Oblivion on Xbox 360

I finally squoze in some time with Oblivion, and it's an interesting beast.

The world is cast in the classic fantasy RPG style, with warriors, mages, monsters, mythological creatures, and so on. The "big idea" behind this title is to give you a completely immersive environment in a far-off land. Oblivion makes this happen for the most part with meticulous attention to detail, great visuals, and a brilliant soundtrack. The one thing the game really does well is exploration and expansive environments. You can pretty much do as you like. If you get yourself into trouble, it's your own fault.


The combat system is a bit frustrating, at least for close-range weapons. In the first-person mode, it's hard to tell if a target is within reach. This probably wouldn't be a such a big deal if I was using a mouse, but we're in controller land here. The third person mode gives more perspective, but is harder to use for other reasons. Using magic and distance weapons is a much more satisfying experience.

Thankfully, the inventory, weapons and magic management systems aren't hopelessly complicated. Not to say that it's simple or even easy, it's just not so hard as to be a major obstacle to playing. Oblivion wouldn't have been the first game to fall into this trap, but thankfully avoids it.


The most striking visual design decision to me is the attempt at pure realism. The effect is similar to what happens when movie studios attempt to translate a comic book to a live-action movie. Sometimes it works, but sometimes forcing realism makes the whole thing less convincing. I find the more stylized semi-realism in World of Warcraft more believable.

In fact, this game really makes me pine for a new Zelda title. The combat is so much more satisfying in that series, and there's just a deeper level of cleverness and intuitive design. I do realize that Oblivion isn't trying to be that sort of game, though. It also could just be that my tastes are more in tune with the Nintendo-style mentality than this particular style.

Don't get me wrong, Oblivion really is ultimately very appealing and there's a lot to see, but it ends up feeling just a little bit awkward compared to something Zelda. If you can accept that, there's a lot of fun to have here. The bottom line is that if you have an Xbox 360 and like fantasy RPGs, you should get this game.
Design Element
Oblivion on Xbox 360
Posted Apr 11, 2006 — 7 comments below


Preston — Apr 12, 06 1099

Just a note that Oblivion runs fantastically under Boot Camp on my iMac. Several issues are fixed with user mods. In fact, a lot of fun and interesting stuff has been posted to the Elder Scrolls forums, including eating/sleeping and tweaked enemy lists so that monsters don't always level up with your character (improving the credibility and fun of the world, in my opinion).

Bruno — Jun 26, 06 1409

Hmmm... I like the Zelda games too, but I'm not sure it's a very valid comparison. The Zelda games are essentially adventure/action hybrids, with very little role-playing mixed in. At it's heart Oblivion is a stat based RPG with a decent, if unspectacular action interface.

As for Oblivion running well on an iMac, I'm not sure how that is possible. The video card cannot run the game at the LCD's native resolution at anything more than a slideshow. Oblivion is a game that simply demands a 300+ video card or an Xbox 360 + HDTV to be played as intended.

Kyle — Jul 28, 06 1479

I think that your crazy. The controller is much easier to control than a mouse, and World of Warcraft is craptastic. This is so much better than that. You have to much time on your hands.

John — Dec 05, 06 2579

Oblivion on intel iMacs is perfectly possible and is it actually (with the 256 mb version) just about as good as the 360 version.

First off...the 360 only has 512 MB main ram. iMacs come standard with DDR2 SDRAM...1GB.

And my iMac is a 64-bit intel core 2 duo 2.16GHz oh and let's not forget that there is a 4 MB cache for both processors...Yeah so the 360 has 3 processors....but they're not utilized fully in all but a handful of games. And oblivion is not one of them. Gears of War is one of those examples that uses all three of the processors.

Oblivion on dual core intel will have both processors being used so therefore....with a 256 mb video card in an iMac...the performance should be almost the same. (even with 128 mb vram....it'll still be damn good)

And what's this about not being able to run the game at whatever resolution? You can set it to whatever you want it to (obviously taking note that performance would drop.

iMacs in bootcamp run games fantastically. Half-Life 2 runs absolutely WONDERFUL on an OLDER 32 BIT 1.83 GHz dual core iMac with only 512 mb system ram and 2 mb cache for the processors. It is unBELIEVABLE the doors that have been opened to mac gamers through bootcamp.

Bruno...sorry man, but you're quite wrong. Macs are now gaming machines.

John — Dec 05, 06 2580

Oh and Oblivion on Xbox 360 SUCKS ASS because of the frequent loads and the STUPID LAME DRAW DISTANCE.


xbox 360's 512 MB ram just can't handle massive landscapes very well without having to load frequently. If microsoft had stuck 1GB of ram in there instead...the 360 would rock all kinds of socks.

Compared to an iMac with 1GB of ram...the 360 is a hyper little overactive child with a short-term memory problem....while the iMac is the cooler...calmer...quiter big brother who may take things a little bit (tiny bit) slower...but in the end....it all works out a little better.


rifhehfi — Jan 03, 08 5314


ken — Apr 25, 09 6721

Are you seriously comparing an Imac to an Xbox? Listen the tricore cpu in a console is completely different than a tricore you would find on a desktop or a laptop. You are comparing apples to oranges. This is why people are confused when an arcade game can't be emulated well on their super quad core cpu they aren't the same arch type and even the ram you are referring to isn't the same. Oblivion has xbox performance issues even when you load it to the hard drive but it's more to do with it being hastily put out to port rather than an issue with the xbox hardware. Remember oblivion had quite a few issues on the pc and even to this day there are bugs that the community has had to fix. Now as far as the native res thing, No idea what he's talking about how would he know what your native res is anyway? and you could always lower it etc. 300+ card is nonsense and so is a hdtv that has dick to do with performance. Even in 06 you didn't need a 300+ card to run it, and now you can simply shell out 99 bucks for a 9800gt and presto your game. This is a necro thread I know but I'll post this for any future fanboys who want to talk out of their asses.


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