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Playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 2023

Paige Stegina | Managing Editor

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” by Jeremy Soule/ 2006/ Hqcovers

In 2006, Bethesda Game Studios released The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It is a single-player, open world game centered around the country of Cyrodiil. The player starts as a prisoner in the Imperial City Prison, but quickly becomes what will become the savior of all citizens by closing the gates to Oblivion. It was released as the fourth installment to the Elder Scrolls universe and quickly brought in a significant amount of awards. It was named Game of the Year by multiple sources while also winning awards for its gameplay and soundtrack.

There are many aspects of the game which still make it quite unique. In terms of character creation, Oblivion is quite comprehensive. The player can choose everything from the birth sign (which will bestow certain abilities) to specific attributes that will enhance gameplay. This allows the player from the very first moments of the game to craft their character in a way that will best represent their gameplay style. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the game is its open world. The player does receive a very clear mission from the tutorial of the game, yet the second the player character steps out of the sewers, they are free to experience the world at their leisure. Each town has charismatic characters, shops to buy and sell items, and interesting quests. The player can join the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild to learn more about the magic and combat aspects of the game. That is not to mention all the forests, ruins, and mines to explore. Along the way, the player is introduced to many types of creatures within the world. From the very start of the game, the player hears whispers of the mythical Daedra, along with ghosts, wraiths, zombies, imps, ogres, minotaurs, among many others. One aspect of the game that can be appreciated from a modern day mindset is the game allowing the player to experience the story and solve puzzles on their own terms. There are many times in which the player needs to solve certain conflicts and puzzles without the help of any ‘hint’ or built-in game features to assist them. There are certainly certain drawbacks to the game, especially through the lens of the 2023 player. The NPC dialogue can be somewhat jarring, with one second the NPC furious and the next telling you to have a lovely day. Compared to video games released within the past few years, including Hogwarts Legacy and Elden Ring, modern players may not even want to bother with a 2006 release. However, Oblivion still offers the player a beautiful world to interact with with an enjoyable playing experience.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is certainly one of the games that will stand the test of time. From the success of Oblivion, Bethesda Game Studios released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 2011. According to leaked documents, Bethesda Game Studios still believes the same, with a potential remaster of the game in the future. This is in addition to the announcement that there will be a sixth installment to the Elder Scrolls adventures, although there is limited information about the game.


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