Fable 2 Game Review
Systems: XBOX 360
With side missions galore, graphics good enough to make you feel you’re actually there and the choice between good and evil having an actual effect on your world this game is an absolute must play.
Welcome to a vast kingdom controlled by a powerful and corrupt king. Welcome to Albion, your new home. Will you fight for it? Albion needs a hero, and you are the only one qualified for the job. Fight your way through simple thieves, the undead, and giant trolls to save your home and exact your revenge on the King for what he did to you. You will defeat him, no matter the cost, but will Albion survive your quest for vengeance or be plummeted into anarchy?
It’s a cold, harsh world out there and none so much as the one you’re first thrown into with the game. After choosing your gender, your story begins. Living on the streets with your sister, you play through a fateful day in your childhood, all the while making decisions between good and evil that will greatly effect the future of your home, Bowerstone. On this fateful day, you gain your constant companion in the form of a loyal dog and learn about the heroes of Albion. In a terrible turn of events, the stage is set for Albion’s slow demise and your quest for vengeance.
After many years, you are at last ready to start your quest. This is where the real adventure begins. Leaving behind the gypsy camp, where you live, you travel around Albion completing quests and doing jobs, gaining the trust and respect – or if you wish – hatred and fear of the people. Throughout your journey, you will gather the heroes of legend so that you may save your home and exact your revenge. There are chances for romance, starting a family, gambling, purchasing real estate and even casual employment along the way. You may try your hand at being a blacksmith, a bartender, a wood chopper, an assassin or a bounty hunter. It’s your game and, therefore, your choice on how to behave. Fable 2 allows you to decide whether to befriend a villager for a gift or simply take them to a quiet place and kill them for it.
Whether you choose the side of good or evil, ultimately your quest remains the same. You, however, don’t. The good and true are saintly enough to have a halo floating above their heads, while the wicked grow horns and appear demon like. Apart from the horns or halo, the ability to customize your character’s appearance is rather impressive. Merchants sell many different clothing items, make up and hairstyles, all of which are available to both men and women. Yes, that’s right. You can dress your manly hero in a skirt if you want to. You can buy dyes as well, and these can be used repeatedly and allow you to change the color of your hair and your clothing.
Controls in Fable 2 are simple and easy to use. As you progress through the game, you unlock the ability to use more powerful attacks. These attacks require slightly more complicated use of the controller which furthers the feeling of development for you as a gamer. Fable also allows you communicate with civilians by using “expressions”. These are simply actions you can perform, some of which can be held for an extended period of time. Expressions can either positively or negatively influence your relationship with a character, ultimately resulting in fear or love.
Once a character is in love with you, you are able to marry them. At first marriage seems like a fun idea, and you can even have children. The novelty of this wears off very quickly. As you are constantly traveling around Albion time passes as it normally would and your family, naturally, starts missing you. You’re constantly being told that your husband/wife wants you to come home, or they’re unhappy. In order to get rid of the notifications though you have to get rid of your family first and that usually involves many nasty expressions to destroy your relationship with your partner, or just ignoring them and not sending any money home for a long period of time.
In Fable 2 you are able to accept part time jobs in which you can earn some extra gold for that new weapon you want so badly. All the jobs, besides assassin and bounty hunter, are like mini-games where you have to push the button at the right time to complete an action. The starting salary is very low, but every time you get something right you receive a multiplier that increases your earnings. Unfortunately, though, one wrong move will result in your entire accumulation of multipliers being reset to zero. This can result in a lot of frustration, especially when you’ve been earning 1000 pieces of gold per drink served or sword made, and suddenly have to go back to a measly 12. Although incredibly frustrating, jobs are great for some extra cash, but annoyingly they aren’t always available and you have to keep an eye out for when they are or you might miss them entirely.
From the old stone walls in Bowerstone, to the serene beauty of Bower lake and the dark and treacherous waters of Wraithmarsh, the graphics in Fable 2 do not disappoint. They paint a beautiful and very realistic world for you to explore. There are many different regions one can visit, and each has it’s own character supplied by the beautifully accurate textures used throughout the Fable 2 world.
The sound quality in the game is very impressive with Fable 2 boasting some enjoyable load screen, background and combat music that really sets the mood. It just gets better, though, when you discover that each villager has a range of comments they can make. Having a number of different voices and accents among them adds to the the realistic atmosphere of the game. Care has been taking not only in varying the voices, but also in what villager gets what voice; as an example, all the rich folk in Bowerstone speak a more proper English than the people you can find in the gypsy camp. Unfortunately, your character is verbally challenged, and you are only able to make sounds during expressions and the typical grunting of combat. Other than that, your character remains silent.
Through and through, playing Fable 2 is an absolute must. The quality is simply astounding and the game in itself takes many hours to complete, even for an advanced player. It is challenging while at the same time being simple enough for newcomers to enjoy. There is so much to do that once you finally are finished with the game you’ll find yourself wanting to play it again and make different moral choices than you did the last time round. There are, of course, the irritating issues with the family and all but two of the jobs being terribly frustrating. There is also that disappointing fact that your character can’t speak. But the rest of the game is so brilliantly fun that you forget all about those little problems. With side missions galore, graphics good enough to make you feel you’re actually there, and the choice between good and evil having an actual effect on your world, this game is an absolute must play.
Written by Guest Reviewer Tera Sandrock.