A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this role-playing game isn't appropriate for younger players because of violence and gore, strong language, use of alcohol, and sexual references. For instance, any enemy you slash with a sword will bleed, and you see corpses. When it comes to alcohol, gamers' characters can consume wine or ale and experience its effect, such as increased fatigue or decreased intelligence. Sexual references are mostly in books or in dialogue, but most players' characters in this world can be stripped down to their underwear.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
ELDER SCROLLS IV: OBLIVION is an ambitious single-player RPG epic that lets you create a hero from scratch and explore open-ended cities, dank dungeons, and heavily forested areas. The story begins as you escort the emperor of Tamriel (voiced by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and X-Men fame) through a labyrinth of underground caverns, but evil goblins kill him. Before he dies, however, he asks that you find the lost heir to the throne and help protect the land from the demons released from a hell-like plane called Oblivion. The game can be played from either a first- or third-person perspective: The former lets you see these worlds through the eyes of the main character; the latter view, while less immersive, allows you to see your character at all times, as well as what may be lurking behind you.
Is it any good?
Graphically speaking, Oblivion is a treat for the eyes on both the PC and Microsoft Xbox 360 versions. From the lifelike towns and rural areas to the creepy enemies and special magic effects, the game easily outshines its predecessors. Another visual delight is the game's real-life physics, such as seeing a store sign sway back and forth after you shoot an arrow into it, and then being able to remove the arrow to reuse it later. The only unimpressive effect is the character lip-synching that doesn't seem to match their words, but it hardly dampens the otherwise awe-inspiring experience.
Oblivion successfully straddles quantity and quality; this groundbreaking fantasy RPG not only offers a huge game world in which to live in for months on end, but it also proves to be one of the finest role-playing games ever crafted.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why fantasy role-playing games are so appealing. Is it because the game presents a world so different than ours? Is it because you can become someone completely different? What about your special powers? Families might also discuss how kids feel about playing in such a huge world with so many characters and missions.