A few days ago, I got my february issue of PC Gameplay magazine and in good tradition it contained their Top 30 PC games of 2006. It’s pretty much your standard ‘best of’ list with titles like Fifa 07, Empire At War, Dark Messiah, Prey, etc. The top 3 is quite predictable and yet quite interesting. Like many predicted Oblivion came out on top, followed closely by Medieval II and Company Of Heroes.
I wholeheartedly agree that each of the games above is a quality product. I wouldn’t put Oblivion up top however. You see, one of the things I consider essential to any game is the immersion factor. A game that takes you to a whole other place alltogether is a good game. Avid players of Civilization know this as the ‘one more turn principle’. You feel like you’ve played for 10 minutes and when you look at the clock, 5 hours have gone by. So did I feel this kind of immersion in Oblivion? Surprisingly… No
You see, I bought Oblivion and was ready to lose days of my life. After a week however, Company Of Heroes came out and I just tossed Oblivion aside. I played Company of Heroes to death and still play it on a semi regular basis. After a while though I went back to Oblivion dedicated on actively getting into the game. Then Medieval II came out and once again Oblivion was forgotten and I haven’t actually played it since. Now that I’ve recently purchased the latest Zelda game, my odds of actually ever finishing the damn game seem marginal at best.
There are other things that bother me about the game: the buggy engine, the massive system requirements, the endless repetition of the same three voice actors,… but it’s this lack of immersion that bothers me most.
So, in conclusion I can say that Oblivion is a decent game that will please, enthrall and delight many rpg-fans, but game of the year it ain’t…