Certain game experiences seem to suggest other, older games, and leave me longing for them. Age Of Conan, which I’ve been playing a great deal for the PC Gamer review, somehow left me longing for Oblivion. There was something about the way that Age Of Conan tantalises you with elements of single player gaming that left me quite hungry for a proper RPG romp, and so I reinstalled the last Elder Scrolls game and plunged in.
To tell the truth, I’d been meaning to go back and play Oblivion a some point this year after being reminded of it in PC Gamer UK’s Top 100 meeting. Tom Francis had talked about the moment he’d be most fond of in replaying the game: coming out of the underground tutorial into the bright, beautiful gameworld. “You get this incredible feeling of freedom,” he said. “It’s wide open and it feels like anything is possible.” It’s a feeling that, in some ways, is only possible in a game of Oblivion’s calibre. That kind of feeling could be an antidote to the pressures of real life, and definitely an antidote to too many hours in a traditional MMO. I wanted to recapture that, although I had wondered whether Francis’ was simply being hyperbolic. Was Oblivion better than I remembered?
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