Developer: Lionhead Studios
Release Date: 10/21/2008
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Gorgeous presentation with an engaging story, lots more to do, your dog is a great companion, you can’t die!
The Bad: Even though there’s more to do it’s very tedious, story is still too short, light on the RPG elements
Fable II is another Western RPG that really tries to use a lot of action mixed with RPG elements and tagging a good story in it. Fable was a big deal when it came out because it was one of the few games that let you choose to be good or evil with every single task they threw out at you. Everything you did affect how the game turned out and these included things from terrorizing towns with crude expressions to giving money to a church. Fable II continues this is tons of things for you to do and tons of way to go about doing so. When you start the game out your introduced to the story and you get to choose your main character; whether it be a boy or a girl is your choice. As a child, you go about performing small tasks to get used to the idea of how to play the game. These range from finding things for people to helping children fend off bullies. This is also a crucial point in the game for heading down your good or evil path. You can choose to give arrest warrants that you find to the sheriff or give them to the criminals for a reward.
The whole game evolves like this and it really makes an impact later on. Once you get the hang of the game you can equip better weapons, buy food, potions etc. One great thing about Fable II is that you get a dog by your side and he helps you hunt out treasure chests and places to dig. You can upgrade him by finding or buying books that will upgrade his treasuring hunting abilities. Your dog also helps you in battle and if he gets to hurt you can heal him; also, mind you, that he can play a part in expressions (more on those later). Surprisingly the AI for the dog is done very well and he looks, sounds, and acts like a real dog. Rarely did he get in the way or couldn’t find his way around an obstacle, and same goes for enemies as well. While you can buy more powerful weapons (blunt, slashing, stabbing you know the type) to kill enemies there is no armor for you to buy.
All you can do is buy clothes and these just add to your looks which affect other things in the game (more on socializing later). The game consists of three different elements to upgrade with and that’s skill (ranged weapons), will (magic), and strength (melee). You upgrade yourself by absorbing the appropriate orbs after defeating an enemy or using the appropriate potion. It takes awhile to start getting the higher level stuff, but once you get further into the game you earn experience more quickly. You can customize your character a lot by buying tattoos, getting makeup done etc. You can also even dye your clothes now which is cool.
Combat in the game is pretty simple yet satisfying: You use X to attack, Y for ranged, B for magic. Melee attacks can be charged while ranged weapons have other abilities like a TPS (third person shooter) mode, lock on etc. Magic is a bit different this time around since you have a “Magic Tree” that you access by holding down the RT and this brings up a series of bubbles. Each bubble is a higher level and you just equip which spell you want in each bubble. For example, if you have a level 1 shock, level 2 blades, and level 3 wind you hold down the B button and let go when you get to the spell you want. This is really easy to use and I found this very useful. While combat is a large portion of the game socializing has always been a huge part of Fable and Fable II expands on this quite a bit. You can now get jobs and these range from blacksmithing to bartending. While these jobs are tedious they are almost required to earn a lot of gold to buy better items. These jobs are timing mini-games and can be pretty difficult to master. Each job has five different levels and you have to earn a certain amount of gold on that level before moving on. One important thing to note is you can never die! When you “die” you just lose all the experience that’s lying around on the ground…this can either be great or bad for you depending on your playing style.
Now Fable II has a whole marriage, child, sex thing and it’s very useful if you want it. You have expressions you learn in the game by becoming more renowned in the world by completing tasks. certain expressions can be used to flirt, be rude, make people laugh etc. When you do these expressions you’ll attract people and eventually someone might start liking you so much they’ll offer gifts and even fall in love with you. When they do you offer them a wedding ring and set your home (more on buying property later) as the marital home and you’re married. You have to go back sometime and visit your spouse or they start hating you eventually will divorce you. You can have sex (yes it’s blacked out you pervs!) either protected or unprotected and this can lead to child birth. Sometimes having unprotected sex with prostitutes can lead to STDs…and well you don’t want to get those. Often you must come back and give your child a gift and use good expressions on them to keep them happy.
Expressions are really a good way to also scare people during combat or to get your way in towns. You can also buy property and houses and even buy furniture and furnish them to your liking. If you don’t want to move into one you can rent it out even. The same goes with stores and you just accumulate income as time goes on. If you want you can set a budget limit for your family to keep them happy so you can visit them less. This is great once you start buying a lot of property in the world. While the world is huge with lots of areas to visit they are all broken up with fairly long load times (even when the game is ripped to the HDD). There is a lot to do in the world of Albion such as solve Demon Door quests, hunt for treasure, finish jobs and side quests etc.
You really never run out of things to do it’s just when you decide the game is over; that’s all up to you. The game looks absolutely amazing and you often stop and look at the scenery and take it all in. Fable II is one of the best looking games right now and the sound is even marvelous too. Fable II is just such a charming game (the pub games are confusing though!) with a few minor flaws that can be overlooked though. Often does combat feel tedious after a while and the main story is still pretty short. While there is a lot more to do it’s all repetitive quests and other things to do. If you get to bored you can join in the co-op play, but even then you’ll get bored after about 20 hours or so.