Zero Punctuation: Oblivion

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I like Oblivion, but i do have to agree with what YZ said about the voice acting. It is a huge world with a lot of people in it, but only about 4 voice actors for the regular NPCs, and a handful of phrases. On the other hand when you consider the ammount of dialogue in the game all together that's a lot of work for those 4 people. The one thing i like about this RPG compared to others is that if you randomly walk into someone's house then they chase you out rather than let you walk around the place and rifle through their cupboards, on the other hand if you try to talk to someone when they are chasing you they go from shouting "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU THEIF!!!" to "Hello, i hear that there is some hidden treasure buried somewhare in these hills". Still it's a great game.

I was able to forgive Oblivion of its many flaws (and I do mean MANY) and enjoy it for what it was. The bit about Cyrodil being in the middle of the uncanny valley is the best description I've heard of the uck fugly NPCs.

During one of the Thieves Guild quests you wander around the Imperial City while the guards interrogate anyone and everyone trying to find....something, I don't remember. What I do remember is two guards suddenly interrogating each other.

The worst/best immersion breaking moment anyone?

Mine was when I was in a shop, dropping a watermelon I'd found, and suddenly the room was full of watermelons. turns out I'd done the "dupe cheat" by accident.

That is why boys and girls I am very very very afraid for Fallout being made by the same people who made Oblivion.

Now, let the fanboys bash me.

oh god.

That comment about Night Elves. I'm not sure if I should be in a massive state of arousal due to the mental image, or giggling immaturely at the usage of it.

The poor programmers must still have nightmares about this one.

I'm rather saddened that he didn't review Shivering Isles too. I personally thought that was the best thing in Oblivion (even though it was an expansion)

I think the main problem, however, is that on the 360, I couldn't help but feel like I was getting the shitty end of the stick. PC users can usually rely on a solid modding community to fill in the gaps by the developers, but when you're on a console, you have none of that - and as such, we can only look on and weep as the PC Master Race enjoy their various nude-mods and shiny new quests as we try and content ourselves for the eleventh goddamn time with cabbage golf.

I think the real problem is that you're playing a game that's so incomplete that gamers themselves have to spackle in the details, or that you're playing it on a console that's locked down tighter than the Bastille making the option of having player created addons a huge no-no despite having two fucking USB ports on front, or that you're playing a game by a developer that couldn't be bothered to actually offer you content that's ALREADY ON THE DISC for FREE.

I'm sorry, it really bothers me when I see gamers put up with absolute abuse, it reminds me of abusive relationships, except everytime the battered girlfriend/boyfriend gets smacked, they get smacked for 50 bucks plus Xbox Live points. Why do gamers put up with incomplete games or games that try to squeeze every last fucking cent out of them? Why do gamers put up with consoles like the 360 that try to make it seem like YOU are the problem and everything YOU do has to be scrutinized? I understand having a security mechanism to make sure gamers aren't stealing games, but when you can't have a third party controller with out paying Microsoft money for a lockout chip, why bother? Why can't I have game data load from the USB sockets?

I mean, the PS3 does some of this shit too, but at least I can plug my Hori Real Arcade Pro 2 into it using an adapter and play Virtua Fighter 5 the way it was fucking meant to be played.

So... what's wrong with the levelling system? A few people have mentioned it so far.


Awesome review, you mixed up Night Elves with Dark Elves though, as there are no NE's in Oblivion. Now excuse me whilst I go praying you're not playing World of Warcraft.

NO WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!! I was hoping secretly in my heart he would review Oblivion *___*

I must agree with Yahtzee. I though Oblivion was quite disappointing and I liked Morrowind much more...

So... what's wrong with the levelling system? A few people have mentioned it so far.


It makes some of the enemy's just beastly and since it can be controlled so the enemy's will just stay a low level while your skills continue to improve the game can be made stupidly easy.

The problem with the leveling system is that the enemies are always easy.

If you fight the Big Boss at level 1 he still will be defeatable (levelled) so there is no real challenge or motivation to improve :S

Some good points there but it's a shame he either missed out (or not commenting it for the sake of the console version) the modding community.

Most of these problems have been either just patched or in some cases pathed to the point perfection. There are mods that spice up the combat (decapitating and throat sliting), the lore (at least 100+ new books with interesting stories), the quests (some worthy of an Oscar), the landscape (most of the map regions now have at least one large and unique patch of space) and the enemies (60+ new ones that varie in personality and size and the original ones now also vary in personality and size).

Although the problem with bland common NPC's still remain there are some mods that add really interesting personalities and i think he missed out the dark brotherhood questline since he specialized in maiming things instead of stealth. The original oblivion is boring but the modded one makes it so much better than any other RPG.

he's right you know, that is EXACTLY what glastonbury is like.
and i could never immerse myself in oblivion, partly as its shit, partly because my graphics card couldnt handle the painfully lively scenery, as soon as i get an XBOX 360 for my birthday i'll not be buying this installment of the rancid gaming history, but i will definately be buying bioshock, the orange box and a number of other games that i cant run on my, although new, computer, maybe i shouldnt have got a laptop... oh and as for those commenting on the side-quests, and how he didnt review them, you need to remember that when you play a game, the game needs to have a direction. Thus, playing a SIDE-QUEST doesnt further the main progress, which is what most people like doing, the main progress bit, unless its some kind of porn, like DOA: Volleyball. although, i am forgetting that MOST people these days are pricks, or incredibly boring, or have no life, so allow me to point out that normal people want to play the main storyline. Although with morrowind, it never really points out the main storyline, it just leaves you to do as you please. Thus, allowing normal people to play the side-quests and enjoy the full experience, unlike oblivion, build to melt your computer from the outside, in.

So... what's wrong with the levelling system? A few people have mentioned it so far.


Well, aside from being stupidly easy, the monsters leveled with you. Because of that, I really had no fear of going into new places, worrying if there's gonna be something that'll kill me in one hit (like in Morrowind or Gothic) because the monsters would be easy no matter where I went.

Edit: For a laugh, check this out:

Near perfect summary of the game and why it is a bad RPG.
Though it would have been nice if he had mentioned the fact that everything levels with you, thus removing one of the main points of RPGs (character advancment).

Also, the main quest comes of as ridiculous right from the start. There are no compelling reason for you to do it, an many against you doing it:
- Either you are innocently imprisoned by the cruel government of the same Emperor that wants you to play errand boy.
- Or you are an actual criminal, imprisoned in the deepest dungeon for a good reason. As such, why would you want to do something as altruistic as to help the Emperor with anything with no hope of reward?

This, combined with the extreme cliché of the world and the stuff Yatzhee mentioned, takes away the second main point of RPGs (interactive, interesting story).

Which leaves.....well, a sword swinging simulator/first person slasher.

you mixed up Night Elves with Dark Elves though

No body cares.

I can't tell you how much I was glad to only rent this game and never own this "Game" as it is called

A really good, and really funny review.
Lolz, at the immersion. Haven't felt immersed much in any RPGS since The Witcher, and Assasin's Creed, but i have yet to play Mass Effect.
Also, nice follow-thru after the jrpg.

I don't know about samey, since every large real-world area that's roughly equal in size to the Oblivion environment is pretty much rubber-stamped for a few square km, whereas Oblivion has variety. I guess it seems samey locally, but running from meadows, to redwood forests, to forest glades, to swamps, and then back up to the frosty mountains helps. Throw in a desert, a huge underground cavern or rocky gorge, a thriving techno-metropolis, a sky fortress, and a space station and Oblivion would have touched pretty much every environment. Regardless, I was just happy that the towns, albeit way too few for the goddamn capital province of the world, and pretty un-lively, weren't copy-pasted. They each had a subtle "flavor" in architecture.

He was right about "seeing it all" though. As soon as you step out, you can do a quick 360 and have seen every last corner of the world. That's it. No exploration necessary. No point in running off the beaten path if you've seen where that path takes you.

I find it hard to get lost in a fantasy world where every country seems to be hit by a different natural disaster and being inhabited by a completely different culture (with the same language) than their 2km neighbors. But, well... that's for logical reasons. As long, as the game is intuitive and there I think Oblivion really scores, it is enough for me to get lost in (as well as good work on the atmosphere). Strangely though, I did not really have this addicted-feeling I get with other games and I was bit disappointed of not being able to apply a lot of the learned "virtues" in the different sects.

For instance: I deeply enjoyed the thieving quests and from a certain point onward, one has to collect stolen item value - no matter if you steal the queens jewels or a poor chaps last food, as long as the selling value matches the asked amout. Great! I wanted to repeat that during the game and become the merchants nightmare, trying to steal hard items, trying to solve my quests via stealing, but there where no consequences and I could not apply all my thieving skills to the amount I wish I could because the quests were over (but then, maybe, I should have picked a sole thieving game).

I also really enjoy about oblivion the fanmade mods and addons that really enrich the game. And I love the games that allow their fans this kind of freedom.

I am sorry now for the conservative part: I do not expect and actually do not really wish a all new all improved next part. The whole Sheagorath(?) business was a fun idea but it was not what I expect from this kind of game. Oblivion is not, well... as kinky as other RPGs. More... traditional and I would be happy if the next one still targets the same audience (and heeds the repeated critique).

Thank you very much for that great review. I am very happy, that you did not shred it to pieces (I would have seriously doubted my own taste) and were entertaining again. I was surprised that you took this game.

... but you could not have played it in one week... or?

Oblivion was hideously badly written. I like the idea of being able to make your own way in a huge fantasy world, and to some extent you can do that in Oblivion. But... It's just not free enough.


Take for example the Dark Brotherhood quest. In the end you become the de facto leader of the brotherhood, and what do you get for it? Well, some cash... I was hoping to be able to command a guild of assassins, but sadly that was not to be. The Colliseum was pretty fun too, but apart from that the fighting is generally quite boring.

Yathzee may hate customization, but personally I enjoy tweaking my character at the start of a game like this because it often makes a great difference as to how the game plays out. But in Oblivion the game is so over-simplified for console-users that most of that joy is gone :(

I'm apparently one of the few people who liked Oblivion, but that's probably because i played it on the 360. Yahtzee made good points, but that doesn't break it. you don't need to be immersed to enjoy a game, unless your own life is dull enough that you need to, but that's your own problem. I also have low expectations for fantasy stories in general, but that isn't really needed in Oblivion.

When I first discovered ZP some time ago I was genuinely disappointed that I'd never hear Yahtzee review Oblivion.

And now I've heard it I'm still disappointed. Not nowhere near vitriolic enough for the festering pile of Norman Lamont that is this game and has missed at least 5 zillion appalling design decisions.

It's an Action RPG that fulfils neither of those epithets. Meh.

As ive said before the only method necessary to determine if a game is good or not as far as im concerned is how you answer the question "Did I have fun?" after playing it. For Oblivion the answer was yes! Ive had the game for almost a year I think and I still play it from time to time. There are still quests I havnt finished. Yes the leveling system should be replaced with a mod almost immediately after the game is installed and yes the characters do repeat themselves alot but that last one is just being nit picky (Incidentally most of the Beggars work for the Gray Fox and speak normally usually when talking about him or the Thieves Guild. Im guessing the beggar voice is supposed to evoke sympathy. Oblivion is a game that can be played many times and many ways before it finally becomes boring and then the mods help to extend its lifespan.

Once again Yahtzee's reviews are humorous and it really brightened my Wednesday yet again.


you mixed up Night Elves with Dark Elves though

No body cares.

Ah awesome, I was just looking for someone who could voice the opinion of every soul on the face of the planet that's capable of reading, and along came you. You're a true hero. Granted, it's a nitpick, but since when is Zero Punctuation not about nitpicking? I find it disturbing that he's mixing over Warcraft races with Oblivion races. And to be a jerk: you spelt nobody wrong.

Funny review, even though I like Oblivion. I play it on my PS3, incidentally. My girlfriend recently picked up Morrowind for her XBox, and I actually perfer Oblivion over it thus far.

The game does have its flaws, to be sure. As has been stated already, the leveling system is a joke. You only level up when the skills you specialize in go up, and everyone else in the game from NPCs to enemies level up with you making it largely pointless. And easy to exploit simply by grinding a non-specialized skill. Say you don't specialize in Destruction magic, for example. You can grind the Destruction skill all the way to maximum without leveling up at all. Suddenly, you have powerful Destruction magic up the ass and a bunch of piss easy low level enemies that you could kill by farting on.

Still, a fun game, even though I've never finished it. Probably for the reason Yahtzee mentioned, not immersive enough. I've probably restarted the game so many times I've lost count by now. I have the urge to start again and make my character an Imperial that resembles Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder. Perfect for the Dark Brotherhood, although I'd like to complete the Nine's Pilgrimage first.

Incidentally, in my last game of Oblivion, I was a Dunmar (Dark Elf) with neon blue hair named "Garet Gobelcoque" (Gareth Cobelcoque wouldn't fit).

First reaction at seeing Yahtzee reviewing the game that The Escapist community loves to poke fun at: "Holy Crap!".

Reaction at finally seeing the finger being pointed at beggars going from decrepit hags to well civilized persons between lines: "Oh Frecking God Yes!"

I can't believe that after months of seeing this game being made fun of for these things, Yahtzee can still make me laugh for them again.

I never play oblivion so i have nothing to say much about this review.

(except one part where he said "200 square yards of medieval english country side..." the picture shows 40000 square yards land or something)

I hate Oblivion, glad you tore it to shreds.

Most Over-rated Game ever.

only played the game on pc, some friends (random folks on forums) said that it is better on the 360 but i'm not white enough to explore that.
I liked Morrowind, i did not like Oblivion
all in all a god review but i didn't lol as much as i did in 4 example the CoD4 review. I think the reviews are better when there is more furious nitpicking and ranting than objective intelligent reviewing but maybe that's joust me.

Ive been waiting ages for him to reveiw this istead of crapy wii and ds games.

Yahtzee, on the next planetary alignment, would you reveiw Shadow of the Colossus?

And yes, I signed up specifically for this request. And yes, my username is a joke about the franchise.

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