Weeklies

Game: "Fable 2"
System: Xbox 360
Genre: RPG
Published by: Microsoft

Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Posted: 2/3/2009

Review: My brother absolutely loves Fable. I enjoyed it myself, but I was curious to see if the sequel would expand on some of the things laid out in the original.

As with the first Fable, the game begins with a personal tragedy, followed by the hero discovering that he/she is a “hero”, a special breed of person who can absorb experience from the people/things killed along the way to their becoming renowned the world over. This time around, however, the Hero’s Guild is gone, as is the Guildmaster, so you won’t have someone constantly reminding you that new quests are available, and “your health is low”.

That’s not to say the game is lacking in direction, however. In fact, the game has even adapted the GPS navigating system use in Saint’s Row and GTA4, albeit in the form of a shimmering gold line that winds toward your destination. Coupled with it is the new fast travel option that allows you to instantly travel to any previously visited location, and even travel directly to sub points within each area.

Yet despite these additions, completing quests may not happen any faster than in the first Fable. Why? Why, because virtually every side quest boils down to you going somewhere, getting something, and going back. Fast travel helps with this, but that’s when you start to notice the load times. Depending on the quest, you might be spending more time watching the loading screen than playing the damn game.

And this will definitely be the case if you stick to the game’s main storyline. The plot is fairly simple: gather the heroes and stop the villain. And though this simple goal winds up taking most of your hero’s life to complete, you never feel the same sort of connection that you did in the original game. At one point, one of the heroes says that you’ve been a good friend, but you may disagree, seeing as you’ll only be spending around 15 minutes with said hero throughout the course of the game.

Among some of the other new features are the jobs you can take for a little extra spending money. Chopping wood, serving drinks, making swords, it’s all as simple as hitting the A button at the right time. And it’s nearly half as fun as it sounds! In Fable, the big moneymaking scheme was buying and selling, but in Fable 2, the way to make big money is through real estate, and not through menial labor. You can even jack up the rent on your customers and tenants, but that has an effect on another new feature: purity.

As with good and evil, you can earn positive and negative points that affect your purity based on your actions. Negative points come from things like raising the rent on your properties or... eating. Positive points, on the other hand, come from slashing prices and eating fruits, vegetables, and tofu. Didn’t you know that all the best heroes are vegan? Oh wait, did I say “best”? I meant “most whiny and gassy”.

PETA-pleasing elements aside, the game also claims that you can go anywhere in the environment. As Peter Molyneux put it, "if it looks like you can go there, you can go there." And it’s true! If you see a road winding down a shallow valley, you can walk down it. If you see a small hill with trees on it, you can walk right up to the base of that hill and admire the trees from a distance. If you see a fence, you can hop right over it. Certain fences, that is. You can’t just hop over every fence or two-foot drop you come across. That would be downright nutty. Seriously, though, the free roaming aspect of Fable 2 is advertised like... well, like it exists. It doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin the whole game.

If you liked Fable, you’ll still probably like Fable 2. Though the story isn’t quite as engaging, the game does expand on a lot of the old content from Fable. If you weren’t a fan of Fable, however, the expanding on the old content is more likely to look like them rehashing the same old formula. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but neither is it as original as the first Fable.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jason's a Furry! Run!
Feb 4th, 2009, 02:42 PM
I really enjoyed this one, being a big fan of the first one as well. Sure, this one is basically the same as the first one but with many more options, but I like that. Especially since this time you can actually buy everything, if you so desired (well, not everything. For some reason I can't buy the run-down shacks in the middle of nowhere).

Still has it's fair share of problems though. I am stunned that they got rid of the lock-on and map system of the first game, since those worked pretty well (definitely better than here). The big lack of clothing options this time around is also a little irritating. Finally, the game is still ridiculously short (15 hours is not epic in the least). And yeah, I agree, there's not really any big connection to the characters (no matter what they say; though I must admit, I loved the third hero).
Riot Control
Feb 4th, 2009, 03:36 PM
So far, this seems to be the sequel to a game that I might not enjoy to play too much.
Funky Dynamite
Feb 4th, 2009, 03:50 PM
I'd say it's more a rental title than anything. Having it for a week should give you plenty of time to beat the game and get everything you want out of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Relaxing Dragon View Post
And yeah, I agree, there's not really any big connection to the characters (no matter what they say; though I must admit, I loved the third hero).
I think that's more thanks to Stephen Fry than any of the actual writing.
Leo Getz
Feb 4th, 2009, 06:59 PM
Don't forget to complain about the Collector's Edition sometimes not coming with the additional content download code.

Microsoft gave the code away to anyone who e-mailed them, regardless of them owning the collector's edition or not. They also quit giving it out after new year's.
Ba dum dum dum dum
Feb 5th, 2009, 10:18 AM
I won't post any spoilers, but for anyone who 'beat' the game (completed the main story), they should be aware that the final confrontation was awful, and the ending wasn't all that much better.

My main gripe with the game is that a lot of it just fealt superflous. You could get new weapons but once you had a really good one (which you can probably get about halfway through the game), you don't really need them. You can buy multiple spells but once you have at least one bought at the highest level you're set. You can make money via property/work but the only reason to really make money is to buy more property. At the end of the game I had an obnoxiously deep pocket of potions I never really used so even though you can't die I was even in less danger of ever dieing.

You can chase your dog around to dig stuff up but once you realize a lot of the time you're digging up condoms or engagement rings (which you shouldn't need more than a couple of), that becomes boring. You can get married but since it only takes a few farts to charm someone into being your bride that's hardly interesting. You can have a kid but they don't do much, you can have a big sex party but you don't get anything for it.

The game has a lot of means but no ends, it's like a lot of tools but no real goals to shoot for.
40 pound box of rape?
Feb 6th, 2009, 10:42 PM
So Molyneux actually delivered on features he was preaching about? ASTOUNDING
pickled
Feb 7th, 2009, 01:15 PM
Not even worth three pickles.
grants but one wish
Feb 8th, 2009, 03:46 AM
i played through a friends copy of this, not worth buying, as Dr. Boogie said, more of a rental then a buy... unless your a fable nut that is, then nothing anyone say's or does will stop you buying it :P
Forum Virgin
Jun 1st, 2009, 05:24 PM
Fable II is an odd game; the action is great (the infinite magic, flourishes, and gun play), but everything else falls really flat. It took me about four hours to get tired of the simplified interactions, six hours to get sick of the "jobs", and at ten hours I could barely look my hero in the eyes. The quests, especially the side quests, come at random! "Oh, so I'm supposed to help a ghost revenge his heartbreak..." but how the F*&# did I know about said ghost? How do I know that I'm supposed to meet an archeologist? This really bothers me for some reason; why would I care about a certain quest if it simply "pops" into my quest log. Is it just me? Am I unknowingly skipping through dialogue scenes?

Anyhow, the graphics were also touch-and-go. At some points I would be impressed (even for 720 p), but at other times, the camera would jostle about in hallways or rooms to the point of nausea.

Compared to Fallout 3, Fable II falls short. Fallout allows for much more player-driven drama, customization, and decapitations! Personally, Fable's decapitations were what brought me back for round two!