Happy 10th Birthday To My Favourite Elder Scrolls Game 

Happy 10th Birthday To My Favourite Elder Scrolls Game

"These are the closing days of the third era, and the final hours of my life." So spoke Sir Patrick Stewart as King Uriel Septim VII in the opening moments of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, foretelling the end of his adventure and the beginning of a million others.

That powerful opening monologue, with its lush orchestral score slowly building as the camera pans around the majestic heart of The Empire, set the tone for an epic role-playing experience that was unrivalled on any platform back on March 20, 2006.

Those swirling landscape shots leading into the opening sequence of the game, Bethesda's trademark prison escape, were visuals normally relegated to prerendered cinematics. You'd see something like them in a game trailer and immediately think, "Nice, but what does the actual game look like?"

Happy 10th Birthday To My Favourite Elder Scrolls Game

How cool was the bucket? How long did you spend just standing there and hitting it, watching it swing? Not only did the game match that opening, it only showed a small segment of a much larger, fully-explorable world. An adventurous trek through underground tunnels and sewers before stepping out into the light, a dramatic effect Bethesda's used to even greater effect in Fallout 3 two years later, made those first moments of freedom even more powerful.

Happy 10th Birthday To My Favourite Elder Scrolls Game

Where do you go? What do you do? Everywhere. Everything. Though I bought Oblivion for the Xbox 360 on launch day, I didn't really fall for the game until it hit the PlayStation 3 in 2007. I didn't purchase expensive horse armour, the poster pony for bad downloadable content decisions. By the time I got into the game it had already switched from a T for Teen rating from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to an M for Mature, due to a misunderstood PC hack that made female characters in the game topless.

I came back to an Oblivion that was prettier, more polished and packed with some amazing expansions. The Shivering Isles expansion's realm of madness and its ruler, Daedric prince Sheogorath, remain some of my favourite post-release game content to this day.

Happy 10th Birthday To My Favourite Elder Scrolls Game

BUTTERFLIES. I feel like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion gets overlooked a lot these days. The next game, Skyrim, blew it away in terms of visuals and scale, and modders of older games seem more fixated on making its predecessor, Morrorwind, look less like mud (and they're doing an excellent job.)

Maybe it was just the right game at the right time, but ten years later Oblivion remains my favourite entry in The Elder Scrolls chronicle.


Comments

    I've still yet to properly get into Oblivion. I bought it at release on PC and once I was out in the open everything felt a bit sluggish. Not sure what or why but the combat and gameplay in Skyrim is just a lot more fluid and meaty in comparison regardless of whether you think the RPG side of Skyrim has been 'watered down' or not. But the scale of the game was immense, walking out of the sewers at the beginning, you really feel so small, it's a feeling that I haven't felt in a game since then except, as in the article, in Fallout 3

    One day I'll get back round to it though once I get either a new PC or a new PS3.

      I'm Damn sure people have 'watered down' & 'streamlined' confused.

    My strong memory of Oblivion was a loading glitch (at least on 360) where it used to take many minutes to load new areas - then there was a 'hack' where holding a button down forced the scene to load from the DVD, and not cache where the issue was. Still a good game.

    I think my strongest memory of Oblivion was first finding out about it and watching the tech demos showing the graphical advances compared to Morrowind. I still remembered just being absolutely blown away by the graphics and game play.

    First one of Bethesda's games I played, and that's probably why it's still my favourite.

    Didn't really know much about it other than the fact that people seemed to like it. I just bought it on a whim when I saw the GOTY edition on PS3 going for $29 in an EB sale. Got over 200 hours worth for my $29, so I was pretty happy with that. Would have been even more except my PS3 died and I couldn't bring myself to start again from scratch.

      Didn't really know much about it other than the fact that people seemed to like it. I just bought it on a whim when I saw the GOTY edition on PS3 going for $29 in an EB sale. Got over 200 hours worth for my $29, so I was pretty happy with that. Would have been even more except my PS3 died and I couldn't bring myself to start again from scratch.

      Haha this is my exact story, everything that you said from the 1st Bethesda game, buying on a whim to the $29 GOTY edit. @ EB, freakishly accurate. Only difference is I got just under 300h out of it, and Skyrim is my Fav ES game. but still....

    I've played Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. My favourite is kind of tied between Oblivion and Skyrim. I spent a lot of time playing Oblivion but never really ended up finishing the game. On the other hand I spent less time in Skyrim and beat the game and had a lot of fun doing it.

    Hard to choose between them, I'd have to spend another 50hrs in each to decide.

    My strongest Oblivion memory was hooking up with my first Girlfriend in the backseat of my car in the Westfield Strathpine car-park while we waited for the midnight launch. Jesus, 10 years.... Was a lifetime ago now, I feel a little dead inside....

      Strathpine, represent!!!

        Yeah dude, I worked in the Telstra Shop there for a couple of years, strathpine is a total Ghetto though, house was broken into twice whilst I was in it at night.

    STOP! YOU'VE VIOLATED THE LAW!

      STOP RIGHT THERE CRIMINAL SCUM...
      ANYTIME NOW....

      These are 2 quotes I use on a weekly basis lol

        It's funny that the game makes them chase you half way across the world. The best was where you were in an Oblivion Gate, knee deep in lava fighting all sorts, and old mate appears behind you "STOP!". That's dedication to the job.

      YOUR STOLEN GOODS ARE NOW FORFEIT!

      PAY THE COURT A FINE OR SERVE YOUR SENTENCE!

    Morrowind beat Skyrim for overall atmosphere and story. Skyrim beat Morrowind in everything else.

    Both games beat Oblivion hands down though. Oblivion was boring as heck. Every cavern was the same and every mission was running into a bloody portal to do the exact same thing. Only redeeming feature was the Thieve's Guild quest line. (Admittedly I didn't play the expansions).

      It's so weird that people see Oblivion as the one that got overlooked or was the weakest of the three. For me, it was Skyrim. Maybe at that time of my life I just had way more time to invest in Oblivion, but Skyrim never captured my attention the way Oblivion did. I think it was the wow factor of Oblivion and the next-gen that did it for me. Skyrim just felt like an evolution, rather than a revolution.

      Wth scruffy... Dark Brotherhood!!! that was so so so much better than thieves guild,

      Morrowind didn't have a better atmosphere you aren't describing it right, morrowind had a better setting maybe?

      They are all equally amazing for their time and for unique reasons, And you comitted the biggest crime by admitting you haven't played Shivering Isles!! so amazing!

        Haha maybe that was indeed my mistake.

        And no, I found the whole atmosphere to be better. I don't know why. It was probably one of the first real RPGs I properly got into so I'll admit I might be biased here.

        That said, I think if I had to play a game the size of Morrowind these days without fast travel I would get tired of it pretty quickly. Ain't nobody got time for that anymore.

      Yes, because every draugr cave was just, so much better.

    10 years!!!!???!! WTF MATE!?! It's been that long.....where have the years gone...what have I been doing with my life!?
    Anyways, I remember back when I had not been following this game that a friend of mine came over to have a "lan party" and said "hey man, you going to get the new elder scrolls game?" I replied "elder what now?". Wasn't exactly keeping up with gaming news. Anyways, he showed me the screenshots and gameplay and my response was " holy crap...THAT is what the game looks like!?" See back then it was impressive for me.
    Just so happens that the release was a few days later and I promptly went out and signed my life away.
    Good times...good times.

      In November it'll be five years since Skyrim was released.

        Bring out Elder Scrolls VII already, Bethesda, ya lazy pricks!

          Let them release VI first (Unless you count ESO as VI - which I'm pretty sure Bethesda don't.)

          I - Arena
          II - Daggerfall
          III - Morrowind (not Morrorwind per the typo in the article)
          IV - Oblivion
          V - Skyrim

          Plus some offshoots set in Tamriel (such as Redguard and Battlespire) that aren't counted in the series. And ESO of course.

          People who think the dungeons in Oblivion and Skyrim are cookie-cutter should have a look at Daggerfall. As I recall lots of content in that game was generated heuristically. I wound up stopping playing it when I found myself in a ridiculously twisty dungeon but couldn't find a way out.

          The dungeons in Morrowind and later may consist of repeated use of the same parts, but at least a human being actually put the bits together.

            Fine, Elder Scrolls XXV!

              That'll be the one with an immersive neural VR interface...

                Ahhh, Vomit Mode © for me :p

    I think that Bethesda is governed by a law of diminishing returns - Morrowind was better than Oblivion was better than Skyrim. All were/are fantastic games that I've sunk more hours into than is care to admit.

    I still remember the first screenshots I saw of oblivion (in a PCPP E3 round-up article) and being completely blown away.
    That feeling of looking across the map and thinking I can explore everything I can see, which is taken for granted now, was so new and exciting at the time.

    Ah, Oblivion so many fond memories and so many failed modding teams that I foolishly joined as a younger man.

    My favourite time with Oblivion was always walking out of that dungeon and onto that little jetty at the start, pulling out the bow and sniping those two wanderers at that camp across the river. No idea why that part always sticks with me.

    Last edited 22/03/16 11:27 am

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