The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mobile Review

Oblivion Mobile has unfairly been the target of Elder Scrolls fans' ire for not being as epic or polished as its Xbox 360 & PC cousin. Most reasonable gamers don't have such impossibly high expectations, and knew that they should expect Oblivion's mobile release to more closely resemble what Oblivion would have looked and played like had it been developed for, say, the Sega Genesis.

The Oblivion Mobile experience obviously stacks up much better against properly-aligned expectations, but it still isn't flawless. The game's biggest problem, and its almost (but not quite) a dealbreaker, is its clunky combat. The game plays out in a 3/4ths overhead perspective, and to attack you simply walk up to an enemy, face them, and mash the attack button over and over until you run out of health, or your enemy does. Use the health potion hotkey as necessary. Repeat ad nauseum until you beat the game.

A first person perspective could have alleiviated some of my combat grumbles, and also would have created a more authentic Elder Scrolls experience. EA Mobile's Orcs & Elves proves it could have been done. The first company to release stateside a first-person mobile RPG with at least semi-realtime battles will be on my good list for a long, long time.

These two issues aside, Oblivion Mobile is a tremendously ambitious title that succeeds more often than it fails. A surprisingly large amount of the PC release's storyline made its way into this miniaturized version. You'll find yourself traveling to all the familiar locations and participating in all the key events. Tilesets are occasionally reused between towns and dungeons, but there's still much more variety present than in most mobile titles. The game kept me interested and didn't feel repetitious.

Eight unique character classes, too many items for me to count, and lots of enemy variation also help up the game's replay value and impressive mobile scope. Some character classes are a little questionable (I couldn't find much difference between 'Nightblade' and 'Battlemage'), but Oblivion is still commendable for offering up more spells, weapons, and armor options than any mobile RPG I've previously played.

The combat itself might not be especially enjoyable, but the RPG gamer in me kept me coming back for more long after I thought I was through with the game. It's the allure of gaining that next level or earning enough gold to buy that next set of armor. Oblivion isn't the year's best dungeon crawler (I give Orcs & Elves the edge), but its good qualities still outweigh its shortcomings, creating a solid overall experience.

3

What's Hot: A very ambitious mobile title. Lots of character classes, items, & enemies

What's Not: Combat a little to clunky & mindless