Fable II

Fable II Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Sequel to the successful PC and Xbox RPG Fable.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Being a good guy has never been so hard
Being a good guy has never been so hard

Being a good guy has never been so hard

Being good has never been so hard. Lionhead's follow-up to the Xbox action RPG Fable allows you to be the hero of your choosing, performing good or bad deeds, but at times the line is more than a little blurred. Fable II isn't quite the epic masterpiece we and others had hoped it would be, it's got more niggles and glitches than some will find acceptable, but it's also a brilliant game you'll talk about for months to come, comparing your experience with that of a friend, or even showing them your version of Albion in person.

Things begin, as you'd expect in a game about the life of a hero, with your character as a child. You have the option to play as a boy or a girl (we opted to play as a boy), and you're joined by your sister Rose. The next 30 minutes serves as an introduction to the game's story and controls, and acts as a way to demonstrate the decision making you'll have to do in the game. Every decision you make shapes your character, so be bad and you'll start to show it, even growing horns; be good and you'll have a saintly glow about you.

The game's main story revolves around the wicked Lord Lucien and a rather evil deed he performs at the end of the opening section. Mystic Theresa, your guide and narrator, points you in the direction of a magic spinning box, supposed to grant the owner a wish. Lord Lucien becomes aware that you were able to activate it, and calls you over to his magnificent castle.

We won't spoil what is a significant moment in the story, but it's enough to set the two of you on a path to meet again, and on rather unpleasant terms. Sadly your time as a child is over in a flash and you're soon playing as a grown man. We're sure Lionhead wanted to get gamers playing the meat and bones of the story as quickly as possible, but given that character development is so important it's a little surprising that ageing is handled so fleetingly. One moment you're a kid running about the streets and the next you're old enough to have a wife and kids.

The world of Albion is often rather stunning

The world of Albion is often rather stunning

A dog you meet in the game's intro goes on to become your best friend and your ever-present companion for the duration of the game. He serves numerous purposes that make him much more than your standard NPC. He acts as a guide of sorts (sniffing out treasure and places to dig), he'll warn you about what lies ahead (barking if enemies are nearby), he becomes a weapon in combat (he'll finish off downed enemies), villagers will think differently of you with him at your side, and he even tries his paw at being a key to a rather talkative door.

You might think that the dog is a gimmick and another of Peter Molyneux's over hyped features, but he's got this one right. After a few hours the dog will dominate all you do, whether it be wandering off the beaten track to find treasure or simply constantly looking around to see where he's gone. Moments where he lags behind suddenly become truly worrying, for fear that he's gone for good, and should an enemy dare to kick him you'll be sure that that's the last thing he ever does. Your interaction with him is fairly limited (he's a dog after all), but the bond is strong. If he's been hurt he'll whimper and limp, so you'll need to heal to him - something you'll do above all other actions in the game, no matter what's going on at the time.

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mohmad's Avatar
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mohmad

thanks
Posted 09:06 on 02 February 2009
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dammu

this a great virtual world of being good or bad alters your world i spent hours just tryin to invest in properties and business i would just play this game on trying to become rich and evil i wouldnt call it a great rpg but its a good overall package
Posted 21:05 on 24 January 2009
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Wrath

I see some people have posted favorable reviews, and i think i should qualify my comment.

This game is fun. The cartoony visuals and fast paced action are entertaining. But it hardly qualifies as an RPG. It's an action adventure game with a fantasy theme.
Look at some of the great RPG's: FF7 - numerical combat that was still vastly intricate and fights later in the game required a lot of strategy. Beating the two Ultima Monster thingys whose names i forget took dozens of tries to get it right. it took me a month of playing to figure out how to get the fabled knights of the round materia by breeding chocobo's. Granted, i could have used a walkthrough or a game guide, but i like to beat it myself before cheating.

FF tactics: a little cartoony, but great combat system. Required a lot of thinking.

Zelda a link to the past: also cartoony, but the puzzles in the dungeons were great and took some real detective work to get through. Even in 2 dimensions, the fights required WAY more precision and timing than anything Fable could muster.

TES III/IV: Morrowind/Oblivion: Truly open world. Breathtaking visuals. Complex and varied combat and magic systems. You can invent your own spells and enchant your own armor. I would have liked a few more types and better spell customization and maybe a better reward for the main quest line, but all these issues are fixed with mods. No mod will make Fable into a true RPG.
Fur, Leather, Chainmail, Mithril, Elven, Glass, Amber - light armor
rusty iron, iron, steel, dwarven, orcish, ebony, daedric - heavy armor
Boots, greaves, cuirass, gloves and helmet means hundreds of potential armor combinations, and if you include enchantments and special sets (dark brotherhood armor, mages guild robes, shivering isles clothes) the numbers reach the thousands.

Granted, you couldn't tattoo your character or give them silly mustaches, but i'd say thats a small price to pay. You could easily put in a hundred hours into both morrowind or oblivion and still have not done everything there is to do. Now include another two or three playthroughs with different races, classes, and builds and you've got a truly massive open RPG.

there are dozens of other real RPG's, but Fable certainly isn't one of them. For all the great idea's, the shortness, linear storyline, and lack of any real difficulty make this game totally forgettable.


I don't mean to sound like an elitist RPG geek or anything, i've never played Dungeons and Dragons or watched a star trek marathon, and i've actually touched a woman in real life. But I am a self admitted game enthusiast (code for geek) and this game is all flash and no substance.

If you like bright and flashy graphics and hack and slash one button combat, this might be the game for you. If you are a real RPG fan, rent it, then forget it.
Posted 10:27 on 28 December 2008
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Wrath

fable 2 was very very dissapointing.

the promise of full openess drew me to the first fable, and it was as linear as a hack and slash action adventure game. a few generic sidequests does not an open world make.

Fable 2 did a little better, but not much. I didn't give a damn about any of the characters. Being evil has way more perks than being good, investing in stores makes the money system worthless. Cash every 5 minutes? Really? Good gravy. Any RPG worth its salt should take more than 12 hours to beat the main questline, and that was on the first go around. Granted you can play more after and it changes a little, but not enough to keep me around for more than another 5 hours or so. What would make Fable 2 spectacular is the emphasis on good vs evil WHILE encorporating an openworld plan, a la TES IV: Oblivion, which should be considered the genre standard for console AND PC RPG's. I hate being forced to stay on roughly the same course the entire game. Granted there are a few side distractions, Gargoyles and some solid humor, overall i wouldn't rate this game above a 6 or a 7. I have absolutely no urge to play it through again. The selection or armor and weapons is atrocious. Customization of appearance is cool, but true character customization doesn't exist. You can beat the entire game by pumping up melee skills and chopping peoples heads off.
it really bothers me that you have to try hard to make the combat interesting. if you throw in the early underpowered will spells, you do a little damage, have some simple affects and make the fights a little different. But for most enemies, once you get enough physique and strength you can just headshot them in one hit.

Also, the difficulty is pathetic. First time through i beat it without dying once. You can load up on potions and food and never get below 20% health. I committed suicide once to see what dying was like, and the animation was cool but you get revived in the same mapblock with almost no negative consequences other than a scar, which decreases attractiveness. For an evil character, this is a GOOD THING because being scary, ugly, and evil looking gets people to lower their prices NOT THAT THEY NEED TO BECAUSE MONEY IS SO EASY TO COME BY.

The combat system is way too simple, you can win ANY fight using hack and slash tactics. Your character is massively overpowered and enemies are underpowered. There is virtually no challenge to the game. The only conflict is the generic choice for every quest of "do i want to complete this quest in the good way or the evil way".

The one redeeming feature is the visuals, but graphics alone can't carry a game.

if you own a 360, its worth renting because you can easily beat it and experience every good feature of the game in the few days you have it, and its a hell of a lot cheaper than shelling out 60 bucks for a game you'll beat in two days anyways.
Posted 10:06 on 28 December 2008
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AC!Drabbit

...okay, maybe I'm just not taking this seriously enough, but does it REALLY matter whether this review is "accurate" or not? I haven't personally played Fable II yet, but I'll have it by the end of the week, and I'm just looking at the reviews to get an idea of the quality, and somebody's opinion on it.

Fair enough, people want something they can really rely on. There's one thing you seem to be missing here, though: paid or not, the people writing these reviews are human. Different people have different views and tastes. What I may think is phenomenal, you may think is pathetic. Just because everyone on here is (to a more OR lesser degree) a gamer, doesn't mean everyone has the same standards, views and tastes. Reviews are, to put it bluntly, just somebody's opinion.

True, the professionals allegedly know what they're talking about. But why do they have to be perfect? Even a professional can't get it right every time. And I agree that the rating doesn't quite seem to fit in with the review, but that's (as JDV said) mainly due to the glitches/problems which, let's face it, even a true 10/10 game will have somewhere.

At least it's not just sugar-coating the whole thing and saying there are no glitches or problems anywhere. Surely somebody on this comment board would find SOMETHING to complain about, however trivial.

I've played tons of games which have (obvious AND discreet) glitches. How many games have you played which make your character disappear or turn hollow when you zoom in too close?

It makes more sense to just look at the review as an opinion, rather than something to fully base your choice on. Personally, I'd only trust a close friend or family member who knows what I like and what's good/bad in a game to actually help me choose.
Posted 15:33 on 23 December 2008
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TRBO RAD

i haven't played this or bought it i did buy the first and it was pretty great somewhat annoying bc everything seems repetive u do this you are criticized do this and ur praized i got kinda tired but i really liked the game overall but not sure i want to go through all the crazyness or the game another time id rather play a game like GOW2
Posted 05:48 on 28 November 2008
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jhkhhg

simply mediocre this game hasnt changed anything its a full copy/paste of the first oblivion is far superior to this failure
Posted 14:19 on 20 November 2008
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Karlius

Finished it last night. Poor ending! However I can keep playing on and on!
Posted 07:51 on 14 November 2008
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ThatGuy

I gotta say, it's a great game. The storyline is a bit better than the first fable and the graphics are sweet. The combat's a little complicated in my opinion (or maybe I just suck?)

Although, I have to admit with the review. It's a great game, and besides the glitches here and there (I haven't finished it so can't comment on the ending) it's a great game worth the buy.
Posted 01:29 on 14 November 2008
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Karlius

I'm up to the final quest and absoloutly loving the game i'm now wandering around doing random bits and bobs as i too don't want this experience to end. Its a game I will keep coming back to over and over. Amazing!
Posted 16:24 on 12 November 2008
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hi O_O

played it thought it was pretty good was kinda short but left an opening for an update or something. i loved the game ^^ a ton of stuff to do if you arent straight into the storline.
Posted 14:21 on 12 November 2008
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void

i have to say this is a great game to mess around on. i read the reviews of games but i dont have opinon on them untill im playing away. i dont usally buy these sort of games but from playing fable1( truly a great game) its changed my opinon and im glad to say fable 2 is one of the best games i have ever played so far. but this is my opinon and some or even most may hate it for diffrent reasons.

oh and to the two cock juggling thunder ****s on the last page how about you go put your cock in a toaster.

p.s have a nice!
Posted 01:12 on 08 November 2008
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chris

this game takes the silver at most though it is a good game it is more 7 material. the only reason it gets 9's and 10's everywhere i because every1 at E3 overhyped about it and its overconfident creator can shut his idiot mouth.
Posted 14:30 on 03 November 2008
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Mark_S

Yours Truly is right - horses for courses, n all that.

As for haterator... Girls come and go. Get a hobby, troll.
Posted 10:39 on 03 November 2008
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haterator

GET A LIFEEEE YOU FAGS, GET SOME GIRLFRIENDS!
Posted 07:57 on 03 November 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Fable II
9
Out of 10
Fable II
  • Engaging story and characters
  • Great character development
  • Choices have consequences
  • End falls a little flat
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/10/2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Lionhead
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: RPG
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 658 68
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