2K Games The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles review

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If you've fought your way through The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and defeated Mehrunes Dagon, you're probably suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, 2K Games has released a new expansion pack: Shivering Isles.

Usually with an expansion pack you get a couple of extra levels and some new weapons and spells, but Shivering Isles is pretty much a game in its own right. Set in the realm of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, it's separate from Oblivion with its own set of missions and ultimate objective. You can leave at any point, though, and go back to the original Oblivion world to carry on there.

The main plot, which involves helping Sheogorath prevent his realm being destroyed, is every bit as involving as Oblivion's main plot. Each mission gives you a new insight into the world you've entered. There's also a massive range of new side missions to battle your way through. In total, there are around 30 hours of extra gameplay. The graphics are as lush as ever, too, with the high dynamic range landscapes looking scarily realistic.

Shivering Isles isn't quite perfect. It suffers from the same problems as Oblivion. Once you've been playing the game for hours, your inventory will be full of hundreds of items, making it hard to find a specific thing. The missions are often formulaic and easy to complete. For example, if you come across a locked door, you never have to wander far to find the key or switch.

These are minor problems with an otherwise excellent game. The immense new world, range of characters and tons of missions all breathe new life into Oblivion. Not only is it the best expansion pack we've played, it's also better than a lot of standalone games.

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