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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gamehater's Avatar
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gamehater

THIS GAME IS JUST WRONG....SUCKYSUCKY
Posted 07:56 on 03 November 2008
Yours truly's Avatar
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Yours truly

I don't get all you "critics" asking questions like "if i wanted to make choices i'd go out and do it!" or " why do i have a dog". I dislike people who only look for the wackness that they seem to see. You know if you don't like something DON'T BE AROUND IT, TOOL. Play a game that you like or read a review of something you might buy. I know that your highly intelligent opinion is very valuable but find something else to do, trolls.
Posted 18:26 on 02 November 2008
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Mark_S

Another post-2am playtime for me on this yesterday. I was barely awake by 1am, but because I wasn't doing anything all that challenging was able to potter around to my heart's content buying property and taking more advantage of stock shortages. It really was quite relaxing.

I spent a good 10,000+ gold on various stalls and houses, so quite interested to see how much my investments recoup overnight.

Oh, and I had sex. Get In My San!
Posted 10:42 on 31 October 2008
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FantasyMeister@ Mark_S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_S
I've played it solidly for the last four days, and I'm still to get to the second hero. I Spent a good 3-4 hours yesterday doing anything BUT following the main quest... and at the end of it all, I realised I'd basically achieved very little for the amount of time I'd played it... and yet, it was utterly fulfilling.

That's basically me too although I pressed on, got the 2nd hero and pushed on into Wraithmarsh and Bloodstone where I'm currently expanding my property portfolio. Fable II is growing on me and has been elevated to 'perfect timewaster' in my games collection.

It gets even better, keep an eye on the hints that pop up during loading screens and there's one that mentions that there are some quests that only become available once the main storyline is complete. RPG heaven.
Posted 10:27 on 29 October 2008
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Mark_S

Perhaps you've missed the point a tad. I've played it solidly for the last four days, and I'm still to get to the second hero. I Spent a good 3-4 hours yesterday doing anything BUT following the main quest.

I wandered around and uncovered new areas, looking for dig and dive spots, hunting Gargoyles (I've got 10 of the little Scottish buggers now) plus uncovering treasure and unlocking Demon Doors...

I bought items on the cheap and sold them for a profit to stores with stock shortages...

I took advantage of the economic crisis going on in Oakfield right now and purchased a couple of stalls for myself...

I impressed a few locals, by posing, flirting, showing off my Trophies and generally getting my Renown up by commisioning statues...

I dyed my clothes, hunted around to get an idea of house pricing, bought books, taught my dog new tricks...

I took the Red Bandit quest and eradicated them all for a farmer...

And I tried my hand at pulling pints, plus got myself up to being a 3 Star Woodcutter, earning 70 Gold for every chop...

... and at the end of it all, I realised I'd basically achieved very little for the amount of time I'd played it... and yet, it was utterly fulfilling.

I love this game, and I'm in no rush to see it end. That's not somethig I say very often.
Posted 13:09 on 28 October 2008
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newday

Recieve it in friday, played saturday and sunday and complete it. :(( Soooo shoooort :(
Posted 22:54 on 27 October 2008
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Mark_S

If you say so, Tom. :-p

Fable is hard to rate; it's pretty much the only RPG of its type: favouring your character's physical and reputation development over narrative progression. In that sense, it's sort of a singleplayer MMO.
Posted 12:29 on 27 October 2008
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TomO@ Mark_S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_S
Decent game, deserving of the 9 on Videogamer's review scale. Especially when you consider they gave the first Gears of War a 10...
Gears was and still is a defining game of this generation.

FantasyMeister: I agree that the game has some flaws and problems, but I don't think they're enough to hurt the game. The inventory system is something I've read a lot of people moaning about, but I really didn't find it an issue. I guess it comes down to what your prior RPG experience is and what you want out of games. For me it made the often laborious inventory management of most RPGs a complete walk in the park.
Posted 11:39 on 27 October 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Mark_S

Using VG.com's review scale it's somewhere between an 6 and an 8 for me. There are just too many glitchy things to make it a 9, like:

- trying to open chests
- trying to examine the boards outside shops and homes
- trying to buy a 'best' weapon from a blacksmith and then discovering that as soon as you buy it there's another 'best' until you've bought the whole inventory
- slippy feet syndrome
- pressing right trigger out of battle and discovering you can't d-pad to a food item/expression because d-pad also controls magic selection
- minimaps look very cluttered in SD
- if you're too popular getting around towns can be bothersome considering the number of people following you around, especially when several of them follow you into your bedroom whilst you're trying to woo your wife.

If you're able to ignore these it's still a good game, much shinier than the original, but whilst it retains the same issues as the original (doesn't always offer appropriate expressions, menu system still needs an overhaul), it throws in a bunch of new ones like those listed above.

In its defence the dog is fantastic, combat is great as ever and hunting Gargoyles is a great way to pass the time, but at the moment I'm struggling to decide whether or not the game is really all it's cracked up to be. Disappointing in places, great in others, I'll have to play it a bit more to decide which feeling wins out.
Posted 11:27 on 27 October 2008
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Mark_S

Decent game, deserving of the 9 on Videogamer's review scale. Especially when you consider they gave the first Gears of War a 10...
Posted 11:05 on 27 October 2008
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Nick P

This Is A Great Game,They Need To Get Off The Pipe.
Posted 21:53 on 22 October 2008
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TJ

It is a good game, 1 button combat is not really bad either when you throw in flourishes and evasive maneuvers , but why is no one stating the one true problem with this game, how come it is always night time? i can barely see anything half the time, it is a good thing the mobs have a red outline or you would be dying all the time, they could have put in a wait mode like oblivion and saved all those problems
Posted 05:43 on 22 October 2008
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Anonymous

this was a totally biased review...
Posted 02:56 on 22 October 2008
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infernalhero

Why does everybody on these comment pages alway make the same arguments? First off, if you haven't played the game, shut the f*** up. Honestly, you have no right no say anything so don't waste your time putting stupid comments on this page. And I don't know if anyone has actually thought about this, but what if the person reviewing the game DOESN'T LIKE THE GAME ANYWAY? If John Doe has a passionate hate for Fable and is assigned to review it, what do you think the review will look like? You can't trust reviews, put simply. There are games that have scored less than 3s, and chances are there is someone out there that thinks that it is the greatest game ever. Reviews of games are not facts either. You can't scientifically prove that a game sucks or doesn't. Come up with your own fricking opinion and don't flame others for theirs.
Posted 02:32 on 22 October 2008
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kuulkidzklub

fable sounds ok exept for the lack of interaction with npc i planzz to livz in da cityz and becomezz a entroupernazzzzz and own bizznazaz andz ignore the entire otherzz parrtzz of the gamezz
Posted 00:04 on 22 October 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: 838 19
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