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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Game Technology

It’s a very beautiful game with realistic surroundings, dynamic lightning and everything is highly detailed. You can see the world for great distance in front of you and the level of detail is astonishing, from towns to forests. Torches cast light in front of you and a sun setting is always amazing to watch (and rising also). The environment changes as days pass ahead with rain and clouds and sunshine. Character models are highly detailed, although faces might look a little odd and the lip-synch can be off. Animations are good but with an occasional strange bug, the game comes with a physics system which is quite impressive, but I’ve seen enemies fly up in the air after I hit them with a sword. With its awesome looks it sadly comes with ugly pop-ups of grass, hills, trees and other objects in the world as these appear at the edges of what you see as well as low resolution textures further in front of you that really makes the immersive world drop a few points. There are workarounds by editing the Oblivion.ini, but it can mess up things. You can enable additional water effects as the water normally doesn’t reflect trees, static objects, actors and other objects. There are lots of parameters the user can tweak in the ini-file to improve resolution of textures (or use user made plug-ins) or improve the
view distance in front of the player. Of course editing the ini-file will probably make the frame rate drop and can produce strange graphical effects. There will be stutter when traveling around the world, depending on hardware of course, the game needs to load all the environment of a new area you’ve entered, and this is done at regular intervals.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The AI comes with glitches but works well. The people of the world will start random conversations with each other, some conversations do work, and others don’t. The AI will conduct their daily business such as eating, sleeping and going to work, which is pretty cool to watch. I started a conversation with one citizen in a castle, he told me he was being bullied by the others that worked in the castle, then one night I happened to walk into the guard barracks and saw this guy was stealing food. Some random conversations sound pretty awful. The AI don’t remember if they’ve talked to each other earlier. I overheard a conversation between two NPC’s, they talked about a store which they first said in unison they didn’t like and moments later the store was not so bad after all. There’s a pretty cool persuasion system in place when you talk to NPC’s as they at times won’t give you all the information you need. You can either bribe them or charm them in various ways into giving you the information you need. You gain their trust to get what you want, whether it’s information for quests or how to buy a house.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

As this is a multiplatform game we PC players suffer a bit from the very clunky and confusing interface, it’s a multitude of tabs and menus that are not that fun to navigate through. The map is disappointing as you can’t zoom in and out, it’s not in full screen and you must instead use your mouse to look around the map. Although there’s a function which will give you a more detailed view of your surroundings, it still lacks a flexible zoom and full screen map.

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