REVIEW BY PAUL CORPS 999

 

Let me start out by saying, I love the zelda series and twilight princess was a fantastic game. However, how many times would you wander around in zelda hoping to find a hidden cave that had….the Flame sword of hyrule or Long bow of piercing? How about side quests that actually could hold their own regarding story and plot? You might say “well thats not what a zelda game is” or something to that degree. And you’d be right, but it’s the route I wish, and many others, wished the last zelda game had taken. Well, forget about Link (yeah I said it!) Because the Xbox360 has your answer with Fable 2.

 

Story:

The story in Fable 2 takes place 500 years after the first game, where heroes are legends of the past and technology has taken over as societies idol. Of note, you don’t have to be familiar with the first game (I never had the original Xbox) to enjoy this one although there are some inside jokes/familiar regions that players familiar with the original might recognize. Without major spoilers, you start out as a child and witness an event which years later as an adult propels you into the main quest. The story progression and dialogue (more on that later) are well paced and you can choose to run straight through the main quest of the game (if you do however you will be missing >75% of what the game has to offer) or take your time and perform various side quests, open demon doors, interact with villagers, and explore various caves. Now, I cannot talk about the story without discussing the importance of the impact your decisions will make as to whether you play as “good” or “evil”. Without giving anything away, your alignment to good/evil doesn’t alter the progression of the main quest too much until the very end, however everything else will see a major impact. For example, making decisions with most side quests will determine the award your given, whether certain characters survive, or even if certain regions exist. To give you an example, during my play through I worked for bandits and killed an important farmer. Years later, in my game his farm remains just a small empty shack. On the other hand, upon discussing the game with my cousin and brother whom both let him live, I was told that his farm will flourish and eventually turn into a large settlement. It will also affect how villagers respond to you and item prices in shops (i.e. you get a discount for being feared or loved) This aspect is quite new to most games and very well delivered in Fable 2. Don’t worry, you can always become good again if you feel you are too evil by doing various deeds and vice versa. However decisions you already made won’t be reversed.

Now questing isn’t the only aspect to Fable 2, and I was surprised on how addicted I became to making money via various jobs and buying/selling property and businesses (probably because I am a horrible business man in real life). Another moment that stood out for me, was when I returned from a long journey of questing and my young daughter ran up to me and happily greeted me for the first time (when I left she was just a baby in a crib; and no you can’t hurt your kids!). No matter how evil my character was, that moment brought a smile to my face. That, and sleeping with two hookers at once.

 

Being evil affects gameplay elements as well as your appearance in game.

 

 

Gameplay:

 

The gameplay is very simple and well executed with each button devoted to one aspect of fighting. X button is for melee, Y is for shooting, and B is for magic. The upgrade system is standard RPG, and I felt it was well balanced. I simply loved it when I upgraded my shooting ability enough to pull off decapitating head-shots and groin shots! You upgrade using experience orbs you get during enemy encounters or via potions bought/found int eh environment.

 

Graphics:

 

The graphics in Fable 2 are beautiful, with a colorful, storybook feel to it without looking childish at all and maintains a serious tone. The game has many variety of regions and stunning vistas here you’ll want to stop and just pan the camera around to take in the view. The major difference in comparison to other top tier real time RPG’s (i.e. Oblivion and Fallout 3) is that you can’t go to every part of the region you see and most areas are somewhat linear, very similar to the layout of the worlds in ocarina of time or twilight princess. Now, I didn’t feel this detracted from the game at all, as there are many areas to explore and the worlds themselves are huge (I’d say its about 3x larger than Twilight princess’s game world).

 

The world are large and beautiful.

 

Sound:

This I believe is Fable 2′s greatest strength. The voice acting is amazing and you will find yourself imitating all the varieties of British accents that you hear. It also makes the delivery of the story that much more genuine, engaging, and believable. Lionhead studios recorded hours and hours of dialogue and I never found it repetitive or boring. The sound effects are well done and you’ll love the sound of your unsheathing your steel while running after some poor defenseless villagers. The music is also top notch and adds to the experience depending on the region you are in. It never detracted from the experience and I actually downloaded a few tracks from iTunes off the Fable 2 game soundtrack.

 

Bang for your buck:

The main quest can probably be done in <10 hours if you don’t stop to do anything else. There is so much more to the Fable 2 world to keep you busy that completing the majority of these things will clock you in between 20-30 hours. I suggest disabling the yellow trail which will always guide you to your objective, to provide a more adventurous feel (i.e. you‘ll be more likely to explore if its off). In addition to that, some quests will only unlock after completing the main game. And if that’s not enough, Lionhead studios has already announced an entirely new region with new story/side quests, weapons/items and clothing when they release the first downloadable content on Xbox live with “Knothole island” later this month (Dec. 18th).

 

Overall:

Despite some shortcomings with the main campaign length Fable 2 is a a deep game with many rich features.  wriXeL highly recommends this game!  BUY THIS GAME!!!

 

 

 

Negatives:

-Co-op mode only allows one person to play as their main character, while the other person chooses a generic pre-made character. Overall, I enjoyed playing the game alone anyway.

-sometimes controlling your character can be difficult with the analog stick and you can sometimes get “stuck” (i.e. glitch) between objects in the environment

-There are some gltiches with activating quests or retrieving items (I did not encounter any of these on my play-through) that gamers are reporting, however a patch is already in the works from Lionhead.

 

This review was written BY PAULCORPS999