I’ve never played the first Fable game so this review isn’t going to be about comparing the game to the old game. I’ve heard it’s very similar, only with better graphics and a dog, but I can’t judge that so on with the story.
The game begins with yourself and your sister wandering around doing tasks for people. You then earn enough coins to buy a magical music box which, when activated, disappears in a puff of smoke. Unfortunately, this gets the attention of an unsavoury character with a big chin called Lucien who promptly shoots your sister and throws you out of a window. Luckily, you survive and then the game fast-forwards to your teens where the game begins proper as you explore, fight, do tasks and gain exp until you eventually face off against Lucien to get your revenge.
The first thing you’ll notice is the Discworld-like scenery and characters. This game looks like a fantasy graphic novel, particularly at the beginning when it’s snowing or when the sun’s rising. If it weren’t for all the nasties lurking in the forests it would be nice to go for a walk there. When it comes to scrapping there’s a melee button, a shooting button and a magic button. You can string these attacks together to create combos and earn more exp which you can then apply to your character to upgrade fighting styles, get better accuracy or stronger magic. You can raise the dead, trap enemies in strong winds, flambé them and give them a nice big shock!
Of course, you can choose to play through the main quest or go off the beaten path looking for treasure and other quests to earn you money and fame. You’re guided to each quest by a glowing trail which is great at not getting you lost but a bit easy to lazily follow like an in-car Sat Nav. The story quests are the real meat of the game. Other quests are fun and you can choose to be good or evil which not only changes the way people behave towards you, but also your appearance. Be a bad boy and you start to get scars and even grow horns.
Jobs, however, are no fun at all. You can earn extra money by bartending, chopping wood or being a blacksmith. These just boil down to pressing a button at the right time and are as tedious as working in a real factory.
I’m almost out of space and there’s so much more to mention so here it is in a nutshell. You can get married in the game and raise a family but I’m not sure how that fits in to adventuring, you can eat all the pies and get fat, you can fart in people’s faces, intimidate them to get gifts, teach your dog new tricks (oh yes, there’s a dog which hunts down treasure and helps you in combat) and even be a landlord and rent out some houses.
If you want, you can take or leave lots of these ideas which is where Fable II is really great. It’s the game you want it to be. If you want to just plough through the quests that’s fine, but if you want to explore and have a laugh and even raise a family in the fantasy world of Albion, you can. Fable II gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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