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It's one of those games that just puts you down in the middle of nowhere and says at the beginning, "Okay, you see that path? Yeah, that's the story. Work on that and you'll be done in 20 hours or so. Or don't. I don't care. There's lots of even better shit in the other direction anyway."

If you like more structured RPGs with side quests supplementing a strong story, it's not that great. The story's fine, but it's not as compelling as other games. If you like Fallout 3 type games, it's fantastic. I'm more of a JRPG guy, so the lack of character development and a more cohesive plot hurt my enjoyment of it. But like I said, it's really a matter of pure taste and personal preference. As western RPGs go, it's way, way up there in terms of quality. It just didn't get me anywhere near as obsessed as, for example, Persona 4 did (and I know that a lot of people have the exact opposite experience and opinion).

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Oblivion was a good game with a handful of huge flaws. The leveling system is terrible; it's extremely easy to level your character in a way that breaks the game, either by making it nearly impossible to continue (you won't be able to beat the enemies it throws at you) or by making it ridiculously easy (you can have maxed out every offensive skill to 100 and still be fighting level 1 enemies). The scaling enemies system also really stretches suspension of disbelief sometimes (brown bears and minotaur lords rampaging around right outside cities? Highwaymen in daedric equipment mugging you for 100 gold?), which can ruin the sense of immersion. The fact that there are only a handful of voice actors for extras (there are exactly ten for most of the game, and three more for Shivering Isles; that may sound like a lot, but given that there are ten races and each can be male or female, it means that you don't even have a unique voice for every race/gender combo, much less different voices for things like soldiers vs civilians, commoners vs nobles, etc) doesn't help with immersion either.

That said, some of the quest lines are really great. Both the Thieves' Guild and the Dark Brotherhood lines are excellent, though I found the main quest to be a little cliche and forced. Knights of the Nine and Shivering Isles were both pretty good, too. I do wish there were more long questlines like that, rather than the metric asston of fairly short ones that they have instead, but that's a fairly minor complaint.

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