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Sublety in Oblivion?
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Michael Danton
Ace
Overlord
Rank: 13


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 3559
Location: Australia.

Post Sublety in Oblivion? Reply with quote


Bethesda made a great game but it could have been better. I'll put my complaints into fantasy terms and how I'd opt to solve them. It's hardly newsworthy, but this isn't the first time I've felt the need to state my case about the game because I feel so strongly about it and it's potential that I believe was never fully realized. (and it's a good opportunity to poke a bit of fun too)

Let's have a look at the classes.

I'll put it into fantasy terms.


Thief:



If you create a smooth talking acrobat and mercantile expert, you're going to get your arse giftwrapped as soon as you enter a real battle you can't dance away from. Sure you could argue that being a thief, you could nick the best gear and get the best deals and maybe hire someone to fight for you and occasionally eat an errant arrow launched from a trembling bush perhaps?... Not so, the resale on items is rubbish, there's generally nothing worth stealing you couldn't get for 50 bucks and "hiring people" is an exercise in futility... as is getting black clothes in preference to 900 pounds of clanking armor to sneak around in.


Warrior:



The joy of being a warrior is that you can just wade into battle and split some wigs, send some goblins flying and generally conquer by dividing. The thing is, I've experimented with that class and I endeavored to make the most vicious and strongest bastard I could... Which was a 400 and something strength Vampire Orc, decked out in battleship's hull, and swinging a hammer as big as a suckling calf. The trouble is, in battle it still felt as though he couldn't ring the bell at a carnival with it... And all the girls were laughing at me (repress, repress!)


Mage:



Don't hit me, I'ma chargin ma lazarrr! (Sorry to mix my memes) And that's how it is for most of the game, as a mage you do more dancing than the thief does and the spells are either thoroughly devastating or ineffectual. The whole point of magic is to do inexplicable things and the makers couldn't see past chucking fireballs... lightning balls... energy balls... and balls to the chin. What ever happened to teleportation? What ever happened to turning people to stone, shrinking them, making them bigger (that'd be amusing in a small room) using the force and throwing them of a cliff or ditching random objects at their heads! None of that exists in the game and it's the bread and butter of the classic magician.



Actually I lie, there is a power of telekinesis in which you can move things around and toss them at incredible speed! The exploits of this spell are immediately obvious, the first thing I wanted to do was find a goblin, pick him up with my eerie powers, launch him into the air over a cliff and turn humanoid skeet shooting into a gory reality as goblin bits plummet to the earth, Yeah! No... Sorry, telekinesis is only for small inventory items, hence limiting it's use to nicking things in shops and casting irreplaceable quest items into the sunset. But what if I throw a "hammer of excruciation +3" at someone's head? Absolutely nothing, it bounces of as if nothing had happened; which begs the question, why is everyone wearing helmets?



In addition, no matter what class you choose, you can get a character that's good at everything so it defeats the point entirely.

Although these are just a few of the faults I've noticed, others are more technical in regards to AI and other programming concerns, there are other issues that are more of a choice that the producers made. These include the choice to level up your combatants and their gear with you. You don't have to play the game for long until you'll never see a normal steel sword again, quickly replaced by super-fantastic swords whittled from one of Satan's toenails with eerie mystical powers that either come in fire, electrical or hairy form.



Bethesda only used a few VA's to support Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean and that other fellow from Krypton, whose name I can't recall. These big names play only a minor role in the game and the same voice talent seems distinctly overused. It also doesn't help that the first beggar you run into in the game has two voices... Possibly the same actor, but two different voices. The dialogue and writing doesn't help either, for such a visually stellar game, they've really dropped the ball when it comes to scripting and scriptwriting, the story is rather dull and uninspired compared to the work they've put into other aspects.



Finally, in the end it all comes down to character, you as the player making an impact and having the game turn around and say, ooh look at that impact and then tailoring the game to your style. Well, in the game there is no 'style' as such. Everything is always handled in exactly the same linear way and just presupposes you're a paladin who's only interested in doing the 'right' thing to further the quest. There are Dark Brotherhood quests that venture into an interesting storyline, but it's over all too soon and you're ushered out of this fascinating underworld leaving your killer-suit at the door and exchanging it for the familiar Hug-a-lot bear suit you've been wearing from the get-go.



That's what's wrong with oblivion, don't get me wrong, there's so much right with it, I think you'll agree it's just the subtleties that suffer. I have my fingers crossed for Fallout three, the spiritual sequel to Oblivion.
M.

_________________
"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:00 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Arnold
Four
Rank: 3


Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 2

Post A point on Oblivion Reply with quote
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/75-Oblivion

And yes it is Bunnyreaper I just found it easier to create a new account than remember my old password
Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:45 pm View user's profile Send private message
Arnold
Four
Rank: 3


Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 2

Post Reply with quote
And my speech fluctuates through time so should never be relied on for tense purposes
Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:59 pm View user's profile Send private message
Michael Danton
Ace
Overlord
Rank: 13


Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 3559
Location: Australia.

Post Reply with quote
Hey welcome back.... Arnold? I thought your name was Joe, nevermind... It's always good to see the guys drop in from time to time just to see what's going on and that's enough really.

I've seen that fellow's website before and I must admit he's done a stellar job of taking a boring game review and turning it into an event. So much work goes into those films and I don't know how he's able to make one every single week! The best part is he's pretty accurate in his flippancy and pointing out the same problem with the voice acting in Oblivion. That beggar is probably the first person you talk to and they stuffed it up, it tends to cast a shadow over everything else. I also agree with what he said about immersion, it's incredibly light and won't appeal to... Well, people like me.

The story is everything.
M.

_________________
"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

-Alpheez
Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:59 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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