Fodders Favourite: Role Playing Game

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“Role playing game” – what a name for a genre! As opposed to what? A game were you don’t have a fucking role? A game where you’re merely a causal observer to the events that are unfolding? A game like Metal gear solid four? Oh…. anyway, I digress.

As much as I really really want to say The Witcher, the true answer has to be, almost begrudgingly,  The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. See I’m not convinced that Oblivion is the best RPG game out there. I’m not even convinced it’s the best Elder scroll game. However, it was the first game I’ve played that achieved what I believe is the key to RPG success; it thrust me head first into another world.

Sure, there are other games out there that had kind of done this before, and there has certainly been games that have done it since, but Oblivion, for me, genuinely made the experience feel real. After a great intro that serves to both set-up the games story and act as a tutorial level, you emerge from the sewers of the Imperial city like a child born; greeted by the endless possibility and wonder of the expansive land of Cyrodiil that lays before you.

Not only has Bethesda managed to create a vivid living/breathing world of almost unprecedented scale, but they have you experience it all from the first person perspective, as if through your own eyes. This really serves to enhance the feeling of immersion, truly putting you in the shoes of the character within the games world. You aren’t simply controlling the character, you are the character.

Escape to another world

Escape to another world

The icing on the cake to all this and the way the game really stands out in the role-playing genre, is that it allows you the freedom to pick your own role. Whilst it’s true the game has a fairly pressing story, it’s completely up to you if you decide to stick two fingers up to it and fuck off in the opposite direction. Yeah, you can become the saviour of all of Tamriel if you want, closing the gates of Oblivion forever; or you could just bugger off into the woods and become a hermit, trading in rare mushrooms to the denizens of the province; it’s totally up to you.

It’s during, or should I say through this freedom that you tend to really experience the magic that the game has to offer (Literally magic, if you happen to stumble into the mages guild). As you discover new locations and speak to new people, all manner of different paths open up before you, creating the fore mentioned endless possibly the game has to offer. No matter how far you walk, how many people you speak to or how many quests you complete, you will never truly feel like you can say you’ve finished the game.

Oblivion is more than simply a game to me, it is a gateway to another life.

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3 Comments

  1. I still haven’t got round to playing this and probably never will but having sunk an ungodly amount of hours into Fallout 3 I can totally understand the joy of travelling the world to make your own adventure.

    Reply
    • Fallout 3/New Vegas and even Skyrim are probably better games, but oblivion was the first to really capture the experience for me – and in this case, first times really count for something.

      Reply
  1. Fodders Favourites | Fodders Gaming Blog

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