Fable II Review
The wait is over, and finally Fable II comes to the Xbox 360 after being announced nearly 3 years ago. From the opening cutscene, this game will have you hooked immediatley...or it will completely turn you off. Fable II strives for realism by giving you numerous different emotes to use, and watching your character develop and how people view your character. Though this theory seems good on paper, it comes off as somewhat artificial in the game. You choices to respond are so limited, I would have much rather enjoyed something along the lines of you choosing lines for you character to respond to, sadly this does not happen. You character does not even talk throughout this whole game, and with supposedly 35,000 lines of dialouge recorded, couldn't some of those reach your characters mouth? Now this may just be me, and if you like the emotes and enjoy the way that the game is told, by all means more power to you. Don't let me get you wrong though, this game does have it's high points.
Story: Now, I'm not going to give away any spoilers so this bit may be a little short. Overall, the story is grasping. It's good to know that along with the main quest, you also have numerous side-quests which develop your character greatly. Yes, good or evil is there but there is also somewhat of a medium. Along with this, you can be a good guy and still do bad things, the good things just have to outweigh the bad. This game has some great depth to the story, even having some moments within it, even at the beginning, which make you go "....The **** just happened?" It's moments like these that really put the story along. Fable II's story is very linear, with a golden 'trail of breadcrumbs' showing you which way to go. Luckily, there are numerous paths you can take, and you don't even have to follow the trail. One thing that gets you off of the trial is you beloved animal friend, your dog. Your furry friend will find treasure for you, and will even attack enemies once you have made them fall down to the ground. He is very faithful, and will even love you if you abuse him. Your dog's personality also changes with yours, if you are a good hero your dog will have a nice coat of hair, and will look physically appealing. If you are a bad hero, your dog will have patches of fur missing, will be scrawny, and be scarred. Just showing the depth even more. There was a part early on in the story, where I could either free slaves, or give the key to the slaves cage to a bad guy. I ended up giving the key to the bad guy, killing him, freeing the slaves, and then finally killing them. I know, I'm an *******. (8.5/10)
Graphics: Detail wise, you aren't going to find much in Fable II, but don't let that turn you off! The art style in this game is amazing, using a broad variety of colors that pop out at you. While character models may not be extremely detailed, they also look beautiful. Your clothes especially look stunning, as well as the little things that will pop up on your character over time. A good example is, my character has been scarred, he also as the blue magic lines crisscrossing his body, which have become more profound over time. The one thing that popped out to me the most is your enviroment. Lighting is perfect, everything casts a believable shadow. The vast amount of land that you will traverse is also quite astonishing, varying from dark and gloomy, to bright and sunny. (8.5/10)
Gameplay: This will either make, or break a game, and luckily it is wonderful. The combat system in this game has been taken down a couple of notches from the original Fable, no longer is your magic limited, and even when you die nothing really happens. Now, this may sound bad but trust me, it isn't. Casting spells look beautiful, and there's a large variety of spells which you can cast. Ranged weapons include both guns and crossbows, both with unlimited ammo. With melee weapons you have swords, hammers, cleavers, and many others. The simplistic combat makes it very fun, and very fluid. You can go from swiping at a bad guy with your sword to popping him in the face all within an instant. In the beginning leveling up in these categories will seem very easy, but after you reach say a 1 or 2 star, the amount of experience you need to level up skyrockets, but so do your enemies. Even with this, you will always feel like an unstoppable badass, but that's how you should feel if you are the greatest hero that Albion has ever seen. There is no shortage of ways to make money in Fable II. You can do jobs, gamble, and then buy property and earn gold off of that. The beauty of this is that even while you do not play the game, you still make money. This system works fairly well, but the mini games for doing jobs to get boring after a while, and will become quite tedious. The Online for this game was so hyped, and seemed like it was going to be revolutionary and totally bas-ass. Sadly, it's not this. I would've liked to see my own character appear in someone elses world, I also would have liked to just explore their world, but at least the Online isn't a total failure. You can still double team enemies with a buddy, show off your world to him, and even trade items. (10/10)
Lasting Appeal: This game is only about 12 hours if you only do the main quest, but raising a family, messing around with a buddy, and doing all the side quests would add up to around a 100+ hour game. Every choice you make effects the look and feel of Albion, it's fate literally rests in your hands and that gives the game a striking realism to it. (8.5/10)
Closing Comments: Fable II does many things right, but like it's predessor it also has flaws. Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad in terms of what made the game, but will the same be true for your character? I would recommend this game to any 360 owner, so that they can find out for themselves.