Game: "Fable 2"
System: Xbox 360
Published by: Microsoft
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
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.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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