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Column: 'Critical Reception: Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion'

This week, Critical Reception takes a look at much-anticipated Bethesda Softworks-developed/-published Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360 and PC, a freefo...
This week, Critical Reception takes a look at much-anticipated Bethesda Softworks-developed/-published Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360 and PC, a freeform RPG that has kept the role-playing game community on its haunches. Featuring cutting-edge graphics and the details of everyday life, the question remains, "Does the game live up to the hype?" And with the reviewers votes tallied, according to game review compilation website GameTab.com, the answer is a resounding "yes" with a compiled average of 94%. Fueled by the sheer overwhelming yet interesting things that you can do, 1UP's Patrick Joynt has this to say: "In Oblivion, you have so many normal things to experience -- so many of the little things that define a real person's day-to-day life -- that it's almost impossible not to be drawn into this world of khajiit thieves and daedric monsters. The quest areas aren't the defining features of Oblivion; the detail that went into the features that litter the landscape between the 'important' destinations is what makes the world of Oblivion nearly as real as the 'real world.'" Joynt also acknowledges neglible technical issues, saying, "The technical issues of the game are so minor within the rest of Oblivion's package that they're barely worth discussing." He concludes, "Oblivion is easily the finest open-ended RPG to date. It lacks the out-of-the-box crippling technical issues of every other Elder Scrolls game, looks great, and delivers on every promise Bethesda made during its development. Hurry through Oblivion's main story, and you could be done in 30 hours; enjoy taking your time, and you could still be playing when the expansion pack launches. ... Bethesda has given you the keys to your own personal kingdom -- it's up to you to do something with that kingdom." You can read the full Gamasutra column, including additional input from Games Radar and Yahoo! Games' reviews (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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