About a week ago I asked for a recommendation of a good RPG to play. Having kicked my WoW account goodbye and not really ready to pick up Tabula Rasa for a bit, I've been wanting a good single-player RPG. A friend pointed me towards Oblivion, the fourth game in the Elder Scrolls series. I played Morrowind a few years back, and while I didn't get sucked into the story, the game play was decent enough that I figured I'd give Oblivion a shot.
(Slight Spoiler warning... nothing end-game)
Overall I'm extremely enjoying this game. The basic game play is rather straightforward, yet there's so many smaller bits to it that you can learn and improve with. For instance there's just one 'swing' attack, but if you hold the mouse button to attack it performs a more powerful swing attack. If you sneak before attacking (unseen, of course) you get a damage multiplier on tops of that normal attack also. Another example would be vampirism, during the Dark Brotherhood quest line you're given the option of becoming a vampire. If you chose to do so, you gain more abilities. These abilities get stronger the longer you go without feeding, but at the same time your weakness to sunlight and fire also is increased. Part of the game that's there but which you never have to play with if you don't want to.
Speaking of the Dark Brotherhood, this quest line has sucked me in the farthest of all the ones I'm doing. The Dark Brotherhood is a group of assassins who serve the 'Night Mother' and live in small groups in each town. They'll kill anyone for the right blood price. Your job as you rise through the ranks is to take more and more important hits. I spent a while last night playing through a quest for them that I thought was brilliant writing.
It starts with being given a contract to go to a party. The guests each think there's a hidden chest of gold, and agreed to be locked inside until one finds it. Obviously, there's no gold and your job is to kill them, having been given the key by the doorman before being locked inside with everyone else. As you work through the crowd, you can see they each have opinions of each other that you can play off of. If you play it right it becomes a really good horror movie, with the people getting more and more scared, and playing off their fears. Finally I had it down to two, had them completely trusting me, and had picked two that really didn't like each other, as soon as I talked to them one ran upstairs, the other grabbed a sword and ran up behind her. Of course as soon as he came down I slew him for daring to kill a woman, and completed my contract. I've left a lot out because its a quest you really have to experience yourself, but it is simply amazing writing.
The main quest line is decent as well, however I'm doing the Dark Brotherhood first to get the nice bonuses and because its simply easier to pick up one quest at a time.
Final rating? Buy this game!