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Thread: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Hands-on

                  
   
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    ps3 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Hands-on

    Fans of the Elder Scrolls series have always loved the flexibility the franchise afforded them during their adventures, but when the eagerly awaited Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released last March, even they were astounded by its depth. Players could literally choose their own adventure within the massive game, which offered over 200 hours of play. Characters could be customized in various ways, and it was easy for gamers to make powerful magic users, fighters, thieves or other classes as they attempted to close the gates of Oblivion. For PC and Xbox 360 gamers, it was a match made in RPG heaven. Fortunately for PS3 owners, Oblivion will soon be descending upon the system. We got the chance to play the latest build of the game today, and we came away with new impressions from the land of Cyrodiil.

    Apart from the initial scale of Oblivion, which was simply huge, Bethesda Game Studios augmented the adventure with eight downloadable plug-in features. Items like the Horse Armor download seemed much more of a minor adjustment than a significant addition to the gameplay. Others like the Orrery or Mehrunes' Razor provided separate locations for players to battle through, collecting experience and valuable items. Unlike the PC and 360 versions, the PS3 edition will not feature all eight of the currently available plug-ins for the game. They may find their way to the PlayStation Store at some point in time in the future, but they will not be added into the version as a "PS3 Collector's Edition" or a special copy of Oblivion. Instead, the title will only include the recently released Knights of the Nine side quest, as you attempt to recover lost artifacts of the Divine Crusader and restore glory to the order of warriors.

    Players of the PC or 360 version of the quest know that only those characters who don't have any infamy associated to their name can begin the pilgrimage to start the Knights of the Nine quest. However, there have been a few changes made for the PS3 version. Characters can now immediately set out on their pilgrimage to the Wayshrines of the Divines as soon as they exit the sewers at the start of the game (which served as a tutorial). This immediately lets you bypass having to track down the rumor about the attack on Anvil Chapel and start on your quest for righteousness.

    The PS3 version of Oblivion isn't a simple port of the game either, although players who have picked up the 360 version will be very familiar with the control scheme. For one thing, the PS3 version has been optimized to take advantage of the Cell processor and hardware that the system offers. As a result, the game runs a lot faster than the 360 build. Entering dungeons or buildings results in a load of 3-5 seconds, compared to the 7-10 seconds or longer for the 360 version of the game. Similarly, the amount of framerate drops or hitches that cropped up in the wilderness as you accessed a new area on the 360 have been substantially reduced on the PS3 version. There is a plan to completely eradicate these issues as the game nears release, as well as fixing a number of bugs that were present in the other builds. Kiss the item duplication glitch goodbye.

    The visual presentation of Oblivion has also been significantly enhanced. While it was a beautiful title on the 360, far off environmental details often displayed low resolution textures. This has been fixed with new shaders dedicated to rendering the foreground cleanly with sharper details, so rocky landscapes now have craggy appearances instead of smooth, non-distinct surfaces. While there is still a fair amount of pop-in that occurs (which can't be helped due to the size of the world), the draw distance is farther than the 360 version. As a result, screens from the PS3 version should approach those from high end PCs running Oblivion, which is an impressive feat.

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    From the screenshots I take it it'll be running at 720 with no AA. Thats pretty sad when you think about it. I know the PS3 is no 8800GTX, but its powerfull enough to run Oblivion in 720 with AA or atleast 1080 without AA.

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    DCEmu Legend Cap'n 1time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bladestorm View Post
    From the screenshots I take it it'll be running at 720 with no AA. Thats pretty sad when you think about it. I know the PS3 is no 8800GTX, but its powerfull enough to run Oblivion in 720 with AA or atleast 1080 without AA.
    you're right... the jaggies are very noticeable in this pic.
    Surely AA could be implemented at least in 720. I suppose if by their logic, if it slows down one then it cant be in the other which is STUPID! Over all, it looks decent, but you're right... it could look better with the help of proper Anti Aliasing.

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    Hmmm sounds good, better graphics, load times and framerate than the already impressive 360 version. About time developers started making the effort and not taking the lazy route with sloppy ports.

    It's almost a reversal of how things were last gen, it used to be the XBox that got crap ports from the PS2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irongiant View Post
    Hmmm sounds good, better graphics, load times and framerate than the already impressive 360 version. About time developers started making the effort and not taking the lazy route with sloppy ports.
    PS2.
    yup... but you have to keep in mind that the 360 version was a 1st generation game. Developers often learn more and more about how to better tweak their software for a console as it ages... just as the PS3 will . What seems nice now will be considered "sloppy" in a year or 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n 1time View Post
    yup... but you have to keep in mind that the 360 version was a 1st generation game. Developers often learn more and more about how to better tweak their software for a console as it ages... just as the PS3 will . What seems nice now will be considered "sloppy" in a year or 2.
    Indeed you're right, although the 360 is supposed to be much easier to work with than the PS3 and having read previews of GRAW2 the graphics for that 2nd gen game really aren't much better than the first game. I think it's going to be exactly the same as the last gen consoles where the 360 consistently has good looking games but the PS3 only really gets pushed hard by the top developers like Polyphony, Kojima, Square etc who are prepared to invest the time and effort required.

    Maybe next time Sony will release a console that's easy to get to grips with

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    Here is another thought:
    Ridge Racer 7 being a fine example. On the 360 it is crystal clear and just as nice looking as they intended it. the PS3 version looks OK... but not nearly as good. My theory is that it was intended for the 360 originally and fit like a glove. It was later ported to the PS3 hardware. The moral.. ports don't always look as good when they were intended for 1 console originally. The ps3 is capable of doing doing anything the 360 can graphically (or at least it would be very very comparable)... it just has to be gone about a different way.

    Oblivion was originally created for the PC. Seems like they threw together a port of it for the 360 in a few months. The ps3 port seems to have received much more polish because i would guess more time has spent, and the people porting it understand how to properly use the hardware.. When it all comes down to it this generation, the graphics capabilities have more to do with the developers than the actual hardware in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n 1time View Post
    Oblivion was originally created for the PC. Seems like they threw together a port of it for the 360 in a few months.
    Oblivion was originally developed for the 360 and ported to PC. How do I know this? The fact that the PC version mentions 'Thumbsticks' in the control's window.

    A quick perusal at the Elder Scrolls forums will also show you many, many pissed off PC game fans who feel that Oblivion was dumbed down for the sake of console owners.

    I am thinking about getting this game, but I don't think I will. Mods correct all the flaws with Oblivion and if the PS3 version doesn't make use of third party mods, like the PC version, I ain't getting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by irongiant View Post
    Indeed you're right, although the 360 is supposed to be much easier to work with than the PS3 and having read previews of GRAW2 the graphics for that 2nd gen game really aren't much better than the first game.
    i feel i need to respond to this one. i have a 360 and i have played the first GRAW quite extensively, though I haven't beaten it (almost there), I've spent time on Live (2 player. one console. sweet!) and I'd say for the time that it launched it was a good-looking game. fast forward to last week, when XBOX Live had a demo of GRAW (a demo!). This game blew me away. It's definitely a major step up from the first installment. textures are much sharper, colors are more vivid and crisp. overall the graphics had that GOW/Lost Planet-iness in terms of eye candy. I don't know where you read the preview where it said both versions are similar but I dare you to actually try it out for yourself. demo or not, the GRAW 2 is a heck of a lot better than GRAW. a little development time and games like these turn out really good whereas the PS3 can do better, but with a longer dev time. at least that's the way i look at it. MGS4 has been in the pipeline for God knows how long but if it was coming out to 360 i'm sure, we'd all be playing it already by now. then again, MGS4 is a system seller and i'm sure Sony doesn't want any smudges on this baby so they'll hold on to it until its near perfect.

    just my two cents, two dollars..whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n 1time View Post
    Here is another thought:
    Ridge Racer 7 being a fine example. On the 360 it is crystal clear and just as nice looking as they intended it. the PS3 version looks OK... but not nearly as good. My theory is that it was intended for the 360 originally and fit like a glove. It was later ported to the PS3 hardware. The moral.. ports don't always look as good when they were intended for 1 console originally. The ps3 is capable of doing doing anything the 360 can graphically (or at least it would be very very comparable)... it just has to be gone about a different way.
    The consoles have completely different architectures, I wouldn't be surprised if the ported 360 games only used 2 of the free processors in the Playstation 3.

    It's like irongiant said, top developers are going to push the console the most, which is a shame really.

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