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Oblivion incorporates open-ended (or "sandbox") gameplay. The main quest can be postponed or ignored for as long as the player wishes to explore the expansive game world, follow side-quests, interact with NPCs, slay monsters and develop their character. The player is free to go anywhere in the realm of Cyrodiil at any time while playing the game, even after completing the main quest. The game never ends, and the player may build up the character indefinitely. The fast-travel system used in Arena and Daggerfall makes a return in Oblivion. When the player visits a location, it appears as an icon on the game world map. From then on, the player can travel to this location instantly, though the in-game time is adjusted to reflect the length of the journey. However, the player cannot initiate fast-travel if they are in combat or inside a location. The game regards the player to be in combat when a hostile creature or NPC is near the player, regardless of whether or not the player is aware of the creature or vice-versa.[1]

Gameplay[modifier | modifier le code]

Oblivion est un jeu d'action-RPG dont la jouabilité est proche du GTA-like : l'aventure principale peut être différée aussi longtemps que le joueur désire explorer les recoins de la carte, suivre les quêtes secondaires ou interagir avec les personnages non joueurs, affonter les monstres ou faire progresser son personnage. Liberté lui est laissée de se déplacer sur la totalité de la carte du Cyrodiil à tout moment de la partie, y compris lorsque la quête principale du jeu est terminée. Ainsi, le jeu ne prend jamais fin et personnage peut progresser indéfiniment.

Le système de voyage rapide qui existait déjà dans les jeux Arena and Daggerfall a été repris dans Oblivion. Lorsque un site a été visité, il est matérialisé par une icône sur la carte du monde ; dès lors, le personnage peut s'y rendre instantanément et le temps théorique du voyage est automatiquement décompté. La fonction est désactivée lors des combats, et même lorsque une créature hostile est à proximité (que le personnage ou la créature ait été détecté ou non)[1].

Character development is a primary element of Oblivion. At the beginning of the game, the player selects one of many human or anthropomorphic races, each of which has different natural abilities and customizes their character's appearance.[2] A perpetual objective for players is to improve their character's skills, which are numerical representations of their ability in certain areas. Seven skills are selected early in the game as major skills. Each time the player improves their major skills by a total of ten points, they level up; this provides the opportunity to improve their attributes. Attributes are more broad character qualities, such as "strength" and "willpower", with minor skills within the qualities, such as "blade" or "destruction". The game rewards the player with "perks" when the player reaches either 25, 50, 75 or 100 points in a single skill. The game's 21 skills fall evenly under the categories of melee, magic, and stealth. Melee skills are used almost exclusively for combat and incorporate armor and heavy weapons like blades, axes, maces, and hammers. Magic skills rely on the use of spells to alter the physical world, to affect the minds of others, to injure and debilitate enemies, to summon monsters to help fight, and to heal wounds. Stealth skills allow the player to crack locks, haggle for goods, use speech to manipulate people, and apply cunning in combat (through the use of a bow or in the way of a sneak attack).[3] The spells, weapons, and other tools such as lockpicks that a player needs to employ and enhance these skills can be purchased in shops, stolen from NPCs, or found as loot on the bodies of foes or in dungeons.

L'évolution du personnage est un élément central d'Oblivion. Au lancement de la partie, le joueur sélectionne un personnage parmi les dix races humaines ou humanoïdes proposées - chacune possédant des aptitudes naturelles - dont il peut personnaliser la physionomie à volonté.[4]. La préoccupation principale des joueurs est d'améliorer les compétences de leur personnage, lesquelles sont symbolisées par des chiffres consultables dans un menu dédié. Sept aptitudes principales sont sélectionnées en début de partie. Lorsque ces aptitudes principales ont augmenté de dix points, le niveau du personnage monte, laissant la possibilité au joueur d'améliorer trois caractéristiques.

Fichier:Standard inventory interface, Oblivion 2006-12-27.jpg
The inventory interface, where the player garbs, armors, and equips their character

Oblivion is played in either a first- or third-person view. The player may also change the difficulty at any time from the pause menu. At all times the player is required to monitor their heads-up display, which provides information about the character's health, magicka, and fatigue. Health is depleted primarily through combat and can be restored by spells, potions, or resting; the loss of all health results in death. Magicka allows for and is depleted by the use of spells; it is rejuvenated naturally over time, but it can be restored in similar ways to health. The character's effectiveness in combat and general efficiency are functions of fatigue.[3] In the wilderness and during quests, the player is pitted against a variety of enemies, including standard fantasy monsters (e.g., imps, goblins, ogres) and animals (e.g., bears, lions, wolves). Enemies become stronger and weapons and armor more effective as the player levels up. This game mechanic, level-scaling, was incorporated to maintain a constant and moderate aspect of difficulty. However, level-scaling, combined with the leveling system has received criticism, as it has the potential to unbalance the game; characters with major skills that increase on an involuntary basis, such as athletics (by running) or armor (by being hit in combat) can find they level too quickly, making the enemies proportionately harder than intended. Oblivion's predecessor, Morrowind, also had a level-scaling system on creatures but kept legendary items (e.g., Umbra and Lord's Mail) static; that is, attainable by any character of any level.[5]

A major focus during Oblivion's development was to make the gameplay simpler and more balanced than it had been in Morrowind, particularly with respect to combat.[6][7] The skill system is similar to Morrowind's, but in Oblivion there are fewer skills. The medium armor, unarmored, and spear skills are removed altogether, the short blade and long blade skills are condensed into a single blade skill, and the axe skill is merged with the blunt skill. Mastery levels, which give skill-specific bonuses when the player reaches milestone levels, were introduced in Oblivion. The combat system was revamped, with the addition of power attacks (endowed to the player with the attainment of mastery levels) and the removal of the separate styles of melee attacks present in Morrowind. Ranged attacks were changed so that hits are based on the player's firing skill rather than the character's numerical skill level. Spears, throwing weapons, and crossbows were removed in favor of the bow;[8] the choice came from a desire to "get the feel of ranged weapons as close to perfect as possible"[9] as the Havok physics engine allowed. Morrowind's passive block skill became an active gameplay mechanic in Oblivion: activated by a button press, it causes enemies to recoil and be left open for a follow-up attack.[10] Enchantment as a skill by which items are imbued with special powers was not carried over from Morrowind to Oblivion; items are instead enchanted through plot-specific processes or enchantment in the Mages Guild. The ability to "forget" (discard) spells was also not included.[11] Most of these changes were received well. GameSpot commended the strengths of the game in each area, finding the game's melee combat "faster and smoother" than Morrowind's, the stealth combat "at least as satisfying" as the melee combat, and the magic combat diverse and uncomplicated.[12]

  1. a et b « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Interview », GameBanshee, UGO,‎ 2004-12-09 (consulté en 2007-06-01)
  2. Greg Kasavin, « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review (Xbox 360) », GameSpot,‎ 2006-03-25 (consulté en 2010-02-05)
  3. a et b Patrick Joynt, « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review (PS3) », GameSpy,‎ 2007-03-26 (consulté en 2010-02-05)
  4. (en)« title=Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Review (Xbox 360) »,‎ 2010
  5. Russ Pitts, « Oblivion: The Dagobah Cave », The Escapist,‎ 2006-08-03 (consulté en 2007-07-02)
  6. « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Q&A – Overview, Character Development, Fallout », GameSpot,‎ 2004-10-28 (consulté en 2007-05-26)
  7. Chris Martin, « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – An Interview with Bethesda Softworks », GamesFirst!,‎ 2005-03-09 (consulté en 2007-06-02)
  8. Todd Howard, « The RPG for the Next Generation », Bethesda Softworks (consulté en 2007-03-26)

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  9. « The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC Games) », Gamekicker.com (consulté en 2011-08-03)
  10. Derek dela Fuente, « Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Q&A », TVG,‎ 2005-07-20 (consulté en 2007-06-02)
  11. Steve Meister, « To the Death, or to the Pain? », Bethesda Softworks (consulté en 2007-03-26)

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