Fable 2 is a game of limitless possibilities where each of your choices has some kind of effect on the world around you. At least that’s what Lionhead wants it to be, fortunately this game comes way closer than Fable 1 did. Fable 2 tries and really succeeds to keep you immersed in the world of Albion for as long as your willing to be. This game has a ton of social interactions and choices you can make as the player to stretch the gameplay out, but that is my main complaint about the game, you as the player have to work to make the game last any length of time.
Fable 2 starts out with you as a child living with your sister on the streets of Bowerstone Old Town. A merchant entices the crowd before him with a magical box for only 5 gold pieces and a mysterious woman tells your sister you should buy it. After you do enough little deeds to earn the five gold pieces, which basically serves as the game’s tutorial, the story really kicks in. The story is about finding heroes to help you stop the bad guy. I did not think the story in Fable 2 was quite as good as Fable 1 but the game as a whole is better.
Everyone is probably the most interested to find out about the one button combat we have all seen in the previews and the good news is it really works. The X, Y, and B buttons all correlate to a different kind of attack you can perform. The X button is melee attacks, the Y button is ranged attacks, and the B button is your will (magic) attacks. The best for this one button combat is the melee.
After leveling up you can hold X to block, tap X to do a quick slash, hold X and point in a direction with the analog stick and you do a flourish. These three moves all work on one button and allow the combat to flow really well between the three different means of attack. Everyone who had any doubts about the combat feeling good for both the hardcore and the casual your fears can be laid to rest. The best thing about the combat is you can make it as deep as you want to make it without it overwhelming anyone who just wants to smack around some hobbs.
Fable 2′s online component is actually pretty good for a RPG. Throughout playing the game you will see floating orbs hanging out all around Albion. Now depending on your settings these orbs can be just your friends or they can be everyone playing Fable 2. If you turn on the feature where you can see everyone’s orbs the game takes on an almost MMO feeling with all the players gathering in the town’s marketplaces to share advice or do a little trading.
This feature alone might give the game some legs. The actual co-op is ok, since you don’t take your main character in the game the second player becomes a generic hero and is able to help the main hero on quests. For me this got kinda boring quick. While you can take the experience you earn back to your world your not getting any farther in your story. So co-op might be something to mess around with once you beat the game but it’s just not my kinda thing since I prefer to play my RPGs by myself.
Fable 2 has an interesting way of dealing with player death. When you die in the game your character falls to the ground and lays there for a couple of seconds, after that they stand back up. So what’s the punishment you may be asking? Your character gets a scar somewhere on their body that will never go away. For some people this will actually work. This actually worked for me, at least for my first character, but after a while I stopped caring and actually thought the scars looked kinda cool.
So obviously with this kind of punishment the game is a tad on the easy side. There is no real challenge in the game. This is to make the game more accessible to the casual crowd, which is a unfortunate, but it really doesn’t affect the overall game. This is a good game to be able to play without worrying about dying all the time.
We all know the big angle of Fable is the choices you can make when being your character. For me this is also a place where the game falters a bit. The only real affect your choices have on your character is the way they look and the way people respond to you. No matter if you choose good or evil the main quest progresses the same way. The only difference is sometimes somebody will say something about how bad or good your being. I would have liked it if the person I’m trying to save the world with would notice when I am being a complete jerk to everyone around me and always doing the wrong thing. The game is also a little on the short side which is my main problem with the game.
If you are willing to dig deep into all the interactions and jobs and side quests, you can make the game last a lot longer, but this will have to be something you as the player have to do. Even though the main quest is short it’s still a quality story, but by all means the more you put into the game doing sidequests and becoming your character the more you will enjoy this game. The folks at Lionhead knew that some players would just blow through the game and try to go straight through the main quest, so they added a reputation to the game.
With this reputation mechanic you are forced to do some sidequests and things like that so the people you are about to take a quest from have heard of you. This make you stop and do the extra stuff found in the game which in my opinion is a very good thing. Rushing through this game is a really bad idea. Everyone should take their time and explore the world of Albion and do the extra quests because there really is some quality content to be found outside of the main storyline.
Fable 2 has an amazing art style that never got boring to me. The game world is so full of color and life that it is really easy to look at for long stretches of time. It looks really good to stare at all the lush vegetation in the world. This game doesn’t compare to the likes of Gears of War 2 in terms of technical graphics, but the art style is more than enough to make up for it. Being the big game that it is there are also a good number of glitches and bugs that will be noticed along the way. The sound in Fable 2 is nothing amazing although I do really like the music. The music is that very classical in nature airy, lighthearted when it needs to be, sort affair. It works really well and fits in the game.
Another shortcoming of the game is the lack of a true open world like Oblivion. There are pretty long load screens in between each region which can get really annoying when traveling for side quests and trying to explore. Also the fact that the worst framerate in the game is found in the menu is a problem that will continue to confuse me. Every time you pull up your menu (which you have to do a lot) the game chugs to catch up with what your doing which takes a good few second to do.
Overall Fable 2 is a really good game with some unfortunate occurences in it to bring the overall experience down a bit. If you liked the first Fable then there is no doubt you should enjoy this one but if you weren’t a huge fan this game probably won’t change your mind.
The game's art style looks really good but a few glitches are enough to bring you out of the experience a bit.
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The controls work really well especially for the combat which is fun all the way up to the end.
The sound quality is up to par in this game but it's really the music that helps make this game sound so good.
With the online co-op and the ability to go good or evil Fable 2 provides a decent amount of replayability.
With a decent story, great visuals, and engaging combat Fable 2 is a game more than worth your time if your willing to accept it's few mistakes.