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It will take you a good 20 hours to complete the major quest line, but there's plenty more to do afterward. With all the side quests to complete and territory to explore, you could easily spend 30 or 40 hours or more losing your mind in Shivering Isles, and you'll find that your time there is well spent. The quests, characters, and world in Shivering Isles are all as creative and intriguing as in the rest of the game. Oblivion was huge before, but now it's bigger and better than ever.
The second is at UGO with an overall score of "A":
As most would expect, Shivering Isles kicks several different kinds of ass. The map is just as filled with sidequests and random encounters as the main game's map, and here you have the added bonus of the comedy that can only come from serious mental illness. The people who inhabit The Realm of Madness are flat-out nuts, and in quite a startling variety of ways. This injects some much-needed (albeit dark) humor into the game, which is a mostly serious affair in Cyrodiil. And let's face it... Oblivion's world is HUGE. The possibilities presented by a second map, even one that's a quarter the size of the original, are too numerous to count. Shivering Isles is exactly what Oblivion fans have been waiting for and is an absolute must-buy when it's released for the Xbox 360 and PC on March 27.
The third is at IGN with an overall score of 8.3/10:
The Shivering Isles is an entirely worthy addition to Bethesda's stellar fourth entry in The Elder Scrolls series. It respects a player's ability to make decisions, offers some useful armor sets and weapons, delivers a vivid, more imaginative variation of the traditional high fantasy province of Cyrodiil, and will reinvigorate that addictive itch for exploration inspired by Oblivion. If you've weaned yourself off the Elder Scrolls IV since its release, this expansion is a great excuse to jump back in, if only to experience Sheogorath's bizarre tangential meanderings.
And the fourth is at OXM with an overall score of 9/10:
The Shivering Isles is about choice. All the way through, it offers you the choice of Dementia or Mania, from which gate you take into the isles, to your bloody accession to the Duchy of Dementia or Mania, to which side of the population of Split you want to massacre, to which flame you light in the temple of Agnon. In that sense it's very unlike Oblivion; you can't do everything the first time through and you're excluding certain cool plot arcs by certain choices. It's definitely a worthwhile Live Arcade download for Oblivion fans, rejuvenating it and giving your character some wonderful new tricks. Frankly, you'd have to be mad to miss it.