Enter the magical world of Albion, where your fate is yours to decide. The long awaited sequel, Fable 2, for the Xbox 360 by Microsoft Game Studios and Lionhead Studios was released on Oct. 21. As with its predecessor, the player is faced with countless situations where morality is decided with each choice. Those who join the Temple of Light are selfless and dedicate their lives to helping others. Those who join the Temple of Shadows have little respect for others and often take part in terrible acts, such as human sacrifices, assassinations and theft.
The game begins with a breathtaking cutscene that introduces the young hero and really utilizes the graphics capabilities of the 360 console. The game does a great job of getting players acclimated to the controls and features of the gameplay in the childhood section of the game. As in Fable, tragedy strikes the young hero, causing the character to grow up wanting vengeance for the act that Lucien, the antagonist of the game, committed. In order to defeat him, the main character must find the three other legendary heroes of Albion. Then, whether the heroes rid the world of evil so the townspeople can live in peace or take over Lucien’s power for themselves and cause the world to spiral into corruption is up to each individual player.
It’s the little features that make Fable 2 so enjoyable. The main character is not alone in the quest. He or she starts out with their faithful companion, a dog that has followed the character since childhood. Throughout the game, the dog helps lead you to buried treasure chests by barking. The expression wheel allows the main character limited interaction with other characters. In order to make people laugh, or even make someone of either sex fall in love with your character, you can make them do a Russian jig, flex, whistle or some other ridiculous action. There are also actions that have negative consequences when used against characters, such as snarling or slapping. The dog also can learn expressions that mimic your character.
Try not to get knocked out in a battle, because each time it happens your character gets a scar that never goes away. This takes away from your attractiveness to townspeople and can affect how they view you. Also, watch what your character eats, because using pies or alcohol for healing instead of a healing potion packs on the pounds, also decreasing your attractiveness. Finding a spouse and settling down in a house can be interesting and brings a new dynamic to the series. Entertaining the townspeople could lead to romantic associations with some characters.
Instead of buying armor for the main character, there are countless variations of outfits available, from peasant clothes to booty shorts. Everything about the main character’s appearance is customizable, from makeup to facial hair. All these customizations cost money though, so taking up a job might be useful. Also, doing certain side quests that don’t necessarily have to do with the main storyline may earn you money or acclaim. If the main character earns enough renown for being evil, townspeople will start either running away or begging for mercy at the sight of the character.
Some downsides to the gameplay include the fact that the world map is pretty much worthless, but the glowing trail feature helps make up for this. Once the player chooses an active quest, a golden glowing trail faintly leads the way towards the quest’s starting point. This feature can also be turned off for those who enjoy exploring the world on their own, but it’s nice to know that it is available. Also, when compared to the original Fable, the storyline just isn’t as intricate or enthralling. It gets frustrating when trying to listen to other characters in the game. It is easy to miss dialogue if the subtitles aren’t on.
Whether a fan of the original Fable or new to the series, Fable 2 is sure to entertain and impress with its unique features and morality-based gameplay. Like every game, there are certain things that irk players, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this instance. Pick up your copy today and get caught up in your own heroic storyline.