The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a single-player role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fourth installment of The Elder Scrolls series and is set in the province of Cyrodiil, the heart of the Septim Empire, during the Oblivion Crisis.
The plot begins six years after the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in 3E 433. Emperor Uriel Septim VII is assassinated as he attempts to flee from the Imperial City after learning that assassins have killed his sons. However, before his death, he hands the Amulet of Kings over to the person who would become the Hero of Kvatch, a lowly prisoner which Uriel had seen in his dreams, with instructions to "close shut the jaws of Oblivion."
The adventure begins after a prison escape and with a quest to find a man named Jauffre - and eventually the illegitimate son of Uriel, the last surviving heir to the Septim throne, hidden away for protection since his birth. Ultimately, the Hero must stop the invasion from Oblivion and stand between the future of Tamriel and the Daedric Prince of Destruction himself.
I was born 87 years ago.
For 65 years I've ruled as Tamriel's emperor.
But for all these years, I've never been the ruler of my own dreams.
I have seen the gates of Oblivion, beyond which no waking eye may see.
Behold, in darkness, a doom sweeps the land.
This is the 27th of Last Seed, the year of Akatosh, 433.
These are the closing days of the third era, and the final hours of my life.
World and setting
Oblivion is set in Cyrodiil on the continent of Tamriel. Cyrodiil, due to its proximity to all of the other provinces of Tamriel, is a varying land with the geography being swampy marsh-lands, snowy mountains, and mountainous forests and green fields. The province has nine counties and nine regions: Anvil in the Gold Coast, Bravil in the Nibenay Valley, Bruma in the Jerall Mountains, Cheydinhal in the Valus Mountains, Chorrol in the Colovian Highlands, the Imperial City in the Heartlands, Kvatch in the Gold Coast, Leyawiin in Blackwood, and Skingrad in the West Weald, each with a capital of the same name as the county.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion takes place in Cyrodiil, the province in the center of Tamriel. The player is able to choose from 10 races at the beginning of the game. The player can customize them in many ways, including age, appearance, complexion, and even eye color (for certain races). They can ignore the Main Quest completely, and simply do Side Quests and kill many creatures in the 100+ dungeons in the game. The player can be a warrior, mage, thief (stealth), or any combination of the three.
Cyrodiil has many wild animals, fabulous beasts and lawless bandits for the player to the fight. There are wolves and bears, but also goblins and minotaurs, and many other creatures throughout the world. The player is able to participate in combat with these enemies with a blade or blunt weapons, hand to hand, using magic, or a bow and arrow. The player can also equip many types of armor which increase the players defense, or stick to clothing, or wear nothing at all. When given access to the Arcane University the player can also enchant his or her armor and weapons (or use Frostcrag Spire if the DLC has been purchased), which depending on the strength of the soul given, gives a certain strength enchantment. The player can also make his or her own spells in a similar fashion. The player has complete control over how they want to play the game.
The player also picks a birthsign and a class, with 7 major skills, and 14 minor skills, totaling to 21 skills, which fall under Combat, Magic, or Stealth:
In order to level up, the player must increase major skills a total of 10 times, in any order. The player can level up his or her minor skills through repeated use.
The player can travel on foot, speed up the process of travel and exploration by buying a horse by any stable or stealing one, and by fast-traveling. Upon exiting the sewers all cities are available for fast-travel, but all other locations must be discovered first.
There are many joinable factions for the player to join, though only 5 have questlines associated to them:
These five have conditions for joining and also rules which must be abided by, else the player can be expelled temporarily or permanently.
In total, Oblivion has ten official plug-ins; two major campaigns and eight minor add-ons.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles – released for the Xbox 360 on March 26, 2007, and for the PC on March 27, 2007. It was also made accessible on the PS3 via the Game of the Year Edition.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine – released for the Xbox 360 and the PC on November 21, 2006. It was also made accessible on the PS3 via its packaged release on March 20, 2007.
- Fighter's Stronghold
- Horse Armor Pack
- Spell Tomes
- The Thieves Den
- The Vile Lair
- Wizard's Tower
- Mehrune's Razor
PC system specifications
- OS — Windows 2000/XP
- Processor — Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent 3.0 GHz
- Memory — 1024MB RAM
- 8 x DVD-ROM
- ATI X800 series, NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series, or higher video card with 128MB+
- Sound Card — DirectX 9.0c compatible
- 4.6 GB free hard disk space
- Input — Keyboard, mouse
- Open-ended gameplay in the 26 square-mile land of Cyrodiil, homeland of the Imperial race.
- At least 200 hand-crafted dungeons to adventure through.
- Nine major cities and many smaller towns and settlements.
- Over 200 quests, with several more added in the add-ons.
- Over 1000 unscripted characters with full facial animation, lip-syncing, and completely voiced dialogue (50-plus hours).
- Ten races to choose from.
- 21 different skills in three categories: combat, magic, and stealth.
- Cutting-edge graphics to take advantage of the latest video hardware, including high-definition televisions, to create the most realistic environments.
- An original soundtrack composed by Jeremy Soule.
- Havok physics which allow the player to manipulate the game world, and offers more realistic interaction with objects.
- SpeedTree rendering of trees and grassy areas, allowing for whole forests and vast grasslands.
- New Radiant AI system. Characters will eat, sleep, travel and complete goals on their own.
A Collector's Edition was also released for ten U.S. dollars more than the standard retail game. The game packaging itself is unique and the box contains:
- A 112-page Pocket Guide to the Empire,
- A bonus DVD featuring concept art and behind-the-scenes "making of" documentaries,
- An authentic replica of a gold Septim coin.
Game of The Year Edition
A "Game of The Year Edition" was released that included the original game, as well as a bonus disc including Knights of the Nine and the Shivering Isles expansions. Additionally, a 380-page full-color paper Official Game Guide published by Prima Games was also released to stores alongside the game.
5th Anniversary Edition
A 5th Anniversary Edition was released on July 12th, 2011 for USA $29.99, and on September 23rd for the United Kingdom (U.K.) £19.99 as a "complete collection of the original award-winning game" and more. Content of this edition includes:
- The original The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion game, as well as The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine and The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles expansions.
- Collector's Steelbook: A beautiful collectible metal case masterfully embossed with Daedric symbols. (Just a normal case for U.K and the Republic of Ireland themed around the steelbook)
- Making of Oblivion: A behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of Oblivion.
- Oblivion Game Map: A full-color map of Cyrodiil and the Shivering Isles.
- A $10 mail-in rebate offer for the purchase of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as well as a Skyrim strategy guide. The voucher was not granted on sales made in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
- Oblivion is the only game that takes place in multiple eras.
- Oblivion was first teased during the opening cinematic in The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard in 1998. Several books on a shelf can be seen in the background: The Elder Scrolls: Arena, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and finally The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion at PlayStation.Com
- Official Elder Scrolls Website
- Official Bethesda Softworks Website