Saturday, November 01, 2008

Review: Fable II (Xbox 360)

Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Release: October 2008
Genre: Action RPG

You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of a rental, but due to the glitchy game play and disappointing story (and climax), Fable II falls short of being a truly outstanding sequel.

Fable on the original Xbox was by far one of the greatest games that Microsoft’s last console had to offer. With this in mind, Fable II became one of my most anticipated sequels of this generation. Although it’s an improvement in many respects, buggy game play and some poor design choices bring the overall experience down.

Once again you begin this title as a young’n, and as the story unfolds in several chapters your character grows older and goes through phases. Throughout Fable II, just as in the original, the choices you make will determine if your character is good or evil, and this affects the storyline, how other characters react to you, and parts of the game. This freedom of choice is by far one of the best aspects of the game.

Game play wise, Fable II feels a bit simplistic. While this was perfectly acceptable in the original, I’ve come to expect more from the combat engine this time around. It’s not bad, per se, but it’s nothing that will blow your mind, either. Taking down enemies with various magic attacks and such can be fun, however. Also, while having a dog follow you around and help you out as a companion is pretty neat, it’s not a significant feature overall.

The main story path is very brief. Although there’s tons of extras to be found in this title (such as marriage, loads of extra quests, and playing through the game multiple times to see it through a different moral path), the storyline itself is dreadful and yawn-inducing. Also, it also suffers from another pitfall that many Western RPG’s make: the characters are completely uninteresting. Besides the main hero or villain you play as, you won’t give a squat about the rest of the individuals.

Many of the quests are quite entertaining, however, and simply fooling around in the large and well-designed towns can provide hours of enjoyment. It’s just too bad that Fable II suffers from loads of bugs, from lock ups to glitched quests the require you to occasionally reset the game to advance.

Visually, Fable II is outstanding. Well-designed and varied environments put the original to shame in this regard. Unfortunately, while the soundtrack was one of my favorite features of the first title, it’s completely underwhelming in Fable II.

Overall, Fable II is a decent, though flawed follow-up to one of the standout titles of last generation. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of a rental, but due to the glitchy game play and disappointing story (and climax), Fable II falls short of being a truly outstanding sequel.

Score: 7.0 (out of 10)

Similar article:

Review: Fable (Xbox)

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At 1:38 PM, Blogger FUNNYMAN said...

I seem to have had more fun with it than you did. A 7 out of 10 is the equivalent of an average game. I still thought it was better than Fable.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger gnome said...

Excellent review dear ross and sort of what I expected... Stopped eating into Mr. Molyneux's hype since Black and White. Then again the man did come up woth Populous, PowerMonger, Dungeon Keeper and a brilliant selection of classics.

At 4:40 AM, Blogger Mberenis said... is having a website grand opening promotion! To build customers, we are giving away free xbox 360 elite systems shipped to you. We have over 100 units sitting here waiting to be shipped. Tracking numbers will be provided.


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