One of our favourites was the town Split, whose grumpy citizens all had doubles walking around. New quests will occasionally appear on screen too, inviting you to search out a specific location with its own story for you to resolve. It never gets overwhelming though, as the game's monkey-proof inventory system keep track of everything for you.
There's a distinctly darker theme running through this new section of the world. But at the same time the new environments you'll be traversing are a lot more colourful, varied and vibrant than what you'll have seen before (especially if you've out tens of hours into the game).
Parts look almost alien. The countryside is filled with strange towering mushrooms, space-like plants and organic, vicious creatures that won't think twice about taking a chunk out of your leg. Keep your eyes out for the skinned hounds roaming the open fields. Very Resident Evil.
Graphically it's all the same, which not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. There's still slow down as the game loads in all the textures of the landscape as you get closer to them, but that didn't interfere with the original game and it doesn't here, unless you're some sort of graphic's purist.
If you played the original to near death, then forgot about it, Shivering Isles is the perfect stepping stone back into what's essentially an incredibly involving adventure game. Never played Oblivion before? Then the original will keep you going for quite some time before you can make your mind up about bolting 30+ hours onto the side of it. And if you're a hardcore Elder Scrolls geek, then you've probably discovered all the secrets Shivering Isles has to offer already. In which case why have you just read this?
Shivering Isles doesn't do anything new; it just injects new life into the world of Oblivion. And that can only be a good thing.
- A whole new world to explore
- Numerous new side-quests, items and skills up for grabs
- Proves more of the same isn't always a bad thing
- Doesn't waver from the original experience
- It's still got those annoying graphical twitches
- No Xbox Live multiplayer deathmatch (joke)