The first thing to say, is that this game is an outstanding effort and will mean all role playing games and adventure games will need to 'shape up' as someone famously put it. But...all action junkies might not like some of the slow paced exploration.
The game looks wonderful even on a standard definition TV like mine. Don't think because you don't have a high definition TV, you won't like the look of this game. On a tall hill, I peered down over the land below looking across the fields and super moat at the Imperial city with its palace tower far in the distance. Fantastic!
The world is beautiful. The towns are also nicely detailed with plenty of houses and shops and other interesting buildings to explore. The countryside is better still and the best I've seen in any game. You can travel from the darkest sewer to the top of a snowy mountain, from someone's secret basement to the top of a tower. Oh, and there's the dimension of Oblivion too.
There's a main quest, countless sub quests and lots of places throughout the land to explore. There's probably more to do in this game than in any other single player game - and that includes the GTA games.
All the npcs seem to have their own detailed life cycle. Even the guards follow a routine although it would be wrong to say that they are completely individual like other characters. Characters chat in the street discussing the latest in game events, people or services. Others go off for secret meetings and if you follow, as part of a quest, you can listen in.
In most rpg games, you can take whatever you want no matter where you are. In this one, if seen, you'll get punished, although some gamers have said that home owners sometimes ignore blatant stealing. Commit a murder and again you'll be made to suffer if caught. But such bad behaviour can lead to some interesting offers and another line of game play.
The Black Horse Courier newspaper lets you keep up with news in the world and gives clues to some of the activities that you might want to do.
One strange event was that after a period of rest, I 'woke up' and found a man and woman in bed beside me. Didn't realise that the pair were lovers and I was in their bed!!! I've seen a group of my knight brothers all asleep in their beds too whilst others mooched about at night.
Some quibbles though. The game is constantly loading as if there's a shortage of RAM. This might not be such am issue with the PC game, if you have lots of RAM but I don't know for sure. I don't like the melee fighting system. You attack and block in real time but I found it hard work at first and still don't really like it. Magic users have it easier. Also when fighting you'll often find yourself alongside npcs who are usually good back-up, but a little bloodthirsty at times attacking when perhaps you'd rather they didn't.
I would also have liked to see a co-op mode. It does feel a bit lonely to this MMORPG gamer. I know Bethesda want to make 'you' the hero but you and your mates being a group of heroes would have been fun too. But an online game might have meant restrictions in game play.
There so much in it that I could go on and on but I won't. I must admit that I didn't find the game that groundbreaking and it felt like the old Morrowind at times but nevertheless Bethesda's western rivals and the big Japanese rpg makers have a lot to live up to now.