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Oblivion. The fourth game in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series still draws me back occasionally, to run through the Nibany Basin or stare into the sea off the Golden Coast, all the while questing, dungeon-delving and just soaking in one of the greatest game worlds ever presented. It’s sequel, Skyim is due in mere days so I’m going to go on a look back at Oblivion to prepare to leap forward. Come with me, to Cyrodiil.

Oblivion

This is the screenshot I took when I first stepped out of the Imperial Sewers for the first time. I was entranced by the landscape and the graphics in general. Running on a wimpy Athlon XP 1900+ (1.6 Ghz) and a Radeon X1600 Pro, the frame rate suffered some but I didn’t care – I was playing Oblivion (sadly, this phenomenon may repeat itself since while I have a decent CPU now my nicer video card (512 MB 8800GT) died and now I have a crappy one (HD 6450) in it’s place until I can afford a new one). I walked to the Imperial City to peruse the market district before heading to Chorral on foot. For the record – if you fast-traveled there the first time, you don’t like Elder Scrolls games.

Oblivion

I was just outside of town as the sun set, so I turned and took this picture. It’s still one of my favorites.

Oblivion

Ah, Oblivion itself. I was unimpressed by the Daedric realm as a whole. It was just one tedious dungeon crawl after another with rarely anything interesting to see or do. I’ve actually avoided them for most of my hundreds of hours of playtime, to this day.

Oblivion

When did you run into your first random NPC adventurer? Or rather, did you ever see a random NPC adventurer? I’ve met a total of one: this guy. I almost attacked him only to find out he was friendly. He wished me luck and began to loot the place. Not wanting to hurt him – I’m a nice adventurer most of the time – I instead ran ahead of him and grabbed everything before he could.

Oblivion

This is another of my favorite screen shots. Oh, if the head of the house could see this. I don’t remember which castle this was in (I think it was Cheydinal) but these two guards got a ‘sit’ command from the Radiant AI and the closest seats were the thrones. Nice.

Oblivion

Speaking of Cheydinal, the ‘lost in a painting’ quest was one of my favorites. The whole art style just fit and the idea of using toner on the trolls was well done.

Oblivion

What can I say? Fireball spell + dynamic physics + bunches of books = a whole day of fun.

Oblivion

Oblivion is my favorite game that I’ve played since this site was launched in 2005, prompting a two-thousand plus word review, the longest I’ve yet done. We’ll wait and see if Skyrim can live up to that standard. It’s only three days before we find out.