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Fable 2

Developer: Lionhead Studios | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 10/21/08 | Genre: Action/RPG

Peter Molyneux promised a lot with the original Fable. When it finally released, what we got was a great game, but it fell short of delivering on most of the promises. With Fable 2, we are pleased to report that most of what was promised is in the game and works extremely well.

Fable 2 is a game about choice and consequence. You begin the game as a child in Bowerstone and the choices you make during this introductory sequence will have an effect on the type of town Bowerstone becomes in the future. So it is with several choices in the game, though to be honest, most of what you do can be reversed by taking opposite actions. For example, you can slaughter five or six people in a town and have everyone fleeing and screaming at the sight of you, but bust out some dance moves and a simple apology will get you back on the town’s good side. However, there are some choices that will profoundly affect the game and cannot be undone. I know a few people who were shocked to learn the consequences of a particular choice in the game and were doubly so when they realized the effects were permanent.

The gameplay in Fable 2 is solid. The combat system is well polished and works quite nicely. As you fight and destroy your enemies, you will gain four different types of experience points: Strength, Skill, Will and General. Strength is self explanatory; you use these points to upgrade your physical abilities including damage dealt and hit points. Skill points are used to upgrade your ranged attacks, speed and accuracy while Will points allow you to unlock new, more powerful spells. The General points can be applied to any ability upgrade. All of the abilities you can upgrade cost a certain amount of experience points and you can use a combination of General points and ability-specific points to purchase them. If you wish to fully upgrade all of your abilities, expect to put in a fair amount of play time; if not, you can complete the game fairly quickly.

Players who wish to just blaze through the main story may end up being a bit disappointed; if you make a concentrated effort to plow through, you can finish the game in under six hours. This may come as a surprise if you were expecting a forty hour, Final Fantasy epic. However, if you do choose to play that way, you are really missing out on the entire point of the game. Fable 2 is about customizing your hero and deciding what kind of person you want him or her to be. In this regard, the game has a lot to offer. You will easily hit the forty hour mark if you take the time to explore the world of Albion and complete as many quests as possible. There are loads of secondary quests that can soak up your time. Whether you’re scouring the land looking for all the silver keys, hunting the fifty gargoyles, searching for an elusive legendary weapon or simply amassing an empire of properties to gain unfathomable fortunes, you can expect to put in some serious play time and you’ll have a blast doing it.

The game is simply fun to play; it is the kind of game that will eat up your day before you know it and your only regret will be that you have to get up for work in three hours. The developers did a magnificent job crafting the world of Albion. The game’s bright and vibrant colors make the environments look like something from the pages of a children’s book. There are admittedly some bugs here and there and I wouldn’t say there’s a huge variety of enemies, but given the scale of the game, these shortcomings are easily overshadowed by all the elements that make it so much fun to play.

Fable 2 is a great game that belongs on every 360 owner’s shelf, or more precisely, in the disc tray of every 360 owner’s 360. The game’s style and play control make it accessible to anyone and the extra quests and content will keep the hardcore gamers in front of the television for some time. Don’t hesitate, Fable 2 is a must buy!

Real Life Rating
Fable 2 may have a fairy tale look to it, but the game's content is definitely geared to a more mature audience. You have the option to hire hookers, choose between protected and unprotected sex, and if you're a good shot, you can decapitate enemies with a single bullet. The game is a lot of fun, but you may want to think twice about buying it for any youngsters.

By Ryan Schaefer - 11/26/08
ESRB Details: - Blood, Language, Sexual Content, Use of Alcohol, Violence - Fable II is a role-playing adventure game in which players assume the role of a 10-year old orphan who grows into adulthood amidst the fantasy world setting of Albion. Players engage in a variety of quests to gain experience and skills with which to 'level up' their customized character. Quest objectives sometimes involve using magic and hand-to-hand combat to defeat various creatures and enemy soldiers. Blood spray is depicted when enemies are slashed or injured during combat. Players can also gains 'points' and positive statistics for choosing good deeds over bad ones (e.g., 'Good points,' 'Renown points,' and a 'Good Reputation') or based on the way they communicate with other characters: Lewd gestures/language such as hip thrusts and raising of the middle finger generate negative responses; flirting and blowing a kiss can garner positive responses from characters. With enough positive affinity, players can engage in sexual relations with males, females, or groups of characters. Players are rewarded for having multiple relations, and can choose to have unprotected sex, although sexual acts are never shown. Several characters are depicted drunk during cutscenes, while players can also consume beer and wine from various taverns. A screen-blurring effect connotes a character's drunken state.

Screenshots for Fable 2

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