The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition

Elder Scrolls Overload

Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition makes an already enticing offering near-impossible to resist.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: November 4, 2007
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It's crazy to think that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion actually came out more than a year and a half ago, and here we are looking at a Game of the Year Edition. I'm not disputing that honor in the least -- as we originally reviewed it, the PS3 release of Oblivion earned high marks for being one of the lengthiest, most value-packed games on the PS3 -- I'm just impressed that the game has the kind of legs that it does.


The GOTY version takes everything that was in the original PS3 release, including the original 80 bazillion hour main storyline, and adds in the Knights of the Nine expansion, then adds in the Shivering Isles expansion that was released for the 360 and PC around the time of the PS3 Oblivion launch, bringing the total number of hours you can invest in the world of Cyrodiil well into triple digit territory, all on one disc, and all for the price of a single game.

It's entirely possible that a year and half out, most of the people who originally were interested in the game will have played it by now, but that does nothing to dilute the actual value or impact of a package like this. For those wondering, a stand-alone disc with just the Shivering Isles expansion for people that did jump in and got the original PS3 release will be available in a few weeks, so nobody needs to feel left out.

For that reason, if you're looking for info on all the old stuff, I'll just point you in the direction of our original review. Suffice it to say, the game is absolutely stellar, and adding The Shivering Isles to the mix only sweetens the deal -- especially because it can soon be had no matter what version of the game you have played. For sheer value, however, the Game of the Year Edition is definitely the winner.

The 30-some hour expansion (that's Bethesda's estimates, though if you fly through the game you'll probably knock at least a third off that time provided you've run through the earlier parts of the game and are powerful enough, and if you're absolutely obsessive about finding all the little nooks and crannies of the additional geography the Isles provide, you can probably push that number a little higher, but the bottom line is that the game is a meaty, significant addition to what was already a deep and engrossing game.

Finding the entrance to the Isles is fairly easy; just swim out to a little rock formation and gaping, glowing maw in the middle of the water of Niben Bay in the southeastern part of the continent. After chatting a bit with Haskill, a mysterious emissary of the completely insane Sheogorath, the doorway to the Isles opens in fantastic fashion -- the little room where you were sitting explodes in a flurry of butterflies. This is the kind of awe-inducing introduction to a very bent world that Shivering Isles provides, and while it's still rooted in the rest of the game's basic look and feel, the colors are definitely skewed toward the fantastic.

After agreeing to meet with Sheogorath, the game drops you into something of a virtual holding tank with a bunch of other travelers. See, before you can actually venture into the Isles proper and hook up with their insane creator, you have to suss out a way around The Gatekeeper, a massive monstrosity that easily kills off anyone trying to make it past and into the Isles. Here, the game gives you your first choice, either peacefully negotiating a way through or by simply offing the brute and ripping the keys to the two doorways beyond him right from the big lug's guts. One guess as to the route I took...
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