S. today, even if australia got it when we did, he wouldn't have enough time to review it. Expect it in the future...unless he thinks DMC4 is just like it, then he won't. I hope he does.

Dark Brotherhood missions and thieves guild...and some of mage guild missions. Those were fun. I never even went through the story line far enough that the oblivion gates opened for the first's kind of weird watching people talk about the madness in this town where a gate opens...and I get there and it's still nice and sunny. Still, I borrowed oblivion for two weeks...only ended up playing it about half a week, then I finished all the DB and Thieves missions...and decided I'd done most of the fun stuff and turned it off.

Stalker Review would be bloody wonderful though.

I love this game, yet still had a good chuckle at this. Love the part with the PC - I tried installing it in two of the house PCs and both immediately decided they'd wimp out. Also tried the Oldblivion patch; it crashed the first computer and made the chunky graphics even chunkier on PC number 2. Even on the 360 it struggles - I've lost count of the times my 360 told me it couldn't read the damn disc.

Anyway. It's hilarious that you get such a mix of NPC voices in each town, even though each one is supposed to have a main race, if you will.

The levelling system sucks like nothing else, and I wouldn't have minded seeing it slated into next year. Sad thing is I can't even finish the Kvatch mission, and that's with both a strong magic user (first time round), and a strong powertank after. The fact that enemies level with you is an interesting twist, but makes the game so hard I actually gave up on the main quest and focused on the Brotherhood instead.

Best part of the game. And where was the praise for Lucien Lachance, sexy thing that he is? Come on, Yahtzee, you can put aside your complete and utter masculine traits for a second. And there's no way Martin Septim is sexier. NO WAY.

But I detract. Excellent review, as always.

An awesome review :3

Once again, Yahtzee strook with a firm, wellplaced hand. I agree with him on the fast traveling part, it's kind of awkward, although the game would have been extremely boring without it.

Are you joking? Thievery was freaking *easy*. Just exploit lock picking and break into everyone's houses when they're not home or asleep.

Perhaps, but then I stopped playing very very quickly. This is all I discovered, and had no desire to carry on.

mcdeath ob:




you mixed up Night Elves with Dark Elves though

No body cares.

You spelt nobody wrong.

That's just too easy.

Your mum's too easy


Woah! Yahtzee has finally reviewed a game I actually play! I generally love his panning of moronic first-person shooters, as I only manage a few hours on them before I am mind-numbingly bored.

But Oblivion--okay, I admit it. I've actually finished the game. And I still play it. Yeah, I have plenty of complaints, but they aren't the same complaints that a person who has spent two hours on the game would have. That is, unlike someone who has spent two hours on it, I actually know that all of the landscapes aren't alike. (C'mon, Yahtzee, I bet you didn't even get to the Plane of Oblivion and discover what the game was all about, did you?)

Here are the real issues with the game: (1) Anything less than a super computer and you will be running it with lousy graphics and it just doesn't look the way it should. (PC only.) (2) The leveling system. Nuff said. (3) The mind-numbing aspect of a whole bunch of dungeons and caves that look just alike and don't even have good loot. (But all TES games have this problem.) (4) If you want to play a cute little elf or magic user or something, you will find that you can't carry around enough loot.

But the plusses are that you can create your own character class, and there are lots of great mods out there for it.

Awesome as ever! You got yourself an ugly fanboy from Latvia! (This is the part when you dig up a world map or go to Wikipedia to find out where it is).
I trade 6 crayons and a moped pump for a skunk. Interested?

Good job on liking the kinks cause they're great, you should use their Australia song :D
Keep on bashing rpg's !!

Full Bleed IS RIGHT!

I agree alot with the review but the biggest plus with oblivion in my mind is the mod support, and there are alot out there.

dont like the arrow curve? there's a mod for that!

dont like the way guards act when you've comitted a crime? there's a mod for that!

dont like the leveling? There's a mod for that!

dont like the scenery? there is, infact, a mod for that too!

once you've loaded it up with player made content then you can really embark into Cyrodyll and experience the game that Bethesda MEANT to make.

I totally agree with all the points raised here, especially the bland landscape.

Two games that Yahtzee should review though:
- Haze
- Killzone (The first one - it's awesome)

Has anyone ever heard the rumor that the Oblivion AI was at one point almost cutting edge advanced but the world kept imploding on itself. The story I heard was that AI subroutines kept following their goals way to strictly and would MURDER anyone who got in the way of them achieving their goals, so the game testers would come across towns completely depopulated because of this.

EDIT: I know this hurts the game on a review, since you shouldn't need third party modifications to make a game good, once you mod the hell out of PC Oblivion with the Graphics Fixes the game is down right gorgeous, even on a lower graphics setting. The Natural Environments, Natural Faces, Money, City Lights and Star Gazing mods are a MUST for this game.

I'm disappointed.
Zero Punctuation really isn't as funny as it used to be.
I've felt this for months, and this review just confirmed it. There's no doubt Yahtzee still has his artistic flare and all, but maybe - and it's just a thought - he's tilting further towards taking this reviewing gig of his slightly more "seriously" rather than feeding his reputation as an online comedian.
Either that or I've simply gone shit-garglingly mad.
Basically, I just don't enjoy it as much as I used to.

I liked this review, and I'm a bit of a Morrowind fanboy, so I'm glad you didn't hate it.

Yep, this was a surprise to me. Then again, I haven't yet gotten around to writing my OWN review of Oblivion, so how can I criticize?

As someone who still plays Oblivion fairly regularly, I just have to say: Spot on, Mr. Croshaw. Every time I wanted to get "into" the game it sort of just shoved me away and told me it wasn't in the mood. (Kind of like my personal life, but I digress.) I found it troubling that you can walk half a mile away from Chorrol, then go to Cheydinhal (opposite side of the province, east to west), walk half a mile out and have everything seem exactly the same. Sure, there's snow on the ground near Bruma and lots of water and cattails past Leyawiin, but you don't get this sense that you're really somewhere different.

What really irked me was the sameness of interior areas. Caves, ruins and dungeons are all just sort of slapped together with a general theme- this one has water, this one has lots of traps- to where you have to start checking your map to be sure you haven't been here before. The Oblivion realms were particularly bad this way, and I started to dread having to go into them. And the voices got annoying as well, especially when you start overhearing necromancers in the depths of some corpse-strewn cave talk about how those with good hearts can be healed at a Temple. I really wish the actions of the separate questlines would have had more impact on each other (say, any at all); it's like most of these people live in a vacuum where everything that happens is just conversation fodder.

The quests also could have used a lot of tweaking. A lot of the "story" behind them feels about 30% finished, and for every one interesting or amusing quest ("Whodunit?", "Through a Nightmare, Darkly", Sheogorath's Daedric quest) there's three dozen others that devolve into simply "go here, kill this, bring back five of X". And for every epic-feeling buildup such as the last Thieves' Guild quest or tracking down an "old friend" in the Imperial City dungeon, there's a colossal disappointment like... the Arena.

And the ending of the main quest? Seriously, this is a case of deus ex machina that any Greek play would've been proud of. And what do you get for it? A suit of armor, and people calling you by a title on occasion. No rebuilding of Kvatch (or even the Bruma Mages' Guild, from that questline), no ongoing developments from the other provinces. Cyrodiil feels like a land frozen in time that depends on you to make anything happen, and that's not really all that immersive at all.

However, Oblivion does serve as testimony to why I prefer PC gaming. Mods plug in a lot of the holes that Bethesda left in ("Close shut the flaws of Oblivion!") and make for new and interesting experience. I hated the fact that there were absolutely no pitch-black areas in the game, but Ivellon and Bravil: Blood and Mud give you some nice ones to skulk around in. I don't understand how anyone could be satisfied with the plain vanilla gameplay.

And yes, Yahtzee, you're not the only one who had to do a reality check after a Thief bender. You have no idea how aware that game made me of the sound of my own footsteps. Now I scare people by coming up behind them silently. ;)

Ok, I'm not sure, but the Marrowind version of the game I had was on Xbox. I don't know if this makes a difference, but if so PLEASE tell me. Because, when I played Marrowind..... IT SUCKED ASS! Seriously! I would get so lost! As soon as you start the game, enemies are too strong pretty much everywhere you go! Nothing ever made sense, usually I'd end up walking mindlessly through the land, not really sure what the hell to do! And every time I thought I found something, it would bring me eventually back to the same damn landscape! Please, somebody tell me what went wrong?!

Yahtzee You Hand Some Devil. Love the video really good hope your going to do one on Mgs4 when its out.

I don't often reply in a thread about Yhatzee's cartoon reviews, well in fact I never do, this is the first.

Ok so the series is top notch, each episode a laugh riot of observational opinions.

However this particular was somewhat lacking, it was funny yes, it was an overview of the game yes, all for the points made were right on the mark, but for some reason I slightly lacked that tingly feeling in my testicles from amusement.

Sorry Y no Cigar.

Most of these point's made only apply to the 360 version of Oblivion.

The PC version was made in such a way that people are encouraged to add there content, that's always been what TES is all about. The blanks in the story are there to be filled in by imagination. This allows players to add there own content to fill in the blanks, if TES told everyone everything, then people would complain the game had to much content (speech), and was linear as hell.

The only point I have seen that I agree with is the immersion quality. In the story, you aren't saving the land. You're just helping the guy who will save the land to do it. You're the side kick. Which is boring and not something most people would play.

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