glad to see game reviews picking up again, we had a drought for a while :P
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Genre: Adventure RPG
System: Xbox 360 (exclusive)
The original Fable was quite a controversial game. The game's creator Peter Molyneux had promised the world to gamers, and much of that promise went unfulfilled in the first game. The strange thing about it, was that although many of the features that were said to be in the game weren't, it still proved to be a very fun game, and the features that were in it were very innovative. The opposite of the scandal is true with Fable 2. This time around, Peter Molyneux under promised, and over delivered. Whereas Fable was a good game, Fable 2 takes everything from Fable, entirely new concepts, and a world ten times larger the the original, and expands upon it in every way imaginable. Funny, thrilling, emotional, and entirely too short, Fable 2 is everything people wanted it to be and then some.
Like the original, Fable 2 is all about its satirical nature, that is, its very very funny. What makes it stand out from other "funny" games is that its GENUINELY funny in its nature. While containing a very serious plot and story, everything from the people to the expressions, which are basically your way of communicating to people, to the things that the characters say, it has a unique charm and humor to it.( A bit of an understatement; this is one of the most unique game worlds ever created, in part due to its charming atmosphere.) This atmosphere of Fable sets it apart from the countless other fairy-tale style games, and it truly gives it its own image and personality as a game. This is by and large the most endearing aspect of the game, and what will have you coming back for more, even after you've completed all the quests and the story. And about the story...
The original Fable had a rather weak story, although thats what in part made it so fun(Not many times had a game been made where you can choose which way a generic fairy tale will be told). Fable II's story, while by a good margin better, isn't great. What it boils down to is a rather generic story of a hero who must combine powers with 3 other heroes to save the world. Not so original. What makes it original, is how you can essentially choose the way the story is told.(For all I know you might be able to even kill the mains, I never tried.) Everything you do, even down to the small chores you did in the beginning of the game influence how the world is shaped for you and how the story and sub stories will play out. This also means you sometimes have to be careful as to what quests you don't do(For the most part, quests you do do won't mean the desolation of entire cities) Still, the story mode itself
The graphical style for Fable 2 is one of those games that you could call art and not have Kojima slapping you across the face for it. If a game should have ever been called "art" due only on its visuals, Fable 2 is up there with Okami and Shadow of the Colossus. The bright and colorful vibrant shades during the daytime in such places as Bowerstone lake and Market make you entranced by the world as very few games have been able to accomplish before. Just as well, in contrast the dreary, dark and pale colors of such places as Wraithmarsh and The Bandit Coast give the game a true air of tense feeling. Its these great graphical styles that really suck you into the world, and make it a treat to just run through the roads and look at the world itself.
The game isn't so much technically impressive as it is creative. The graphics are simple, as are the water effects and most of the game. The magic is positively striking, but the effects do have some negative effects on the game. For instance, most massive level 5 spells will cause the game to slowdown for a few seconds. Nothing major, but defineatly an annoyance. The thing is, as colorful and fun-filled as the graphics are, the sheer lack of technicality in this age of gaming is disappointing. Also, when night falls on the forest levels and other levels where the color attracts you to them, the levels appear very drab and boring.
You can jump off this bridge, like most things.
Animations are something that needs work as well. Stiff looking attack and magic animations, and enemies are no different. Expressions are well done. The characters movements pertaining to interaction with your character, such as fear, joy, admiration, and most actions on the parts of the villagers just feel fake and hollow. Despite this, your characters animations are fantastic when it comes to the customization you can do. Instead of the animations being absolutely terrible to fit with all the different clothing possibilities you'll have, the animations stay the same, even if the same does need a bit of work.
Fable 2 has a very fun and repetitive combat system. That sentence about sums up what you'll be feeling by the combat. The thing about it is that it stays mostly fresh throughout the entire game. Its absolutely simple and has, as the creator pointed out, a one button combat system, yet the feeling of combat in the game doesn't get boring for a long while. This is due in part to the upgrades you can level up during the game. As you earn experience from killing enemies, you can use the experience to level up different areas of your character, such as power, skill, and will--or in other words, swords, guns, and magic. Each time you level these areas up, you gain a different skill in that area--whether its the ability to block an attack, zoom in on your gun, or get a far more powerful spell, the combat will stay fresh until you've unlocked everything that can be unlocked. Unfortunately, unlocking everything doesn't take a huge amount of time to do, so the combat may bore some people after a while. Its simple, which is a double edged blade in this case. Figuratively and literally. The control is responsive, though there are occasional hiccups during combat. Movement could be a little more fine tuned. But the choices for how you kill the enemy are still there. Tons of different weapons, both melee and range that have their own special attributes make it very fun to swap out weapons every so often and see how the battles will play out that way.
Also, leveling up your character in these three aspects will produce physical changes on your characters appearance as well. Level up power and you'll get buffer. Skill and you'll grow taller. Will and blue magic lines(which I thought looked kickass) will start appearing on your skin. For the most part, these changes are appealing in the game. The problem is, if you don't want these changes to occur but still want the benefits of that certain level, your outta luck. For example, if your playing as a female character and actually care about appearance in the game, then your not going to want to level up power much or you'll start to look like a berserker from Gears of War(i.e. like a freak). Or, if you don't want to be a Goliath looking creature you'll probably refrain from upgrading skill.
Thankfully, Lionhead seemed to come prepared for this. They split each group--skill,power,and will-- into 3 groups each. only one upgrade group within each group effects your characters appearance, and thats the group that determines the amount of damage they will do. And once you have legendary weapons with massive amounts of damage, you will no longer need those possibly-freaky enhancements. Just in case though, Lionhead made a feature where you can downgrade at any time, one of your upgrades. So if your extremely tall but want to be shorter again, simply downgrade that skill. Its simple.
Undead. What RPG would be complete without them.
Another feature that will effect your characters appearance is also one of the most innovative features in an RPG, that of the ability to choose your path in a non-linear fashion. Most of the actions you take in Albion will yeild you either Good or Bad karma. This can be anything from stealing random stuff from someones house or killing your spouse, to making a crowd of people upbeat by playing the lute to donating to the Temple of Light. The game lives up to its motto "For every action, a consequence. Who will you become?" But all these choices you make won't be for nothing, and many of them will certainly be very hard to make(especially if you plan on being good.) Depending on how evil or good you are, your physical appearance will change. You hair will become golden and you'll get a halo if your good. If your bad, your eyes will become red and you'll grow horns. There is also a more subtle layer of "good and evil", which is more of the grey area in between, called Purity and Corruption. Doing kind acts and eating good foods will give you purity points, which will make your character look attractive. Eating pies and meats all the time and charging your tenants massive rent will give you corruption, in turn making you fat and ugly. These features are where Fable 2 shines its brightest, and are one of the most fantastic innovations in an RPG in years.
There is also the world around you that reacts to your actions. For instance, if you go on a crime spree in a town and kill people, then crime and panic will break loose in the town. The economy will drop, and it will become a miserable place to be. On other other hand, if you spend tons of money there and charge your tenants less in that area, it begins to flourish, and the economy will skyrocket. People will love you more, and more people will begin to appear there. Your ability to influence and change the world around you as well as yourself is, too, a fantastic innovation that Fable 2 introduces well. Oh, and yes, P.M. was telling the truth when he said that you can buy everything in the game world of Fable. Pretty much, everything.
A good bit of the music is recycled from the original Fable with minor changes in what instruments seem to be used to play the song. Still, the music sounds like orchestral music, which fits the game's "epic fairy tale" premise well. Sound effects are nice and varied; different blades and guns yeild different sounds, as well as each different spell you cast. The sound also helps the world come alive to you, as this game plays fantastic in Dolby 5.1(Lets give a round of applause to Thomas, who let me test his surround sound to the point of almost breaking it. Sorry Tom.)
The game also runs on some fantastic voice overs. Each NPC has some well written and executed lspeech they want to say to you, and the greatest thing about the VOs is that they are done comically, like the rest of the game. In fact, I'd be willing to go so far as to say that without the VOs being as funny as they are, the game simply would be far more boring. At least to your ears it would be.
When a game manages to make hopping fences fun, you know its good. Fable II is good.
The game's story takes about a mere 12 hours to finish. But to be perfectly honest, thats not what your gonna be doing most of the time anyway. After opening all the doors, buying all the property, spending a good while at the crucible and finishing most of the quests, I found that I had taken about 50 hours, give or take a few. That means, after basically finishing the game, it took a good deal of time to accomplish. This really isn't much in the way of Oblivion or a JRPG, but its fairly long.
Co-op won't have you running back for more. Playing with a friend whos right beside you will end up being more funthen the online co-op. This is due to a number of reasons. First off, the joining player can't play as his character, only a premade one. Second, your Skill powers get flushed down the drain. Third, if your "friend" is bored, he can just as easily slaughter a very important character who you can never get back. And fourth is the lag. Lots of lag. Stupendous ammounts I have experianced in fact. If you can get over these issues, then you may yet have some fun here. Well....
In all honesty, I love this game to death now. Pretty much one of the only games I've really went back and did all the side quests after finishing the story mode. I bought this game with moderate expectaions, which made it a pleasent surprise to find out it was worth the money. But I won't lie; errors and glitches mess this game up badly. If you can get over those errors though, you'll find an experiance deeper then any RPG or JRPG you've played in the last ten years.
Major Selling points:
-Fantastic and colorful graphics
-Addictive Combat system
-Ability to play the game on your own path, and be as good or evil as you want to be.
-Lots of cutomization and choices that reflect on your character
-Wide, open freeroam world
-Huge game; many quests and things to do
Major Breaking Points:
-Lots of technical hiccups
-Story mode is a bit short
Last edited by bandit; December 15th, 2008 at 01:06.
I was actually thinking about which game I'd get next. I was between this, and Fallout 3. But I'll go with Fallout 3. I'll get this later.
Oh and a PvP mode would of been awesome! But I guess the story makes up for it.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)