All the same, I think you’ll be more than willing to turn a blind eye to such defects. By the time Sheogorath has you working on the main quest proper – the prevention of a cyclical event called the Greymarch which sees the forces of order (or boredom) destroy his schizoid kingdoms – you’ll just be too caught up in the unfolding events and your ever increasing powers to carry on picking holes in the game’s AI. Simply put, The Shivering Isles is as horribly addictive as Oblivion ever was. As an example, I planned to put in a quick hour of play at 9pm last night before writing this review. At 1am I realised that this might have been a mistake…
Normally, it’s hard not to be a little ho-hum about expansion packs. They are there to serve the faithful, and as long as they give the hardcore fans more of the stuff they liked originally, then they have done their job. The Shivering Isles, however, really is something different. If it reminds me of anything, it’s The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – a ‘side story’ that took the central game elements of Ocarina of Time and used them to build something rich, strange and intriguing. The Shivering Isles does much the same thing. It’s not an absolute essential for anyone just getting started in Oblivion – the main game has more than enough to keep most people playing for a year or more – but anyone who has fallen for Bethesda’s creation will find this a compulsive companion to last year’s finest RPG. At less than £20 it offers better value for money than most full games.
Much, much better than the average add-on, The Shivering Isles is a superb expansion that dares to take Oblivion somewhere new and undeniably fascinating.