Oblivion is easily the most perfect role-playing game ever made. When it first came out a couple years ago, I tried it and didn't really get into it, but it was because of my video card holding me back. Running most games, especially one such as Oblivion, on low and even mid-range video cards is not recommended, as you miss out the true beauty of the game. Yes, the world was expansive, but everything was choppy and always loading and only a few trees were visible to forest looks so baren, and as you walk thru them, trees kept popping up. and along the cliffs, you saw the imperial city simply dissapear when you got to far, so back then, I just couldnt get into it.
But this was then and this is now. With my overclock 8800GTS that can make even Crysis run smooth, i decided to try to get back into Oblivion, and opted for the deluxe edition (includes all latest pateches as well as both official add-ons). And I started a new character from scratch. and man am I hooked! What used to be choppy pound-the-mouse-button type of 'battles' is now a perfect fluid combat where I have to time exactly when to raise my shield, when the enemy drops his guard so I can swipe him with my sword, sneak up on him with an arrow to the skull, or fire off a ball of flame right into his face. The battles are awesome and nerve wracking - no other game comes as close to making you feel 'right there' in sword & sorcery fights. The sound effects are amazing as well.
Next comes the scenery. oh, the scenery. Many times, I would just gaze off into the distance and don't even notice a bandit or a rogue mage ambush me. With all graphics on max, the forests are alive, the scenery seems never ending, and the HDR lighting as well as dynamic day/night is something to see. And after spending a week in it, I feel i'm just barely grazing the surface of all the side quests and vast environment that can be explored. This game is as massive as a MMORPG yet doesnt require you to connect to internet and pay ridiculous monthly fees to keep playing. And that also helps keep the addiction in balance, because if you pay monthly fees for a MMORPG, you feel like you have to keep playing to get all your money's worth. Instead, I find myself playing Crysis one day, a rally game another, and back for some more dungeon exploring in Oblivion the following day. And for a game pushing on 2 years old, for it to feel so fresh and new simply by maxing the graphics shows how ahead of their time this release was. And its got an easy 2 or 3 more years before it would start to feel dated.
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