Fable II Reviews

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Fable II - Review by MARK20008

A hugely anticipated game, set 500 years in the future after the original game. This game is an Xbox 360 exclusive and is developed by our friends at Lionhead Studios. The game is rated 15+ and was released in Europe on 24/10/2008 despite being released in the States a few days earlier. So lets get started, please do read on.

The story to the game is engrossing and will pull you in. After starting out as a child, wandering around Bowerstone Old Town with your sister, you purchase a magical box and are brought to Lucien, in his castle. It is in here where Lucien murders your sister and attempts to murder you but you survive. You wake up out of a coma many years later, and things have changed, but Lucien is still at large in Albion.

Gameplay (7/10):
Alright, I'll begin by discussing the gameplay and the fighting system in this section. Fable II is an RPG game, but it isn't turn based and combat is quite fun compared to the usual turn based ideas in other RPG's such as Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata. The game is set in a huge world called Albion. You can tour round all of the world, with your faithful dog as your companion. You can do all the basic functions, run, sprint and swim etc.
The combat itself is wonderfully satisfying and rewarding. You can use your melee weapon by pressing the X button. The Y button gives you access to your weapon that fires, e.g gun or a crossbow. The B button uses your magic ability. All of your abilities can be increased, this includes your characters skill, strength and his will. There are a number of magical spells that can be used in combat. My personal choice was the Inferno which is just a big circle of fire to burn enemies around you to death. Other kinds of magic include an ability to raise the dead to help you fight and the ability to control time. Weapons can be purchased from the various shops and merchants around albion. You can buy yourself a new sword, or even a rifle depending on how much gold you have. It is not only your character than can be improved, your dog can also be improved in fighting and searching for treasure. He can also be taught new tricks by books bought in shops around Albion.
Obtaining gold is key to doing well in this game, the more you have, the more you make. You can buy houses, pubs and shops. Renting out your houses or selling things in your retail properties can net you gold every 5 minutes. Gold can also be earned doing jobs around Albion which include Assassinations, Bartending and Blacksmith. These jobs consist of mini games where timing is all important, the more goods you produce in a row, the bigger your chain and the more money you earn. As you get better at a job you will advance up levels and begin to earn more gold. More gold can be obtained in treasure chests and digging up items that your dog finds underground.
The ability to communicate with the many residents around Albion is a wonderful feature. Depending on your actions, people in the world will either like or dislike you. Different people like different expressions and gifts. The expression wheel is an innovative feature in the game, you can pull fun, flirty, scary and many other expressions by using it. More expressions can be learned in books that you buy in the game. The ability to have a wife and kids is also an interesting idea. If you talk nicely to a girl/man and present them with a ring, then there is a chance they will marry you. Having a wife and family isn't all tough work. As long as you pay them their needs then they will normally be happy. Even if you decide not to visit them on a regular basis.
Depending on your actions in the game, your character will either become good/evil or pure/corrupt. You can be good by freeing slaves and helping villagers. It is much easier to be evil though, killing innocent people and making them fear you raises your chances of being evil. Your character can be pure if you eat food that doesn't come from animals and if you don't charge your tenants much rent. Once again, it is easier to be corrupt. Have unprotected sex, sleep for a week or raise your tenants rent in order to become corrupt. A clever system it is, but it could do with some more depth and possibly biggers consequences for your actions in the game.
The ability to dress your character up is also one that will interest many people, sadly I never really got into it. There are various tailors and stylists around Albion who are eager to spruce your character up for a fair price.
The whole Co-Op online gameplay is hugely disappointing though. You can't even bring your character into a friends game, how annoying is that? And in my opinion, having two people in a small area is a bad idea and the camera won't let you walk where you want to or stops you from going to certain areas if your partner doesn't agree to come with you. If you see your friends orb in your normal game, then you can click it to view their stats or even send them a gift. This is probably the only thing that I have done with any friends over Xbox Live in this game. That's how disappointing the online gameplay is. It could have been fantastic, but has been a huge letdown.


Graphics (10/10):
This is the 360 at it's very best. Albion is a world of it's own, and it looks the part. Sunshine and water has never looked so beautiful in a game. Buildings are also really well designed, houses are detailed with furniture and towns are actually like real live towns. People work, people beg on the streets for money, people drink in the bar. It's like being in a real world. Albion contains many forests, lakes and towns. But no two towns or the same. Bloodstone is a huge contrast to Bowerstone, even the people act and speak differently depending on their background or town. The character models are just dripping with detail, you will fight an absolute huge variety of enemies in this game. My personal favourite being Hollowman, the detail on this character is just amazing. Enemy models are impressive to say the least, and also include beatles, bandits, banshees, ghost pirates, guards and trolls. Lionhead haven't missed a detail and in my opinion have produced the graphically most outstanding game on the 360. GTA IV eat your heart out, we have a new graphic champion.


Achievements/Lifespan (7/10):
For an RPG, the length of the story is a huge letdown. 10 hours maximum for anybody to complete the story. Playing for a few hourse a day, I was through the game in 3-4 days which really had me thinking why did I soend my money on it. After earning a decent income of gold, and buying the best weapons, the game just becomes to easy. The only challenging part was the combat towards the end of the main story.
The achievements are really clever in this game and cover a load of different aspects. Where to start? For completing the main story you can guarantee yourself 375 gamerscore as long as you save before making a choice at the end. There are three different endings, each with an achievement. So save before you choose and when the achievement pops up then quickly exit to the dashboard. Repeat this process once more and then finally, choose the one ending you haven't already done so. Keep your ending of choice until last as this is the ending you will play on with. There are a few tough achievements, earning 2.5 million worth of real estate property can be tricky but easily done after completing the game. Make sure to purchase the graveyard mansion, bloodstone mansion and fairfax castle. These account for well over half of the amount needed. Buy all pubs and shops to earn even more gold.
One of the more difficult achievements people are struggling with is to win 500 gold at one pub game sitting. My advice is to go to Bloodstone, bet on 2-3 numbers at a time. I got the achievement in ten or fifteen minutes while doing this.
There is also an achievement for making four different expressions at a bandit in battle. Now, I haven't obtained this achievement yet but my friend just told me how he got his. In the quest at Fairfax Castle, a bandit got stuck on the wall in the escape passage after the library. Sometimes, enemies can get stuck on the wall anywhere so I suppose it's just luck whether you can get it or not.
The game itself contains 50 achievements, but I managed to get 41 in 3 days of playing. The Completionist achievement is impossible to get without owning the arcade game Fable II Pub Games. If you don't have the arcade game, then the max gamerscore you can attain is 950. Most of the achievements are worth 10 or 15 G and can easily be obtained in the course of the game. After completing the game you will also probably go for the 50,000 renown achievement which is worth 50 Gamerscore. My best advice would be to do the Fairfax Quest, the Graveyard Mansion Quest and the Sally Jack Quest in Bloodstone. These 3 together are worth nearly 30,000 renown.


Final Thoughts:
Gamplay = 5/10
Graphics = 10/10
Lifespan/Achievements = 7/10
Overall= 73%
4 stars

What could have been a classic, has turned into just a very good game. Maybe people had their expectations to high or else there was just to much around the game before it game out. It's just not a five star game like Gears of War or GTA IV. In many years, Fable II will be remembered as just a good game, nothing spectacular. So it shows a nice few touches, contains some fun gameplay and ideas. But the lifespan and online mode is really lacking. Slightly disappointing, but certainly worth a rent. It just lacking something...
Comments on my reviews are always welcome, next review will be Gears of War II. That one should be a lot of fun, thanks for reading.
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KellissAmberlee
94,698 (62,950)
KellissAmberlee
TA Score for this game: 1,733
Posted on 12 February 09 at 20:31
This review has 34 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The big promise of Fable II (and the first Fable, from what I understand) is that every action you take has a consequence not only for you but on the world at large. Unfortunately, I never really felt that way until the final moments of the game.

Fable II opens with the main character as a child who has to earn 5 gold coins by doing a series of small quests. It's your basic tutorial where you learn to shoot with a bow, use a sword, talk to people, pick things up, etc. You have a choice toward the end which is a big neon sign saying I'm going to be good or I'm going to be bad. Whichever path you choose does affect that particular section of town. If you're good the economy is only slightly impoverished, if you're evil the economy is in the tank and you have the option to pick up assassination contracts almost immediately.

This is one of my complaints about the game. The choices you make as a player character are almost never subtle (arguably, having what you eat and at what rate you set any rent affect your good/evil purity/corruption numbers is subtle) but the big choices are really black and white. There's one other quest I can think of where your choices may have unintended consequences, but for the most part it's very straightforward.

Theoretically, you can affect the economy of a town by how much cash you spend there and how much rent you charge. I haven't really found that to be the case but maybe that's because I was never that particular about where I spent my money. I also haven't played the game that much since the the patch came out and I know at least one of the bugs was related to the economy in Borrowstone. Man, it'll be nice to actually have furniture in the furniture store again.

It took me a long, long time to get used to the system for social interaction. I really like branching dialog and so it was extremely frustrating at first to have to rely on nothing more than body language, and even more frustrating that not all of the body language/social options are available at first (or, if you don't want to pay the extra $10 for pub games, ever). After a while I grew to like the system and wished that other RPGs would have a sort of hybrid of speech and body language. After all, in the real world when we're talking to someone in person we have both words and physical cues to go on.

There is a part of the social system that irritates me though. When I'm playing an RPG, I really like the companion system. I like having individual characters I can interact with that each have their own personality and story to tell. Just because there are individuals with their own personality doesn't necessarily make them interesting (see Neverwinter Nights 2) but I found Lionhead's way of making all but a very small minority of quest characters NPCs with no real personality to be very frustrating.

Your character can have a sexual relationship or marry anyone of any gender. When you start an interaction you can see what their preferences are: gay/straight/bi, poor, humorless, raunchy, etc. but that never comes across in your interactions with theme except that their opinion of you is influenced by whatever social interaction you try. I admire Lionhead or allowing same-sex pairings, and I commend them for at least alluding to the problem of STDs but because none of the characters you can form a relationship with has a personality, even the person or people you are married to feel completely interchangeable with any other NPC.

Fable II does actually have STDs, although if you contract one it doesn't do anything but change your stats as to how many STDs you've contracted. You can keep from getting an STD if you use a condom if you're in a heterosexual relationship. You can't use a condom if you're in a f/f relationship (although you can, apparently, still get an STD). I'm not sure if you can use a condom for a m/m relationship or not, I haven't played a male character. Female characters can also get pregnant, though apparently only if married. You never have to take care of a child, that is always left to a spouse. You can also be married to multiple people at once (there's even an achievement for it) although I understand it's bad news if any of them actually finds out about another spouse. There's also divorce, which only the spouse can initiate and it will cost you half your money.

The money system is a little screwy. The three jobs you can take for easy money are slightly amusing for a while but they quickly become boring. I found the blacksmithing job to be the worst, but I kind of enjoyed woodcutting and bar tending. You can also sell things you find, of course. You can also buy and rent out property (or buy property and choose to live in it). Fable II also has a unique system that lets you continue to accrue money even when you're not playing. It sounds like a good idea at first, but eventually you've bought all the property there is to buy, you don't play for a few weeks and come back to find you now have well over $5 million and nothing to spend it on.

The combat is okay but not terribly challenging. I only had to recover from "death" once the first time I played through. I still can't chain 5 sword attacks together, and that irks me.

The co-op system is, in a word, atrocious. The camera only follows one player and at least once I was in a situation where for some reason my friend was a few minutes ahead in time of my character which made killing things irritating. She'd be finished and I'd still be hacking away. Amusing the first 5 seconds, irritating after that.

The clothes are purely for show. They will boost things like poshness, attractiveness, scariness, etc. but they provide no actual protection. They are highly customizable with various dyes found through Albion, so they can be fun to play with on an aesthetic level. The weapons system is also very simple in terms of damage and limited modifications.

One of the more frustrating things for me is that in a role-playing game I expect my character to have some sort of personality. That's not really the case here. You're pretty much good or evil but I never had the impression that my character had any emotion or depth. There was no opportunity to show remorse when a mistake was made, no opportunity to really connect with a spouse, child, lover or friend. Even after an extended absence there's no real sign that a spouse missed you (the relationship might worsen on a continuum but there's no dialog) In the end, the player character feels as interchangeable as any NPC, and that's not a good thing.

I know I sound very negative about the game but I did have fun playing it. Combat that isn't a constant high level challenge isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think it's tedious when you play a game and you come up against a high level encounter and die again and again. I had a few near misses, and for the most part, that was about right.

I liked the idea of a dog companion (though not as much as I would have liked other characters I could interact with and have a conversation, but that is not this game) but I found that I was actually much more attached to my dog in Fallout 3 because that dog could be killed (and believe me, that dog was the cause of more restarts than anything else). This dog is a faithful companion who serves some useful purposes, but he can't be killed so there's no concern when he's injured in a fight. I liked my dog and tried to interact with him, but even the dog doesn't have much personality.

Speaking of restarts, the save system took some getting used to as well. Most games these days have multiple save slots, so even if can't choose when to save, you can still choose where to save. So if you make a horrible mistake or you just want to see what would happen if you took another path you can just revert to an earlier save. That's not the case here. I can understand why Lionhead did it and I'm still trying to decide if I'm in favor or not. I guess I must be because I'm hoping Witcher does the same thing whenever it's released.

The graphics are lovely and the story is mostly interesting. There are plenty of sidequests, some very enjoyable. Finding all of the gargoyles and all silver keys was quite challenging.

The best reason to play the game came, for me, at the end. It was only at the end that I felt a deep emotional connection with my character and the ending left me with a powerful impression that made me immediately want to play the whole thing over. It was only at the end that I felt my actions actually had a lasting impact not only on my character but on Albion itself.

Then the DLC came out and Lionhead basically took away that feeling, bowing to complaints from gamers. I'm more than a little bitter about that. As for the DLC, I'd say it's overpriced at $10. $5, maybe, and it's best played when in the middle of the game, not after the game has already been beaten. The quest is simple and straightforward and the combat is laughable after you've finished the game.

As I've said, I know I sound negative about it but it's actually a decent game as long as you don't buy into Lionhead's hype. It was probably my favorite game to come out last year, if not my favorite game I played. I did want to play it over right away (although I didn't actually do that, which probably had more to do with the other games coming out at that time than anything else) which I think is a good sign.

Fable II also has a unique achievement system. You can either earn achievements yourself or see someone else do it. Personally, I'm not a fan of that system. I like to earn achievements myself. Seeing someone else earn an achievement and unlocking it that way feels like cheating to me, even though it's clearly not cheating since Lionhead set things up that way. It would be a way of getting the completionist achievement without owning pub games, I suppose. But I wish it were optional. I accidentally unlocked an achievement for a friend because my character had found all 25 keys, even though I'd found them well before we played co-op. I'm not sure if that problem could be avoided if I played a different character who had not found the keys or if it would unlock because I have the achievement, regardless of which character I'm playing.

So in summation, it's a fun game and I think it's worth buying, especially if you can get it for $40 rather than $60. It was long enough that I felt I got my money's worth and didn't feel like I was missing a lot if I didn't put in another 40 hours (Fallout 3 and Oblivion). The social interactions took some getting used to, but eventually I was charmed by the system. The main quest was fun if not particularly original and there are plenty of side quests to keep a person occupied. Finally, if you play, play to the end because it's the end that really makes the game.
Given 4 stars by KellissAmberlee
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ThrillaGnat
106,052 (62,740)
ThrillaGnat
TA Score for this game: 1,889
Posted on 02 September 09 at 16:23
This review has 29 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Fable II Review

Story

Fable II is set in Albion 500 years after the events of the first game have unfolded. You take the role of a young boy or girl who is befriended by a mysterious older woman, who leads you on a journey of wonder and exploration. Throughout your journey you will fight bandits, trolls, balverines, and much more. You will be faced with decisions at every turn that will not only affect you, but will affect the development and face of Albion itself.


Gameplay

Combat:
Fable II has been called a RPG, but the combat makes it more like an Action RPG as there is no turn based fighting system like Final Fantasy style RPG’s. Combat system is fairly simple with one of three buttons corresponding to one of the attack styles. The X button activates your melee attacks, Y activate yours long ranged weapon (i.e. rifle, pistol, or crossbow), and the B button activates your will powers. Each of these areas can be upgraded through the experience system. There are about half a dozen will powers that can be acquire and upgraded, which is a far cry from Fable I which easily had over a dozen. In addition to making your attacks and skills better, as you increase these ranks you will also experience some physical changes. Increasing certain aspects of your strength will make your character more muscular, increasing your skill attributes will make your character taller, and obtaining more will powers will give your character’s body will user marks. Despite being a fairly simple combat system, it provides a fun playing experience that can be tailored to each individual’s preferred fighting style.

Exploration and Your Faithful Companion:
One of the biggest differences in Fable II from Fable I is the absence of a mini map and the introduction of your faithful companion, man’s best friend, your dog. In the place of the mini map you have the option of directly going to any area that you have previously visited. This is difference from the teleportation in the first game. While there are a very few selected transportation rings like in Fable I, the game allows you to select the area you want to go to and skip the journey yourself, but passes X amount of hours to compensate your journey. For the most part this has no bearing on the game, but there are a few instances where time is a factor and this means of travel can cause some havoc. If you do not want to skip directly to your destination, or if it’s an area that you have not been before, the game provides a glowing yellow ‘trail of bread crumbs’ to lead you to your destination

The second biggest difference in the gameplay of Fable II is the addition of your dog. Your dog will follow you everywhere you go, although he is not allowed in some buildings :(. Your dog can aid you in combat by attacking enemies that have been knocked to the ground, and can help you find treasure chests, silvery keys and other hidden treasures. Both the dog’s combat and treasure hunting skills can be upgrade via purchasing for finding the accompanying books. You can also teach your dog tricks in this manner.

Interactions:
In Fable II you can interact with every NPC that you can find, except those who are trying to kill you, i.e. bandits, trolls, balverines, etc. Based on your actions, you can cause towns folk to love you, become afraid of you, find you humorous or serious, or flat out hate you. Each person has their own personality, so where as passing gas might amuse one towns folk, it may offend another. This is most important when you are trying to court a man or woman to fall in love with you so you can marry and HAVE KIDS!! Your dog also plays a part in your social interactions. You can teach your dog to perform tricks that will correspond to your actions. One of my favorites is you can teach your dog to go up and urinate on someone that you are pointing and laughing at. Bloody brilliant!

Currency/real-estate:
Just like in real life, money makes the world go round. Fable II offers you more than the normal ways of obtaining gold, like getting gold from killing enemies, buying and selling items between shops, and selling items you find along your travels. You can also take up certain jobs throughout Albion like Bartending, Chopping Wood, working as a Blacksmith, and doing bounty hunter/assassination missions.

Another great feature of Fable II is that of real-estate. Like in Fable I, you are able to buy and sell buildings, but in Fable II you can buy and sell just about every building or shack you come across, i.e. houses, stores, street vendors, and pubs. Another great change to Fable II is the ability to redecorate the buildings you purchase. Where as in Fable I you just had the option of upgrading your entire house three times, in Fable II you has the ability to buy furniture that ranges from 1 star crap furniture to 5 star luxury furniture, and then go into which ever house you are redecorating and change pieces of furniture individually, which is extremely fun and the goal of one achievement. Owning real-estate is in my opinion the best way to get money because you collect your rent every 5 mins of real time game play. And unlike in Fable I, the money is directly deposited into your pocket (in Fable I you had to physically go around to every piece of property you owned to collect the rent).

Co-op and Xbox Live
The Co-op feature of Fable II is very lacking. You can play with a friend but you cannot bring your character into their game. Instead you play as a henchman that has similar weaponry and abilities but no control over the game. This is done so that there is no conflict between what has progressed in your story, and that of your friends. And while the ability to do tandem expressions and combat moves is a cool feature, the presence of 1 fixed camera angle and the limit to how far you can be from your friend, seriously weakens and dampens the co-op experience. On the plus side, Lionhead has left pleeeeeeeenty of room for improvement for Fable III!!!

The only cool feature of the multiplayer experience is the ability to interact with ‘player orbs’. These are floating orbs that display a player’s gamerpic and gamertag. You can check out another player’s stats, including how many std’s they have :)!! You can also use this feature to give presents to friends or trade between players. This is particularly helped and required for the Dollcatcher achievement. And while it can be annoying and frustrating to some players, I found it a cool and interesting addition to the game.


Graphics

The Graphics are top notch. The game was obviously made for the Xbox 360 and its HD capabilities. The buildings have great detail and structure. No two towns are the same. Each town has a different feel depending on the background and story of that town. A perfect example of this is the difference between the high society town of Bowerstone, and the pirate/scoundrel port of Bloodstone. Each area is very well made and distinct. The open meadows are clear and beautiful on sunny days and dark and cloudy on rainy days, and the caverns are dark and ominous. The enemies are well modeled and sculpted. Everything about this game says beauty. What more can be said about the graphics. Everything from the green grass to the shimmering waters to the dirty beggars on the street (who, no matter how much money you give them, I once gave a beggar over 100k which enough to buy and huge house, always remain beggars) is a beautiful and well made work of art.


Achievements

The Achievements in Fable II are fun to do, and while some provide a bit of a challenge, most aren’t too hard to get. Ones like Ruler of Albion, for obtained 2.5 million in real-estate, will take some time to get, as you need time to get but loads of money so you can buy everything you come across. The Dollcatcher achievement is tough because it requires you to go online and find people who are willing to trade their dolls. Each Fable universe only contains 1 generic hero doll (in every game) and 1 specific doll, so you must find people who have the other 4 dolls. For the most part, the achievements aren’t too difficult, and the ones that are difficult are more time consuming then skill demanding, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting them all.


Lifespan

I have heard a lot of people complain about the lifespan of this game. It is a far cry ahead of Fable I, which took about 13-15 hours if you did every little thing that you could do in the game, and then stood around for another hour. If you’re playing Fable II just to get the main story done and that’s it, then you are playing the wrong game. There is so much more to do in Fable II then just the main story. From all the numerous side quests, building a family, or families, exploring the world of Albion, interacting with all the towns people, trying your hand at real-estate, playing the pub games, and the list goes on and on. The people at Lionhead did a great job at adding so much depth to this game that it is a crime not to enjoy it to the fullest. While I would looooooove a longer main story, and more side quests to do along the way, Fable II has a good deal of playtime and great replay value as you try out different choices and watch them change the world around you!!


Last Thoughts and general grades

Fable II is a great game. Anyone who liked the first Fable, will absolutely LOVE Fable II. And anyone new to the world of Albion will have no problem getting into Fable II. Fable II is leaps and bounds above Fable I but certainly leaves room for improvement. For me, and huge Fable fan boy, this is a classic game that I will continue to enjoy (I just wish Lionhead didn’t announce Fable III so soon so I could have more time to enjoy all that Fable II has to offer!!). Even if you’re not as big a fan as I am, you will find this to be a great game that is very engaging and highly entertaining. I hope you check it out soon if you haven’t already!!!

Story – 9/10
Gameplay – 8/10
Graphics – 10/10
Achievements – 7/10
Lifespan – 8.5/10
Given 5 stars by ThrillaGnat
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RockTheShazbot
32,577 (26,979)
RockTheShazbot
TA Score for this game: 1,030
Posted on 26 February 09 at 14:51
This review has 28 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Graphics
Rating - Oooohhh, aaaahhh.

For the amount of time that fans were waiting for this game, the graphics will not disappoint. The littlest details are what impressed me the most, such as the aura surrounding an augmented weapon. The lighting is impressive in most areas, but there are a couple of areas (like two or three) that the only light that is visible is the small amount protruding form the door that was entered. Otherwise though, the graphics do not disappoint.

Sound
Rating - Wow!

All of the sound in the game is very crisp and clear. From the ching of swords clashing, to the ambient sounds of Bowerstone Market, the sounds make Albion come even more to life even further.

Story
Rating - Meh

The story is actually pretty standard and weak. At the beginning of the game, you play as a poor orphan who only has his (or her) sister. One day, a merchant comes to town and has a magical music box. After a little running around, enough money is earned to purchase the magical music box. You and your sister make a wish to live in Fairfax Castle located within the town of Bowerstone. Later than night, a man says that Lord Lucian has requested that you both come to the castle. Lord Lucian gets scared about something (don’t want to give away too much of the story) and ends up killing your sister and trying to kill you. This is where the main adventure begins that involves finding the rest of the help needed to take down Lord Lucian once and for all as well as many other side stories. The ending (no spoiler) is very weak.

Gameplay
Rating - (Impressed “hmph”)

The gameplay in Fable II is very involving. One of my favorite parts of this game is that if I got bored playing a particular quest, there were plenty of other things I could do. I could go on a different quest, buy some buildings, get a job and earn some money, talk to some random people online, gamble, have sex, get married, have kids, kill random people, you get the idea. There are tons of things to do with the world of Albion. Despite all the things that you can do though, it doesn’t really seem a whole lot different than the first Fable. Not that it is a bad thing. The one things that they took out that was in the first one that i was disappointed in was the fact that you can no longer boast about certain tasks (being the nudist that I am, I loved doing quests naked for some easy extra gold). Another things that I found disappointing, but at the same time rewarding, is the abundance of gold. Once you earn enough money to buy a few properties, the money just keeps rolling in. I am currently making about 25000 gold every time rent is collected which is every 5 minutes, so you can imagine that I never really need to sell anything. Ever. Overall, though, the gameplay is very engaging and well worth at least one play through.

Game played to completion and purchased before playing.

Overall Rating
Worth buying.


http://www.alwaysbegaming.com
Given 5 stars by RockTheShazbot
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StevieG 117
This gamer has had their achievements removed from the site
StevieG 117
Posted on 18 October 09 at 20:28
This review has 20 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
If there was a truly defining RPG on the last generation for Microsoft and the Xbox, it has to be Fable. It was a console exclusive that was created by the very British, Lionhead Studios and was one of two franchises that really gave their last generation a much needed push in to an already crammed market. Now after 4 long years, here we are; a new console and a new Fable hoping to pick up where the last one left off, with plenty of morality and consequences.

You can look as smug as you want.

Fable 2 takes place in Albion approximately 500 years after the original and you’d be wrong in thinking that the Albion is a rehash from the previous version. Instead, Albion is an entirely new fictitious world with similarities in name only so new players won’t feel out of depth with a continuation of the story. However, veterans of the series will raise a dry smile at the fleeting references to the original dotted throughout. The story revolves around “Sparrow”, or at least that’s what you start out as, and it follows them across Albion as they try to defeat the evil Lucien from resurrecting the all powerful Spire.

In essence, despite being billed as an RPG, Fable 2 is pretty much an action-orientated-RPG and can be pretty heavy on the combat at times, especially when you’re fighting through the dungeons. Nevertheless, the combat is simplistic and never really tests until the closing stages of the story. Of course, even then it really doesn’t get too testing because of the interesting death aspect of the game. Truth be told, you’ll never die as such in Fable 2, when you lose all your health, your hero will simply rise as if nothing happened but with a serious dent in their experience and a resulting scar from the deadly swipe that just took your life. In practice, the system very much works because you’ll do your utmost to keep them from dying, for fear of running around Albion with a disfigured mess.

The fundamental underlying system that propels Fable ahead of its counterparts is the whole choices and consequences element. You alone choose how you want your hero to act and what you want to do, and this ultimately creates the world around you. Not only do people react accordingly to you on the streets of Albion; commenting on your looks and your past deeds, but choices also reflected in the neighbourhood. If you help the law repel a group of bandits, chances are the place will flourish as a result. However, if you assist the bandits in their unholy deeds, prepare to watch the filth rise from beneath the streets as the lawless neighbourhood slumps below the poverty line. It’s ultimately this aspect of the game that truly creates a unique and immersive experience that so many of us have pined after.

The two main personality lines that propel your character’s reputation and look, revolve around your good/evil and pure/corrupt personality traits. These two stat lines take in to account your mission choices and general attitude round Albion. If you want to go around kicking people’s doors in and renting out your property at extortionate rates, then fine; feel free, Fable 2 is about choices after all, but don’t expect to be popular around Albion; expect to be feared and hated. If you want to give autographs to the locals and show off your quest trophies, then expect to be a local celebrity and loved by everyone. I must say, this does have its drawbacks though as the locals tend to swarm and get in your way, which can get supremely annoying. A few choice spells and some obnoxious behaviour can cure that though.

Take on the huge swamp troll at your peril.

Communicating with the locals around Albion comes in the form of the expression wheel. It not only offers over 30 plus expressions, but it even allows you to extend some by holding them for longer to maximise their effect. Taking the expression wheel a little further, if you impress and woo the right people, it can lead to marriage and then naturally kids; and there isn’t a limit on how many families you can have on the go either. Remember thought folks, slap on protection with your wives if you don’t want any nippers running around. However, despite all that, the lack of any sort of real voice from the main character in not only the expressions, but the story itself is a little disappointing and despite starting to care about your character’s weight, looks and social interactions, it really does disrupt the illusion somewhat.

If amusing the locals isn’t your thing, you can get involved in the daily grind if you so wish and take a job in the city. The jobs range from blacksmiths to bartenders and simply involves a timing mini-game to earn your gold, but it’s hardly a defining feature. However, if making an honest living doesn’t take your fancy, you can always steal from the locals or gamble your gold on the Fable Pub Games in one of the many Inns.

On your adventure around Albion, you’ll be accompanied by man’s best friend, and no I don’t mean a cold pint of lager (although there is alcohol present in the game to waste away the time); I’m talking about your dog. Your dog will be a great tool in warning you about upcoming danger, nearby treasure chests and even some buried treats. You can even teach them a few tricks and they’re never shy to jump in to assist with combat. Luckily, the dog won’t drag you down, he may be a little stupid at times, but on the whole he is a pleasure to have at your side ... You may even get a little attached to them. They’ll also grow as you grow as a person; become the heralded hero of Albion and watch them develop a nice golden coat, but go too far to the dark side and you’ll have one mean pup on your hands.

The combat and spells system is hugely similar to the original and runs on the same attribute tree; skill, will and strength. How you level up and how you allocate your experience points is up to you; and it has a direct consequence on how you look. So if you’re throwing all your points in to the strength category, then expect your hero to bulk up. The same goes for will and skill, but of course, all the skills you purchase are easy to sell back to change your appearance. The combat is simple with each button corresponding to a different attack (ranged, melee and magic) and should be easy to master for fans of the series and easy to pick up for newcomers and casual gamers alike but it really doesn’t take much to outsmart your foes; they really aren’t the cleverest bunch out there.

The augmentation makes a welcome return to Fable 2 and so do the simple weapon classes (rusty, iron, steel, master and legendary), meaning it should be really accessible for the non-RPG-obsessive folks out there. The same goes for the spells; and it seems like it’s a objective of Lionhead Studios to make Fable 2 accessible for everyone. There are about 8 spells in total of varying type and destruction, ranging from opening a vortex, to showering them with lightning. The spell system attempts to be practical, allowing you to easily switch on the fly by using a quick select menu via the right trigger, but it’s just not practical at all during combat and you’re much better off pausing and changing in the menu.

Albion on the whole is a hugely detailed world with so much adventure beyond the main story quest. If you look beneath the surface, you can occupy yourself doing side quests, trying to unlock Demon Doors, crack Expression statues, collect silver keys and destroy gargoyle statues. Don’t worry, because you can fast travel as well via the start menu, so getting around isn’t as arduous as it may seem.

Fable 2 without a shadow of a doubt is a pleasure on the audio-visual senses. With its huge open vistas and bright palette of colours it’s an absolute delight; some of the rich, well treated areas of Albion even feel a lot like the Shire from Lord of the Rings. Throw in to the mix some chilling epic orchestral choirs and you have a score to match the visuals. With Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Fry on offer for some voice acting as well, the audio and visuals truly make Albion come alive. The game however isn’t without its holdups with sound sometimes failing to load properly and your character infrequently getting stuck in scenery, but now I’m just being anal. You also get the feeling that the 360 is going to die any minute as it seems to give it a pretty intensive workout. Finishing on a high note; credit must be given to the infrequent but truly magnificent cinematic cutscenes, that are some of the best in the business.

If that wasn't enough for you, Fable 2 also features online co-op, with the patch already available for download. The host can invite another hero in to their world as a "Henchman"; still giving the host ultimate control over their world, but players, whether they are the host or not, can take what they earn back to their own game. I found very little lag and it was a pretty seamless experience, but whilst for some this is a defining feature, for me personally, it was more of a distraction; so I was glad to see you could turn the player orbs off. Either way, kudos to Lionhead for such a feature.

Go on boy, eat the nice villager.

The achievements in Fable are nearly perfect in every sense. The list shows incredible imagination and originality and is easily one of the best we’ve seen to date. While battling through the story, you can expect to pick up 500 points or so, but a lot of the points are rewarded for interacting with Albion’s locals. There are 3 achievements for 3 different choices made at the end, so 3 playthroughs is a necessity for the full 1k, but honestly, it’s only playing through it a second time with different choices that you truly appreciate how much the world changes because of you. My only qualm (even the collection achievements are fairly simple and not so much a chore) is with The Dollcatcher achievement which requires trading online with others and is a slight taint on an otherwise perfect list.

Fable 2 is the game we all wanted it to be. It’s the game we secretly prayed would be as good as its predecessor and then some. It boasts the perfect ingredients to an RPG; a engaging story (although the end seemed to flatline fast), a interactive paradise and a world where your actions truly do have consequences. We’re not saying Fable 2 is perfect by any means, it does have its problems, but they are incredibly minor and in no way detract away from the experience. What we’re saying is, that Fable 2 is a truly killer action-RPG title and should be experienced by everyone, even if this isn’t your genre; you may be pleasantly surprised.

AUDIO - 95/100

Fable 2 has an almost flawless score and a great cast to boot. It’s annoying the main character has no voice per se and there are a few loading issues with the soundbytes sometimes, but these are in the minority.

Visuals - 90/100

With huge wide open vistas and a superbly diverse palette, Fable 2 is one of the best looking RPG titles on the market. It definitely has its own unique style and it’s terribly fitting for the game’s tone. Be careful not to get stuck in the scenery though ... It’s kind of annoying

Playability - 95/100

Fable 2 boasts simple combat, simple interaction and easy controls. Simple really. Simple doesn't mean boring or rubbish though.

Delivery - 95/100

You are thrown in to Albion; a hugely immersive world with plenty of diverse places and on top of that; you’re thrown in to an adventure of epic proportions and the whole damn world reacts to your hero as a person. What else could you want? A dog? Well you have that too.

Achievements - 98/100

Hugely original and imaginative. It’s definitely a list that will have you doing stuff you’d never dreamed of before and that’s nothing but good. Misses out on a perfect score because of The Dollcatcher achievement; I mean, who really wants to trade dolls? I know I don’t, not since 8 y/o anyway ... Oh wait ... I’ve said too much

Overall - 94
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Czar Vador
21,265 (13,730)
Czar Vador
TA Score for this game: 1,889
Posted on 04 June 10 at 21:34, Edited on 04 June 10 at 21:38
This review has 12 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Awesome!

Fable II and me, it’s like "I love you despite all your defects!" Something that’s irrational. Yet, nothing suggested that it was going to happen like that because Fable II is my first game of the Fable license. I never played to his predecessor (having no Xbox, I didn't have this opportunity...) but people talk about it so much that I knew I would love it... And today, I can say that I was right.

Fable II, in ONE word ... Nice! Indeed… I must admit that the animation of the character is not always perfect and that NPCs are too often the same. That finding a beautiful wife is a difficult achievement and that you have more chance of surviving a plane crash than giving birth to a child who doesn’t look like a pig... All of this is true but... But one of the main qualities of this game is the multitude of small details that seem insignificant at first sight! Fable II has an incredible atmosphere in its towns or villages, where children are playing with cats, where people discuss among themselves before coming to see you, where a merchant doesn’t remain stupidly behind the counter of his store but... cleans the shop, goes to the bar in the evening, goes home when it's time to go to sleep. An incredible atmosphere which is supposed to support an incredible scenario? Well...

Nothing new for this kind of action-RPG: Save the World! Although the story begins with class - beautiful video, moving story and dialogue worthy of a tale - all of this is unfortunately lost when our character becomes an adult. In my opinion, there are not enough cinematic and real dialogues. It’s probably due to the quests that break the rhythm of the fable. In addition, the game is very short (if you don’t collect Achievements of course). If you are going fast, you could probably finish the game within a few hours… So, why is this game so good? Another quality of the game is to make us play a hero who evolves throughout his quest. From a poor child who has difficulties finding gold coins, to a rich millionaire King of Albion... or not. Indeed, depending on your actions, your hero will turn to the Evil or the Good. What is interesting in Fable II is also everything that is around, all these quests that we absolutely want to do by fear of leaving the country of Albion too early. Besides the main quest, there are secondary quests, more or less interesting. Some are too similar but other quests are really good and different (avenge a ghost, find pieces of corpse etc.).

Difficulty level depending on the zones: Spire Guards are hard to kill at the beginning (but never enough to kill you) before becoming easy. It's somewhat the same thing for all enemies. That can be seen as weak point for some people but personally, it wasn‘t a problem.

In conclusion, Fable II remains for me an unforgettable experience, a game full of ideas even if they aren’t always fully implemented. So, even if I always tend to focus on the defects, Fable II is still an excellent game that I still enjoy playing today. The Choices that YOU will make will have an influence on the future… of the Quest … of your Hero’s Destiny!
Given 4 stars by Czar Vador
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oO WesDawg Oo
17,681 (12,080)
oO WesDawg Oo
TA Score for this game: 1,889
Posted on 23 May 09 at 19:30
This review has 15 positive votes and 7 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Set 500 years after the original game, Fable 2 offers even more choices and features, while building on the core gameplay theme of Fable where every choice continually defines who you become, allowing you to truly live the life you choose. Fable II expands upon the scope and depth of the original by adding incredible new features and creating a wider, more complex kingdom of limitless choices and consequences. Players will have the option to play as a man or woman, get married, have children, and live a life of their own design -- all leading to different destinies

# A land far, far away. Gamers will revisit the newly expanded world of Albion more than 500 years after the events of the original “Fable,” where they are free to explore the landscape and openly roam the countryside. For the right price, every house, hut, dungeon and castle is for sale. Players can witness how the world grows and changes in response to their decisions in incredible and unique ways as they rediscover Albion as if for the first time.
# Fight with ease. “Fable II” pioneers a new combat system designed to allow players to truly master hand weapons such as swords and maces, ranged combat weapons such as crossbows and guns, and an entirely new magic system. These three disciplines, while very accessible, are also amazingly deep, and allow players to mix combat styles and become everything from master swordsman to skilled ranger to evil magic wielder, each using a different single button on the Xbox 360 Controller.
# A hero’s best friend. This groundbreaking addition to the game is integral to the theme of unconditional love in “Fable II.” A player’s canine companion will act as friend, compass and protector. Players must merely feed their pooch and he will love unconditionally, creating a bond that sets up emotion-filled journeys throughout this magical world.
# Experience the world together. For the first time in the “Fable” series, gamers can experience the expansive and immersive world of “Fable II” with friends, either on the same couch or over Xbox LIVE together in co-operative mode.2 “Fable II” embodies the new Xbox experience and will extend the Xbox LIVE service further with the introduction of orbs. Orbs allow for seamless LIVE co-op play and interaction with other “Fable II” players.
# Xbox LIVE Arcade “Fable II” Pub Games earn major gold. Lionhead Studios is providing an unparalleled experience to gamers through Xbox LIVE Arcade. Gamers can start earning in-game currency for the “Fable II” world in August 2008, before the game’s release to retail, by downloading and playing an Xbox LIVE Arcade title, which contains three casino-style minigames titled “Fortune’s Tower,” “Keystone” and “Spinnerbox.” Gamers can win items such as dog tricks, potions and chocolates; unlock 15 pieces of concept art; and use the gold earned to purchase weapons, armor and more in “Fable II.” This is a first-of-its-kind experience for gamers that can only be found on Xbox LIVE Arcade.
Given 5 stars by oO WesDawg Oo
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Honra
82,296 (59,890)
Honra
TA Score for this game: 992
Posted on 01 May 09 at 20:13
This review has 15 positive votes and 22 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Great game, the graphics are top notch the game play is smooth, the quest-lines and story are fun and engaging and sometimes even funny.

The only 3 things I didn't like are
1. The way the magic works basicly makes all but one or two spells useless.
2. No armor, it's part of the time period I know but still, I missed it from the 1st game.
3. The game is waaaay too short, this is the type of game that should and could have massive amounts of content and missions, but sadly the ride is over way too quickly.

Do what I did, rent it play it to your hearts content and then send it back.
Given 4 stars by Honra
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Cotan Kasl
75,046 (57,547)
Cotan Kasl
TA Score for this game: 1,889
Posted on 18 January 09 at 22:42
This review has 9 positive votes and 17 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
I am in no way able or good at writing reviews of the nature of the one that came before this. Nor do I wish to recap what he said word for word.

Fable 2 is a fun rpg perfectly in the spirit of Fable 1. It blends bad British Comedy with fun quests, moral choices, and unique aspects that we came to love in the first.

Halo Armour, Sword, and Gun. A chicken costume. 1950's Greaser outfits? Well its meant to be a monty pythonish comedy thus proven when we blow the limbs off the black knight. A well fun game and a casual game for those not wanting a hardcore grind like Lost Odyssey or the like. With the DLC which was regretfuly short.. We see room for 150 more points of achievements so we will see more DLC.

Well not much else to say that wasnt said. Good night.
Given 5 stars by Cotan Kasl
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