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The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (PC) ESRB Rating: Mature Requires Oblivion (PC) to play Shivering Isles is the first official expansion pack released for Oblivion. For more information on what kind of game this is and the issues in it, please read it here[link]. While there have been many great mods (or small modifications) to keep the game play interesting since Oblivion has been released, this is the first full-blown expansion pack. Unlike the official mods, Shivering Isles offers a whole new world (within Tamriel) with unique enemies, dungeons, quests, artifacts, weapons, and armor you can forge. The storyline is good and there are plenty of side quests to keep you busy for a while.

What’s the story?

There’s a strange new island with a portal near Bravil. Upon further investigation you discover that it’s being guarded since whoever enters does not return with their sanity. As you can imagine, this has to be put to an end. The lord of the realm, Sheogorath, has a split personality and his divided kingdom reflects this. After defeating a challenging gatekeeper you will have to choose a path to find Sheogorath. Will you choose Mania or Dementia? Each path offers a different blessing.

New Enemies

The enemies are pretty challenging and they can hurt when they swarm you. My high level character went through quite a few strong health potions during many tough battles. There are Knights of the Order who are trying to regain control of the kingdom. You have to defeat them and their priests to disable obelisks of order (similar to Oblivion gates popping up in the main storyline). The last boss in this expansion was a bit disappointing. I found the gatekeeper in the beginning of this quest, much harder.

Graphics

The graphics are pretty much the same as there are no enhancements, just new enemies and character models. The new enemies have detailed armor and weaponry. The dungeons look pretty similar to the ones in the main game.

Sound

This expansion uses the same background music, so I didn’t notice anything new in that area. The voice acting is superb, especially with the new lunatic characters. The sound effects are just as good as the main game.

Stability/Bugs

This expansion ran great and doesn’t interfere with anything else. Some spells you gain in Shivering Isles will not work in Tamriel.

Appropriateness

As you can imagine, there is some violence, and you’ll be doing a lot of fighting in the expansion. You’ll uncover some sexual relationships in the game that plays into the story line. There are dark Seducers who wear skimpy armor. You will obtain some of this armor as a reward for helping them, or at least that is true with my female character. There’s a witch that you will need help, and to do so you must to collect body parts and throw them into a cauldron for her. Finally drug use is also a part of the storyline.

Conclusion

Shivering Isles retails for $29.99, and it adds several hours of game play. Although the creatures are tougher, I was expecting a bit more of a challenge. With that said, I recommend this expansion for Oblivion fans. Like the original game, Shivering Isles is intended for mature gamers.

Final Ratings

Game Play 18/20 Graphics 10/10 Sound 10/10 Stability 5/5 Controls 5/5 Appropriateness 36/50 Killing non-human realistic creatures -2.5 pts Puddle of Blood occurs when a character dies -1.5 pts Bodies do not disappear after death -1 pts Minor Swear Words are used once or twice -2 pts Borderline magic (hard to tell if occult) is used by player. -3.5 pts Sexual references are made throughout the game. -3.5 pts

Final Score 82%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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