Monday, March 3, 2008

More Oblivion Praise

Another reason why Oblivion is awesome is because they have a neater and less intrusive interface. They did away with the minimap and instead added a compass that showed some nearby locations and marks. They didn't change the health bars much but the enemy health bar is on the cursor instead of above your character's health bar. Various interface elements such as the menus, oxygen bar, and NPC interactions look neater and more detailed. Also, you don't fail at stuff provided you have your skill. For instance, picking locks requires reflexes to stop the tumblers at just the right moment. Persuasion requires logic and alchemy always makes a potion (though no skill is involved). You also always succeed at casting spells however magicka drains very quickly.
The dungeons are really nice and always full of things to do and you have to be careful about traps that may be littered about the dungeon. Traps are a neat addition to the game and they include things such as spike pits, swinging logs, trip line triggered spiked balls, darts, and gas. Though they do not appear in all dungeons, they are still a good reason to keep your eyes peeled while dungeoning. The loot you receive and the monsters in the dungeon all depend on your level so you will never be underwhelmed or overwhelmed provided you level up wisely using a decent character build. Fortunately for the more faint of heart, zombies are not nearly as scary as in survival horror games- though they have been known to freak certain viewers out.
There are many pieces of weaponry and armor that you may find/steal/buy in many ways. Some of the armor and weapons, like in Morrowind, are unique and can be obtained via quests or certain areas. All of the weapons and armor look great and none are eyesores. Sometimes enchanted weapons do not appear to glow, but that's okay. More prominent enchantments have been known to cause glowing though. The way you use your weapons is different from Morrowind. You click the mouse to do a swipe/slash and you hold the mouse to do a power attack. This is different in the sense that there are 2 different power levels instead of the attack power depending on how long you hold down the mouse. It takes some getting used to, but eventually it will be second nature. Another difference in controls is the ability to block on your own accord. In fact, you can only block by holding the block button (the right mouse button by default). The is handy for when you know an attack is coming and you wouldn't have normally been able to easily block it in Morrowind. As far as I can tell from what I played, shields cannot block spells. They can block arrows though.
One of the best things about this game is that the quests are improved in quality as opposed to the generic quests in Morrowind. Instead of just the go here; kill that; bring me this quests, you get longer and more intriguing quests. Bethesda took the liberty of using many scripted events in their quests to make them very fun to do. There are actually some pretty decent rewards for some quests. They can range from enchanted armor, to money, to advancement in your guild, to new freedom in who you talk to and what you do. There also some twists on old favorites such as the infamous rat quest from the Morrowind Fighter's Guild. There are less factions in Morrowind but they seem to be alot more involving and neat. You can even advance in an arena. Though the compass points you towards the next objective, there is still a sense of exploration involved in finding your way to the next place.
Unless you fast travel, you will come across many ruins and many towns that are uncharted. These are usually relatively small, but they can still be very fun to explore. The main terrain you will traverse in this game is lush forest. However, there are still some grasslands, snowy mountains, and swamps to break the repetition. Every so often if you follow the roads you may come across a small inn or a farm, and there may be some questgivers there. It's fun to find new locations to add markers for on your map and the game allows you to travel instantly (in real time; game time passes the estimated number of hours it would take to reach your destination had you have traveled by conventional means) to any major locations on your map and any minor locations you have already visited on your map. The size of the game world is much bigger than Morrowind and will not disappoint those looking to get lost in a vast world filled with many things to do. Oblivion pwns!

No comments: