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Author Topic: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Impressions  (Read 47247 times)
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-Lord Ebonstone-
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« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2006, 06:48:24 AM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"

Quote
The sole PC user is reporting frequent CTDs.
Again - this could be caused by 1000000 things.  It could be crap ram, too much heat, overclocking to compensate for shite system specs.  We'll see when it is more 'released'.

You're right, of course.  I only mentioned this because Morrowind had a pretty bad CTD problem at release.  Historical context, etc.

As for the screenshot, again, I thought it was worth mentioning only because more than one user had commented on the bad distance textures (see the QT3 thread).

All the rest of the stuff -- yeah, pretty much, it's opinion.  If you're reading the QT3 thread, there's a funny bit about the voice acting though, something about a quest involving a city gate and the actor's failure to enunciate the "t."

EDIT:  And philosopher just ran into another clipping error:

Quote from: "philosopher"
Man, yet another clipping issue. On the way to Chorrol, I stop at the dungeon Fort Nikel. At some point, I decide- accidentally- to sit down. But when I try to rise, I get stuck inside the pillar right behind it. Only way out of this is to once again restart...


In a big game, clipping problems are almost a given.  It just sounds like Bethesda could have perhaps been more forgiving with it -- implementing an auto-unstuck, or something.  I know I would be pissed as hell if I got 'immersed' in the game, forgot to save for an hour or two, then got stuck and had to reload.  Or worse yet, inadvertantly saved while stuck...
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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2006, 07:04:17 AM »

How long did you play, Ebonstone?
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« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2006, 07:57:17 AM »

LOL at Ebonstone posting 9 times in a thread about a game he doesn't even like while apparently tabbing over and reading the QT3 boards about this same game.  

Get a life bro.
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« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2006, 08:00:18 AM »

denoginizer, that certainly wasn't needed.  You're only adding to the problem now.

I respect LE's opinion, but I don't necessarily agree with them.  I do admit that screenshot doesn't look that great, but I suspect that it's more some wrong settings on that person's PC or some strange incompatability.
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« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2006, 08:28:49 AM »

Wow, LE. For a game you hate.....you sure love to search the net for info on it....
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« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2006, 08:58:33 AM »

Posted at OO and QT3, but for completeness here are my first impressions:

Finally made it to Chorrol and met up with Jaufree (the second main quest mission), but I can't stay awake any longer. So far, the game makes me feel very much like I'm back in the Morrowind universe, especially after my trek from the Imperial City to Chorrol and stops at various "dungeons" along the way. Seeing as how Morrowind is my all time favorite game, this is quite a compliment.

Character creation is as deep as ever, and like Morrowind, it's more fun (and rewarding) to make a custom class. The face creator is neat, but considering you spend 99.99% of this game in first person view, it has little real utility.

The physics engine seems well implemented. Shooting arrows into the bucket over the well and watching it react appropriately was awesome. Even better was plucking the arrows back out when done.

I haven't really seen anything interesting happen from the Radiant AI, but I love that NPCs keep daily schedules. This makes the game world even more immersive. Also, random street conversations add spice and seem to work well thus far.

Melee combat feels a lot like Condemned, but with ranged weapons and spells, this has much more depth.

Graphics are decidedly underwhelming. Much like Morrowind in its time, the engine has moments of beauty marred by more than infrequent choppy framerate, annoying pop ups, and generally ugly textures at a distance. For this sort of game, however, the graphics are more than serviceable.

Finally, clipping seems to be a real problem as I've already managed to get my character stuck twice without even trying. Unfortunately, I had to restart my game in both cases.

In summary, unlike the revolution from Daggerfall to Morrowind, Oblivion feels like an evolution. The graphics and sound have been enhanced, the dialogue is now audio instead of text, the NPCs have been given a little bit of personality, and the combat system has been tweaked to be more than just button mashing. After my first 6-7 hours of play, this feels very much like an improved Morrowind, which is exactly what I wanted. If you liked Morrowind, I suspect you'll love Oblivion. Conversely, if you disliked Morrowind because it was too non-linear, or too complex, or required too much reading, I suspect you will find the same faults with Oblivion.
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« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2006, 09:20:57 AM »

Some more-detailed impressions after 3 hours of play. This is the 360 version and I am playing it on a 42" Sony rear-projection LCD (42A10). (I have tried to avoid any but the most basic spoilers)

First the negatives:

- there is some pop-in. While strolling through the wilderness you can occasionally see stuff popping up in the distance
- there are frequent load times in the wilderness (but they are very brief, maybe 1 second)
- the load times in the Imperial City are approximately 3-5 seconds for entering a shop and 10-20 seconds for moving from one town section to another. (I don't think this is excessive)
- when entering or exiting the Imperial City via the main bridge, there are some noticeable frame-rate hiccups
- noticed some odd behavior from a group of deer in the wilderness. They seemed to be running back and forth in this little area and their gait looked really unnatural. This was pretty jarring.
- some of the NPC faces are not so good, although some are excellent


The positives:

- the game is exceedingly gorgeous. Just breathtakingly so. Honestly, some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a game.
- re: the screenshot that was posted. I have stood on that spot and looked in that direction and, on my screen at least, it looked much better than that. I am sure there are many different PC configurations that will cause a range of quality (tv sets too)
- the texture work on things like rocks, trees and buildings is superb. I have stopped in the wilderness and just stared for a while at some of the rock striations
- the architecture that I have seen has been superb. A lot of careful thought and research went into this
- the atmosphere in the wilderness is wonderful. You have bird calls and butterflies floating by, grass and flowers waving in the breeze, tree limbs swaying back and forth (with their dappled shadows swaying back and forth on the ground!). The music is excellent, there are variable weather conditions and cloud cover (very convincing clouds, btw)
- there is a vastness to the world that is difficult to convey in words. You can see a long way in the distance and you know you can travel to those far off spots
- Imperial City (the only city I've been to yet) is simply huge. There is so much to explore there it's almost ridiculous
- one neat thing: I picked a flower in the wilderness and had a naturally occuring quest pop up as a result. Unexpected and cool
- the loading screens have useful game tips and information
- some of the shop interiors in the city are sights to behold. The detail, architecture, colors and furnishings are really impressive. A lot of careful thought went into this
- and one little AI moment to end with: After speaking to the proprietor of one shop, I strolled up the stairs to see what was on the second floor. Just his private chambers with a low-level lock on it. Temptation! I glance down the stairs and I saw that the shopkeeper had moved out from behind his counter and was now standing at the base of the stairs keeping a close eye on me! Hilarious!

My expectations for this game were high going in. After three hours of play I can say that, even with the negatives posted above, this game has so far, exceeded my expectations!
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« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2006, 11:43:43 AM »

Can someone post impressions on the questlog?  I know they improved it, but I am wondering to what extent.
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« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2006, 12:45:25 PM »

Quote from: "kathode"
I couldn't be more excited to see people getting the game and loving it.  Morrowind was nothing like this.  My inbox is overflowing!  Cool  It feels great to finally get years and years of work into people's hands.

Congrats kathode!  It sounds like this is going to be quite a hit.  I know you guys worked your butts off.

Cleric & Philosophist - thanks for the impressions.  While not perfect (and really only Katamari Damacy was perfect  Tongue ), it sounds like a lot of fun.  I just hope I can find a copy today.
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« Reply #89 on: March 21, 2006, 12:48:36 PM »

philo and cleric :  Thank you for the early impressions.  I may have the same tv as you cleric, I'm not really sure.  I have an HD Sony LCD, which I think is 42", but beyond that, I don't remember.

Ebonstone:  Thank you for making me laugh.  I'm relatively sure it's not your intention, but I think some of the things you write are exceedingly funny.

Hetz: I for one can't wait to read more stuff from you.  Thanks for the early thoughts.  And I am very pleased to hear how vast the game is, because if I end up liking the game, it means it should take a long time to finish it.

Please keep the impressions coming today guys.  You are actually doing a decent job of not including spoilers, which is great.
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« Reply #90 on: March 21, 2006, 01:54:58 PM »

Anyone that's been playing so far notice if they added AI mercenaries or any type of companions to accompany you? (The unofficial FAQ lists AI Mercenaries under "Maybe" so I'm not giving up hope that they're in yet)
How about pets?
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« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2006, 02:35:13 PM »

I spent a couple of hours with the game last night, and am thoroughly pleased so far.

For reference, this is on the 360, played on a standard-def 27" tv (with component inputs and running through a surround sound rig).  Just my highlights here:

Pros
 - Sound is excellent; surround placement is very accurate, music & atmospheric effects are highly immersive, voices are for the most part quite well done.
 - The gameplay itself is, as expected, very similar to Morrowind and Daggerfall, i.e. it's definitely an Elder Scrolls game, for better and worse. slywink Varied, very open-ended, everything I expected.
 - I was surprised by how much I liked the physics!
 - The opening dungeon is pretty well done, giving you the opportunity to try most of the gameplay elements that'll matter in helping you decide what class to play (based on what you had fun doing). It was immersive and entertaining, and in many ways reminded me of the opening dungeon to Daggerfall.  I found that much more immediately engaging and interesting than Morrowind's start.
   In addition, when you finally get out of the starting dungeon, again like Daggerfall, you're out in the open and must find your way to a city, which immediately gives you some exploration and fun, rather than dumping you straight into a town and forcing you through lots of dialogue just to get started.  Don't misunderstand me, I love the dialogue and story elements of these games (I'm one of those whackos who loves to read the books in the game), but I just found the pacing more even this way. I opted to head straight for my destination town with a few little diversions along the way, but other players could choose to just strike out in whatever direction they choose.
 - The skies are even more impressive than in Morrowind; stars & clouds are gorgeous, lighting is fantastic. I can't wait to see weather variation!
 - The main quest so far is also more immediately engaging and interesting than the previous games, but for me that's in large part because I've played the previous games and find myself very interested to see what happens next.  However, I just joined the fighter's guild, and will be working for them for a while.  slywink
 - I'll just echo Cleric7's comments on the gameworld's immersiveness and impressiveness.
 - The music for the outdoor areas isn't nearly as sleep-inducing as it was in Morrowind.  biggrin

Cons
 - There's a fair bit of chop in the framerate at times, even when not loading areas.  This obviously occurs more in areas with complex geometry.  So far it's not quite as bad as Morrowind got, but I also haven't been to the Imperial City yet, which I expect could be much worse.
 - Those distance textures for the ground (say, early on, when you look across the lake at the hills rising up on the other side) look like Flight Simulator ground textures, as do the trees in the distance dotting those low-res textures.  Sure, you can see for miles, but wow... the preview videos and screenies didn't show it to be THAT bad.  biggrin  Reminded me of Asheron's Call.  slywink  And no, it's not due to my TV.  If it were, then I wouldn't be able to rave about how great everything else looks.
 - I'm still iffy on the way that speechcraft works in the game. I like the mini-game aspect to it, but I can see it already getting repetitive and rather time-consuming to do this with every person I want to get on a positive disposition with.  However, that's not much different from Morrowind, where it was every bit as repetitive. This way just seems more time-consuming.  slywink

Tips
 - Don't forget to haggle EACH time you go to a shop!  That slider resets itself.  biggrin  I didn't notice that at first!
 - Dragging dead bodies around into embarassing poses is hilarious and appeals to my inner child.  slywink  Yeah, I'm whacked.
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« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2006, 02:50:19 PM »

I was wondering if anyone can give some impressions of the combat.  Combat was one of the things I liked least about Morrowind.  It felt clunky and far too simple.  Gothic 2's combat was a little better but still quite awkward.

If combat has been made smoother and a bit more profound, I might go ahead and pick this sucker up.
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« Reply #93 on: March 21, 2006, 02:52:44 PM »

Quote from: "Hotfreak"
I was wondering if anyone can give some impressions of the combat.  Combat was one of the things I liked least about Morrowind.  It felt clunky and far too simple.  Gothic 2's combat was a little better but still quite awkward.

If combat has been made smoother and a bit more profound, I might go ahead and pick this sucker up.


So far, to me, it feels a little better than that in Morrowind, but not significantly so.  There's more strategy to using your "charged attack" since it changes based on movement so far for me.  I've used it to attack with a charge and drop opponents in a single blow before they can hit me.  Granted, these were crabs and rats, but still!  biggrin

I don't believe that combat is significantly changed enough to appeal to you though, from what you've said here.  But I could be wrong.
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« Reply #94 on: March 21, 2006, 03:16:56 PM »

Quote from: "Farscry_Redux"
Quote from: "Hotfreak"
I was wondering if anyone can give some impressions of the combat.  Combat was one of the things I liked least about Morrowind.  It felt clunky and far too simple.  Gothic 2's combat was a little better but still quite awkward.

If combat has been made smoother and a bit more profound, I might go ahead and pick this sucker up.


So far, to me, it feels a little better than that in Morrowind, but not significantly so.  There's more strategy to using your "charged attack" since it changes based on movement so far for me.  I've used it to attack with a charge and drop opponents in a single blow before they can hit me.  Granted, these were crabs and rats, but still!  biggrin

I don't believe that combat is significantly changed enough to appeal to you though, from what you've said here.  But I could be wrong.

Yeah, the combat (on the PC version) seems like a slight improvement over Morrowind. You can block and you can attack, though sometimes it is harder to block that it would seem.
The enemy death animations/physics are a bit odd. It seems the enemies do a bit of a jump and then sprawl out dead. It may just be me, but it doesn't seem natural.
I'll admit, however, that sometimes the totally unreal "guy shot with shotgun got blasted across the room" effect seems pretty real to me.
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« Reply #95 on: March 21, 2006, 03:44:30 PM »

Has anyone progressed far enough into the game to gain access to any of the combat perks?  I'm wondering if they add a little more excitement or variety to the combat?
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« Reply #96 on: March 21, 2006, 05:48:54 PM »



biggrin

Back later with impressions of my own...
(honest enough impressions, even for you LE)
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« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2006, 05:54:57 PM »

I'd just like to say : LE I hope you do mean what you say when you stated you're looking to be convinced.
 Cleric7 : while I understand your frustration with LE (and I was too on page 2) I don't think his acerbic comments are intended as malice to the readers. He's just a very jaded and bitter gamer, and places too much expectation into RPG games.

I just a call ; my Oblivion is in. biggrin
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« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2006, 06:01:42 PM »

C'mon now.. can anyone confirm if mercenaries made it into the game or not? My decision to buy the game is based on that feature alone and I'm ready to head out to compusa today if it's in before they sell out all their copies.
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« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2006, 06:12:40 PM »

Never heard anything about mercenaries making it into the game.  I read it was kicked around, but I don't believe they're available beyond a few quests where you may be teamed up with npc's.
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« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2006, 06:20:59 PM »

I'm so tempted to edit your picture Knightshade Tongue  But I'm afraid I'd get fired biggrin

I'm on a crappy LCD screen and if I go past 1024x768 my screen gets funky.
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« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2006, 06:24:12 PM »

That's a shame if they're not in.. some interviews and previews from a while back have conflicting reports, like this one:

Quote
He also confirmed that players will be able to hire mercenaries to quest with you in Oblivion.

Source:
http://www.gamesfirst.com/index.php?id=32

And..

Quote
"We've improved our AI so that NPCs will make better decisions and maneuver around the world more intelligently. Companions will join you during the game for a quest or to perform a specific set-piece. NPCs can join factions along with you, and you can see them progress with you."

Source: http://www.warcry.com/scripts/columns/view_sectionalt.phtml?site=15&id=102&colid=6611

And of course the unofficial FAQ that left Mercenaries in the "Not sure" catagory (neither confirmed nor denied)

Anyone able to put this to rest? Seems like such a great game yet I just can't see myself buying it if it's another "You vs the world" type of game.
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« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2006, 06:37:05 PM »

Wow... got my blade skill up over 10... I'm still rated a novice, but now I can chain up to 3 slashes in a row, and occasionally do an overhand swing.  Before I was just able to do a single slow attack.

Back to doing my impression of a ginzu blender on goblins.
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« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2006, 06:56:07 PM »

Just picked up my copy from Gamestop.  Still at work, but I should have impressions sometime tonight
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« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2006, 07:06:33 PM »

I just picked up my copy as well.  It's almost time to melt some brains!

Watch out!  Here comes the newb !!!!!

Fair warning:  Do not be surprised to see,  "message from Lockdown" on your screen tonight.  I can hear it now:

"Jesus Christ!  It's Lockdown again!  He probably can't figure out how to pick up something, or maybe he forgot
how to open his spellbook again, even though I've told him 5 times!"

Sad, but true.  Be prepared!   :oops:
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« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2006, 07:27:35 PM »

Put in about 3 hours last night (taking time outs every now and then to check the ol' friend's list to see who also got the game) and i have to say, i'm really having fun.  

of course, i need to start at least 5 more characters in a flurry of indecisive gaming moments before i can sign off on this officially...   :wink:
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« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2006, 07:35:01 PM »

Quote from: "corruptrelic"
C'mon now.. can anyone confirm if mercenaries made it into the game or not? My decision to buy the game is based on that feature alone and I'm ready to head out to compusa today if it's in before they sell out all their copies.


I suggest you get the PC version then.  One of the more common mods in the PC version were NPC companions and mercenaries of all sorts.
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« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2006, 07:36:53 PM »

You do get sidekicks during the game. I know from reading the guide that a few come from guild quests. Not sure what the full mechanics are, but companions are in.
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« Reply #108 on: March 21, 2006, 07:38:09 PM »

Super condensed version:
Got the PC version last night.  My rig is a 3GHz Prescott, a 6800GT, 1.5 Gb ram.  (basically, middle of the road, I guess).  Playing at default resolutions w/ no AA.  Jumped right in w/ no manual reading. and if it matters, I'm also an idiot fanboi drone etc.

I think it looks beautiful most of the time.  Couldn't care less about the low res ground textures, as I don't spend a lot of time looking at the ground.  The frame rate has only taken a hit once as I've been playing and that was after coming out of a transistion (Sewers to the hillside in LE's picture).  There are times where some of lighting on the faces is jarring when walking around town it just doesn't seem right.

I went into town right away to sell all the detrius I picked up in the caves/sewers, and see what there was to see.  I've beaten two gladiators in the arena already, although the second guy was cloooose.  Word to the wise: using HP potions is a must in the gladiator games.  The opposing gladiators do it, and with the new slowing down as you get hurt/fatigued the battle can get out of hand in one flurry.  I also LOVED the impact physics in combat: I had my iron shield up and caught a wide swinging blow on the shield. Clang!  Screen bounces from side to side and for a second I'm trying to get distance between me and the other gladiator tracking him by sound as my vision is still shaky.  When I scored a solid blow on him once, I could see him stunned(I healed myself rather than press the attack - I was almost dead at the time).  The gladiator arena is a good place to see some of the differences in melee combat.  Tonight I will probably go prowling the countryside.  

One question for anyone else here: After I hit and hold the 'get' key to grab something, how do I throw it?  I can pull bodies really slowly, but I can't pick up a cup and launch it, which seems odd.  I can use a discus throwers motion (side release, momentum + inertia carries the object forward), but no real 'oomph' in throwing things.
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« Reply #109 on: March 21, 2006, 08:11:05 PM »

Can anyone say how viable a non-combat character would be for doing the main quest?  From the Gamespot feed last night, it looked like it would prove to be difficult from the first mission.
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« Reply #110 on: March 21, 2006, 08:12:44 PM »

Quote from: "naednek"
I'm so tempted to edit your picture Knightshade Tongue  But I'm afraid I'd get fired biggrin

I'm on a crappy LCD screen and if I go past 1024x768 my screen gets funky.


Lets see those leet photoshoppy skills....
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« Reply #111 on: March 21, 2006, 08:18:42 PM »

VERY initial impressions - I saved when I saw daylight and did my workout for the day.  (53 minutes of hell...Billy keeps asking "Where is your focus?!" and I'm thinking "45 degrees to the right...in that brown case...just within arms reach...")  I'm impressed, but not as blown away as I could be.  I agree that there is some serious mip mapping (I believe that is the term) with the distant terrain.  Looking across the water the first time you see the sun coming out of the prison was a lil bit underwhelming.  That said, I'm pretty damned impressed with everything else.  Combat feels a lot more interactive, animations (other than the odd "Gumby-esque" slide down a set of stairs that I saw a guard pull off) are well done, and the textures are pretty fantastic.  It is certainly very 'next-gen'.  I think the nay sayers are wrong about most of their 'stubbed my toe' bitchfest, but there are some bits of truth to it as well.  More when I can get a few more hours in....
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Griffinol
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« Reply #112 on: March 21, 2006, 08:27:45 PM »

I've never played Daggerfall or Morrowind before.  I recently got into Gothic 2, and loved it.  

Can anyone who's played both types of games before tell me if this is similar?  I understand Oblivion will be open ended, but have a story line in it also.  

What I'm looking for is a similar experience.  Since I haven't been able to pick up Gothic 1 and am eagerly waiting for Gothic 3, I'm hoping Oblivion will be the same type of enjoyment.

If you follow the story line, is it like Gothic?  How much bigger is the game world?  

Any other comparisons would be appreciated as I'm thinking about picking up this game today.

Thanks
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walTer
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« Reply #113 on: March 21, 2006, 08:50:25 PM »

Guess I will try this one here too-

Anyone able to buy or move into a house yet- any *hints* on how that works?

Also, I ordered from GoGamer (not overly happy about that right now)- anyone get a ship confirm from them yet- if that is where you ordered?
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shon
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« Reply #114 on: March 21, 2006, 08:55:22 PM »

Well took off a half day today to play the game and man has time flown by. It took about an hour in the first dungeon then I went to another dungeon and it took an hour and there were many types of enemies in the dungeon and they put up quite a fight.

I am really impressed the visuals are good not the best but are very good.  I like the combat as well it feels alot better than morrowind.  

This game is going to suck all my time away....

Good gaming... Go and pick this up.
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Dimmona
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« Reply #115 on: March 21, 2006, 09:16:04 PM »

lol, almost everybody on my Friends list is playing Oblivion right now, except for mytocles who is of course still playing Final Fantasy smile
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« Reply #116 on: March 21, 2006, 09:21:18 PM »

Quote from: "Griffinol"
I've never played Daggerfall or Morrowind before.  I recently got into Gothic 2, and loved it.  

Can anyone who's played both types of games before tell me if this is similar?  I understand Oblivion will be open ended, but have a story line in it also.  

What I'm looking for is a similar experience.  Since I haven't been able to pick up Gothic 1 and am eagerly waiting for Gothic 3, I'm hoping Oblivion will be the same type of enjoyment.

If you follow the story line, is it like Gothic?  How much bigger is the game world?  

Any other comparisons would be appreciated as I'm thinking about picking up this game today.

Thanks


It is as similar as any game out there except Gothic 1.  If you loved Gothic 2 I would say you will enjoy Oblivion.  

I am not sure if it is as tight of a story as Gothic 2.   The Elder Scrolls seems to favor very, very open ended gameplay.

Combat is a bit more simplistic in Oblivion, but it is very similar.  

Oblivion is much, much prettier but that is a given considering Gothic 2 looked average at best.  

Hope that helps
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« Reply #117 on: March 21, 2006, 09:44:39 PM »

farley, looking forward to getting home? biggrin
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« Reply #118 on: March 21, 2006, 09:55:56 PM »

Quote from: "Purge"
farley, looking forward to getting home? biggrin


Yes!! Of course my wife will want to spend "quality time" since she has been out of town. frown
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« Reply #119 on: March 21, 2006, 09:57:16 PM »

Nice, nice video

http://d65.yousendit.com/C/1Y3C28T8QHG6G2PDWGE8LPGQ0K/PICT4629.AVI


Well it sounds terrible, and the quality isn't good but it shows some actual gameplay of a no professional.


Oh and it may be NSFW becuase the player curses a lot...and sounds like a twit, but hey it is free gameplay footage
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