I've been a fan of the Elder Scrolls series ever since I picked up a copy of Morrowind for my Xbox a few years ago. Oblivion is a great RPG. I'll just skip the summary, as I assume you already know a fair bit about the game, otherwise it's unlikely that you'd be reading this. First thing that made me crap my pants; the graphics. Beautiful and lifelike. I'm not even quite sure yet how to describe them, this being my second review, but I'll tell a small story which sums up the graphics; I found myself once or twice trying to "look around" my monitor to be able to read a sign when the camera angle wasn't allowing me to read it at that moment. Speaking of the camera, it's quite flexible. You can simply use a first-person camera, or using the third person camera, you can zoom in and out, and move it around freely. Focusing now more on the game itself, there is plenty to do in Oblivion. The main questline is fairly long, and the story isn't too deep or too shallow. There are several guilds to join, each with its own questline and guild hall. Most towns have a few sidequests as well. Exploring the wilderness, you'll likely stumble upon a few Daedric shrines, which have quests that you can start after fulfilling a certain level requirement, and getting the proper items needed to offer to that certain Daedra. There's a nice, fat list of quests to do, unfortunately, most are fairly easy. Which brings us to another topic! For those of you who either are looking for more of a challenge, or for whoever is a cheap wuss who can't play games, there is a difficulty slider, so you can test yourself or destroy the game at your discretion.
Hurray, you will be pleased to know that Oblivion has physics! Objects can be picked up, whirled around, and thrown, bouncing, landing, and bending typically as they should. I've spent a few hours playing "dominoes" with hundreds of books.
The soundtrack is quite pleasing and for the most part, the songs suit their environment quite well.
The A.I. in Oblivion is lovely. NPCs will walk around their town, having conversations with their neighbours, going to the inn for a bite to eat, going home for a bit of archery practice, etc. People in Cyrodiil have daily routines, just like you or me (Though obviously not JUST like us). The A.I. system for combat is pretty good as well. If you're constantly hacking and slashing at an archer, and he (or she) can't get a shot off, than they'll pull out their sword and start returning your blows. The only "problem" is that depending on your environment, you can typically get close-range attackers stuck on objects while you shoot them in the face with arrows or spells.
There aren't too many glitches in Cyrodiil, but they can't go unnoticed. That damn floating tree is just creepy.
One bittersweet aspect of the game is the skills. At the beginning, you can choose seven major skills. You will be given a small boost in these skills, and increasing them will get you closer to levelling up. You also pick a birthsign, and each has bonuses (and a few have their drawbacks!) to consider. Picking your race also affects your skills. For example, Orcs are brutish and strong, therefore, they're better at using big axes and maces and hammers rather than puny, thieving, bow-wielding Wood-Elves. Training your skills can be difficult and time consuming, but it's always worth it to be able to demolish nasties with your crazy ninja skills. But what about your "minor" skills? Increasing them doesn't get you closer to levelling up, which brings us to the "flaw". Enemies that appear are based on your level, not your skills. You could have all of your skills as high as you like, and provided that you don't sleep in a bed, you'd be nuking all of those rats and goblins. There are many ways for you to exploit this, but I don't feel like listing them all.
Something that is argued about from time to time; the wealth distribution. It's fairly balanced. Many things, especially houses, cost a fair bit of scratch, but people have their different methods of gathering those precious gold pieces. Questing, dumping your goods onto poor traders...You can lose your money pretty quickly with your purchases but depending on how you do things, you can earn it back pretty quickly too.
Overall, Oblivion is an awesome game. If you don't have it, BUY IT. If you own it already, then PLAY IT.
-That damn floating tree...