In the Game of The Year Edition of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda Softworks provides hours of new gameplay through added expansions. This added content comes in the form of the Knights of the Nine and the official Shivering Isles expansion packs.
With the original game of Oblivion topping out at about 250 hours, you can expect The Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles expansions another playable 50-70 hours. Yet, still not included is the very expensive downloadable plug-ins, such as the infamous horse armour or Wizard's Tower. However don't fret, downloadable content will arrive to enrich the world of Elder Scrolls soon, for free through the PSN.
The Shivering Isles does much more than add quests to the main line. Ruled by Sheogorath, the realm is divided into Dementia and Mania halves, each governed by their own leaders. Each half has its own visual characteristics, from the bright mushrooms and polychromatic hills of Mania to the bleak swamps and knotted trees of Dementia.
A portal into this land pops up in at Niben Bay after installation. Either an existing character or entirely new one can pass through. You will discover numerous lands in the form of an NPC such as the Hill of Suicides, who gives you a quest to kill him, and an additional Soul Tomato.
From all of this, you'll also get some new armor sets and weaponry. From new enemy models and dungeon additions are gained Amber and Madness Ore, which when brought to the proper smith in the main city of New Sheoth can be forged into powerful weapons, with all amazing details reminiscent of Bethesda. The armors level with your characters, so if you're still somewhat inexperienced, you can go back and forge a new set a few levels later and take the precision of weapon damage. Matrices allow magical versions of Amber and Madness items to be produced, but if you're a high level character you can cast your own enchants. A few weapons pop up as you follow the main story along with some new summons, and, depending on some of the choices you make during the main quest, and various armors such as from the Golden Saints.
There’s a decent amount of territory to explore in the Shivering Isles, though the main story provides the most entertainment. Like the guild quests in Oblivion, the tasks Sheogorath hands out are varied, and rarely cause you to explore other quests. There's a solid back-story for each, giving you a motivation, and often plenty of rewards.
Choice is the biggest factor in this game. The decisions you make regarding how to comply with Sheogorath's wishes have effects on the game world and storyline, including determining which major NPC players live or die, and ultimately what kind of specialized armor set you're rewarded with later on. Players have a sense of immersion through choice.
Unlike the original game, there really isn’t that many interesting side quests handed out from the townsfolk. A few exceptions include one lady in Highcross who collects all the new alchemical ingredients you'll pick up throughout your travels in the new realm, and eventually asks you to start herding monsters her way. Another collector in New Sheoth trades currency for oddities, which you'll find in dungeons vaults or on corpses. Outside the town there are still number of caves and ruins to explore, which have two types of new appearances once you get underground. Even with all these, the variety of new quests from the game lack---though it has way more than the 360/PC versions.
The GOTY edition is an awesome game to Bethesda's fourth entry in The Elder Scrolls series. It compliments a player's ability to make decisions, offers and provides for an unforgettable journey once again through the world of Oblivion.
For those of you who have yet to brave the step through the gates of Oblivion, read our review on the original title here.
|The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition Review by PSU Staff|
-The Final Word-
The GOTY edition takes players on yet another amazing journey further into the world of Oblivion. Elder Scrolls fanatics with a penchant for exploration would be wise to accept Sheogorathâ€™s tempting offer and pick up a copy immediately.