Fable II may be the ultimate “sandbox” game
and is definitely a contender for Game of the Year, thanks to the
varied and almost open-ended gameplay that has been created by
Although the original game of the Series, Fable
was quite revolutionary for the day, it did suffer from some harsh
criticism from players and critics, however Fable II is a more
polished experience that truly revolutionizes the sandbox experience.
Set in a mystical and “fabled” universe, players
have the ability to control almost every facet of their character’s
life and each decision they make will have repercussions on how the
story is played out. The game is quite reliant on "true" fables
which adds to the whole experience of the game.
Probably the most impressive addition to the
world of Fable is that the gameplay is not just reliant on
“fighting”. Rather, the title can be completed in a myriad of ways
which not only adds to replayability but also makes the title
accessible to a wide variety of gamers from lovers of Sims to lovers
of RPG and the like.
So what exactly is Fable II? Fable II is a
combination of a variety of different genres from role-playing,
strategy and adventure. The title is also reliant on relationships
between your character and the world which heavily influences the
Lovers of “Sim” type games will also be pleased that
your character can have a normal life which means, buying a house,
getting married and even having children. You can even have a loyal
pet and depending on how you treat him or her, it will also
influence the outcome of certain events in the title.
For instance, if you play the shining knight, you
may treat your dog as a loyal and loveable companion who will
protect you in fights, however if you play the malicious and dark
thief who beats their dog, your pet will act entirely differently.
Even if you start a family, you can treat them in a variety of
different ways and should your character have a psychotic embolism
of MDK (Murder Death Kill), this will create ripples throughout your
entire life. These
are just some of the basic aspects available to your character but
from what you can see, the choices are almost limitless.
With that said, Fable II still contains a
wonderful story which is effected by choices, however when you are
having some down time and doing your own thing, you can always jump
back on one of the many story paths. This is done through the bread
crumb trail which shows you which way you need to go. For those more
professional gamers, it can also be turned off.
The title does feature a
healthy dose of quests and side plots which are merged brilliantly
with the gaming environment as your character ages with the story
progression. You initially start the game as a child and make your
way to adulthood.
The only downside to some of the quests is that
sometimes you need to backtrack to other parts of the game but as
this title is as close as one could be part of a real fairy tale,
it’s a small price to pay. Besides you can always find things to do
along the way which you may have missed.
The moralistic algorithm of the game is amazing
and although you are generally given two choices, good or evil, you
can always mix them up. For instance, you may be the best friend to
your dog but you have dislike to chickens and try to kick them each
time you see one. Depending on which path you choose, this will also
effect how your character will look as per Fable and is deliciously
Combat in Fable II is not like your traditional
RPG titles, rather, the fighting has been simplified and should your
character fall in the midst of battle, you only lose some experience
points and you are almost directly back where you started.
admit that I was a little shocked at this tactic, however through
hours and hours of playing, the idea that combat is not the central
aspect of the title is quite refreshing and allows you to
concentrate on other parts of the game.
Of course, for the more
professional gamer which I consider myself to be, the combat also
allows you to create a variety of different maneuvers as you fight
your way through at times an almost unlimited hoard of opponents.
Whether you are reliant on melee attacks or using magic, the title
is quite balanced and does allow for some extremely varied and
challenging ways to defeat your foes.
The varied foes that you encounter are brilliant
in Fable with an extreme amount of variety as you challenge Trolls,
the Undead and of course man himself. Nothing is more satisfying than
going one to one against a troll with your sword and then pulling
out your rifle to finish him off in almost an Indiana Jones style of
fashion. As with the varied sandbox world, this also lends itself to
combat as there are a plethora of ways of finishing off your
enemies. Strategy is the key word when it comes to combat.
In conclusion Fable II is a brilliant game that I
cannot fault and truly sets a new benchmark for sandbox games and
gives the player a true sense of ownership over the character and
how you complete the game. Best of all, the game is still open for a
variety of different ways to complete the game so warn your friends
and family that you may be going away on a holiday to the world of
Fable II, absolutely brilliant!