This game gets a perfect 10 in my book. It's absolutely mind-boggling how good this game actually is. It is perhaps the greatest game ever created. And then they come along and give us the Game of the Year Editions?! Yowzas! They made perfection, better!
This is the most immersive, the most ambitious, the largest, the longest, the most open-ended, and the most addicting game I have ever played in my nearly 25 years of gaming. I have seen everything from the release of the NES to today and everything in-between. And I have loved a lot of games over years, but as of this review there is no doubt that this was the best of them all.
Oblivion does follow a main-quest story about the death of the kingdom of Tamriel's king. You are a prisoner who happens to get caught-up in the goings on of the king as he accesses a secret passage that just happens to be in your jail cell. Him and the guards basically tell you that it's your lucky day and you get a free pass due to the circumstances. So as you make your way to freedom alongside the king, he is assassinated! As he dies he gives you "The Amulet of the Kings" and tells you that you are destined to determine the fate of the kingdom and with his dying breath tells you to deliver the amulet to his unclaimed son and heir to the throne. After you play through that introduction, you are given the opportunity to create your character. You choose his/her race, his/her specialization or class, his/her skills, his/her strengths and weaknesses, and his/her physical features. From that point on, the game is entirely up to you. You can choose to continue the main quest, ignore it come back to it later as you take other quests and join guilds to take guild-quests, or ignore the main-quest all together and still squeeze dozens of hours out of the game.
First off, the game is beautiful. You will spend a good amount of time just enjoying the scenery, the maticulous detail put into buildings, people, and even armor; or just checking out the spectacular night-time sky. The sound is just as amazing and realistic to boot. But where the game really shines is the sheer size of it and the amount of things to do. You could play this game for a year straight and probably still find things to do! As I already mentioned, there is a main-quest and storyline. There are also multiple guilds you join with their own quests and storylines including: The Fighter's Guild, The Mage's Guild, The Thieve's Guild, the Brotherhood of Assassins, The Arena, and even religious prilgrimages. If that sounds too structured for you, you can just roam the countryside taking random quests as they come up from the townspeople.
Speaking of the countryside, what a countryside it is. It has multiple towns all with their own unique personalities and people. Each town has a healthy population and size and even it's own castle. There is also a capital city that is massive in size. Tons of NPC characters, guards, guild-members, merchants, townspeople, and others populate these towns and cities. In between those towns and cities is a world littered with dungeons, ruins, caves, relics, and monsters that stretches for miles. You could just spends hours upon hours exploring rather than following any quests at all and still rack up a healthy amount of items and gold and gain levels.
As for the level-up system, forget about everything you know about RPGs. Instead of levelling-up by defeating enemies, you level up by using skills. So for example, if you are magic user your magic skills will go up faster. And depending on what kind of magic you use more often (such as Destuction, Restoration, Summoning, etc.), that certain type of magic will also become easier to use. The same thing works with fighters using swords, or thieves that use lockpicking skills a lot, or whatever your class/skills happen to be.
I could not recommend this game more. This game is well worth it's price and very immersive and addicting. It is high-quality in every aspect of the word. The only people I wouldn't recommend it to is young children, as it may be a bit to complicated for them.