The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is without doubt one of the best action-adventure RPGs ever created. But you'd only know that if you've played the PC and Xbox 360 versions, or had your mates telling you as much. Oblivion finally rolls out on PS3 this Friday (April 27) and the question on everyone's lips? Is it any better than what 360 gamers have been playing since March last year?
Slapped on the box is a sticker from Official PlayStation Magazine UK, which states Oblivion is "The best PS3 game yet!" While there might be a few heads in hands over at Sony at the thought of a year-old 360 game being the best game on PS3, the testimonial is absolutely right. But only if you've never played Oblivion.
For the uninitiated, Oblivion is a massive free-form action-RPG that allows you to explore the huge game world in any way you see fit. There's a main quest mode that runs through the game but you can dip in and out of it any time you want. You can ignore it completely and choose to roam the vast land stumbling across towns, villages, camps, caverns all brimming with NPCs that have unique stories and quests to give you. Or you can cane the main quest and carry on playing as you explore the land. The way the game's been created gives you total freedom to play it your way.
For details on how the story pans out and what to expect from the gameplay, allow us to direct you to the Xbox 360 review of the game as the PS3 version is essentially the same.
So does it look better than the Xbox 360 version? We'd say yes, but there's very little in it. The fact that the textures still load in as you walk closer to objects grates more than it did on 360 and there's still that bit of slow down as the game loads in a new area too.
It kinds of makes all those raging internet arguments about how my console is more powerful than yours a bit redundant in this early stage of their lifecycles. Fact is both Xbox 360 and PS3 equally struggle to cope with the incredible amount of detail Bethesda has managed to pack in to the world of Oblivion. It has to be said though that these minor issues don't get in the way of what is essentially a great game.
Oblivion on PS3 has also been expanded over the boxed version of the game for Xbox 360 and PC. Bethesda has included the Knights of the Nine expansion pack, which is basically a compilation of all the downloadable content that was released via Xbox Live following its release.
Included in this extra content package is the Horse Armor, The Orrery, Wizard's Tower, Vile Lair, Thieves Den, Mehrunes' Razor, and Spell Tomes. Some of the new content and items are aimed at particular classes of character. You won't get to use everything unless you play through the game a zillion times, each time choosing a different character class.
You also get to establish your very own order of knights in the form of the Knights of the Nine quest. This alone will add several hours to what's already a 100+ hour game.
Unfortunately though it's not the ultimate Oblivion package it could have been. The recently released official expansion, Shivering Isles, failed to make the cut (we reported in January though that Bethesda will released Shivering Isles later this year). Expect to pay up somewhere in the region of £20 if it ever does materialise on PS3.
Fans of Oblivion on Xbox 360 or PC need not bother. The PS3 version is exactly the same, it's just been tweaked a little for Sony's new system.
This is for gamers who have PlayStation tattooed on their foreheads and wouldn't dare look 360 in the face. It's the best PlayStation 3 to be released so far, but only if you've never touched another version.
Now, what ever happened to that PSP version...?
Oblivion on PS3 is every bit as incredible as other versions. If you own a PS3 and haven't played it, do yourself a favour.
- It's Oblivion - one of the greatest games ever made
- Includes more content that the 360 version out of the box
- Still minor graphical glitches
- No Shivering Isles included