All you 360 fans can finally exhale....Fable II has been released. After the wildly popular Fable became a classic this has been the game most of us have waited a long time for. If you missed the first Fable...this became the game you had to check out to see what all the hype was about. But once the hype machine calms down, we're left with a game with many flaws.
It won't take you long to realize that Fable II isn't going to revolutionize the genre. You have two choices: you can either be the stereo-typical hero or the stereo-typical villain. Horns or Halos...your choice. In this realm you're ability to decide how to build your character will emerge you into this fairy-tale. In the less-than-fortunate-part-of-town, as children dream of what lies beyond, a trader with mysterious wares comes to town. You acquire a strange item that grants you one wish. Of course, that wish is to explore the great castle that dominates the skyline. At this point, it seems as though your choice has been made for you...you are a hero. That is, unless, the ruler of Bowerstone, Lord Lucien, has his way. But before you go thinking that this is going to be an endearing game of revenge, the game gets annoying and counters with comedy. Every aspect of the game strips away the player's identity and fills it with humor. This makes the game incredibly shallow...albeit...quite humorous.
Being an RPG you'd expect going around and hack-n-slashing your way up the proverbial ladder of experience...but Fable II tries to lead the gamer away from the typical RPG by incorporating spells and ranged attacks. You gain levels by collecting orbs from the monsters you just slain. Now, you may be thinking that walking around and collecting these orbs sounds tedious...well, this problem is solved by holding down a button and having these orbs come to you. Which in itself makes no sense...why not just have the experience orbs be collected automatically? Especially when you're preoccupied with fighting your enemies.
Targeting these enemies is almost hit-or-miss. If you're fighting a large group flicking the left stick doesn't always work. Of course, if you're using magic it's best not to even touch the left stick. Moving your character also takes some getting use to as there is a delay in movement. Let me explain it like this: If you move your character in one direction, it will take a second or two for your character to actually move. Albion, the world you inhabit, has an abundant of NPCs that you can interact with by using a variety of interactive choices. Likewise with the missions. Most have a "good" way and an "evil" way of completing them...and before you ask, it's not always clear which decisions will impact what.
Graphics and sound:
The game starts off strong. Fable II does has some of the best CGI released thus far...yet once the CGI wears off you'll notice how dated the graphics really are - but most of this is due to the in-game camera angle. The audio, on the other hand, is nothing short of spectacular and does an incredible job conveying the emotions of the scene.
Don't buy Fable II thinking this is one of the greatest games..or that it will revolutionize the industry. Just buy (or rent) it for what it is: a fun, light-hearted romp through the magical world of Albion. There is a lot here and it will keep you busy for some time.
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