Review by MrPibbRules
"Worth the Wait?"
Well, after years of waiting and countless moments of of silently wishing PM would keep his promises, its finally here! Fable 2! But was it worth the wait? Were promises kept and expectations met? Or was were we running on hype only to crash into disappointment? I'll save my answer after the typical point by point analysis on the gaming essential and a few I just tossed in there.
Graphics (9/10)- What would a next gen game be without good graphics? Well, now days not much. Luckily for Fable 2, it's graphics are breathtaking. The art direction has not changed since its predecessor, and I for one am glad. Its cartoony style character models are both charming and refreshing. The enemy and NPC character models blends in well with the various environments. Looking out over some of the massive landscapes, it is easy to tell that the developers poured their souls into this world.
Game play (8/10)- This was kind of disappointing in some areas, and surprisingly fun in others. As far as combat is concerned, it flows rather well for the most part, but can bug out on you and cause some minor irritations. Interacting with NPCs can be loads of fun and the fact that it's rarely forced is a blessing-but even then it can still get repetitive. The one button combat scheme was a step in the right direction for the series, but should have been more fine tuned before release. The Dog, while cute and somewhat useful, felt tacked on and under developed. It also does not help that the game is rather easy.
Sound (10/10)- This is what really brings the atmosphere alive for me. The music always seems to match its surroundings and is beautifully orchestrated throughout the game. Not much else to say really, for me, it was simply perfect.
Story: (8.5/10)- I seem to be in the minority in thinking the story was rather good. They gave you motivation and a villain with some complex motives (not to mention one you really wanted to kill). Not sure what else to say. There are some memorable characters and the story is interesting. But like so many other things in this game, the story felt underdeveloped.
Essential Score: 9/10
Bonus Points and Deductions-These are not tallied into the final score, as they do little to effect the over all game experience, though they should still be acknowledged:
Promises/Expectations (7/10)- For the most part they were kept. We were told when things were cut and most of the hype was due to fan speculation. But I have yet to come across any situation were I can bash an enemy's head against a wall or kick a bottle at them. For those who say one of the early combat demonstrations, you know what I'm talking about. It may have been cut and I was not aware or it may be in the game and I didn't notice, but the fact is its not as shown. The dog is as I expected it, a furry little medal detector (but I love him to death to be honest). But the fact its invincible made it harder to care about him. Which brings me to my last point of promises and speculation-EMOTION. You can tell hey tried to make you care about your Dog, Spouse, and Child...and that's the problem. You can tell that's what they wanted and it detaches you from it. The fact they cut the stages of pregnancy is understandable, but still disappointing. I could go on, but you got the gist of it. The lower your expectation are, the happier you will be.
Role Play Value (9/10)- If you're an A class nerd like me and have been role playing since your D&D days in high school, this game does it right. It allows you to assume what your character says and feels instead of showing you. If you can get involved in the world, you will care so much more about whats going on. I am lucky in this aspect, but most mainstream gamers are not looking for this.
Replay Value (8/10)- Can be good then evil. Can play as certain classes. Can goof off. If the game was slightly longer and better developed this would have been a easy 10.
Challenge (7.5/10)- You cannot die, so you cannot loose. Almost every challenge must be self imposed and come from individual stubbornness. Even the, most of the enemy AI are to stupid to finish you off and stand there while you charge a spell and most enemies are easy to defeat as well. I know this goes with game play for the most part-but I feel it warranted its own subsection. Why developers are starting to focus on the casual gamer is beyond me.
Bonus Points and Deductions Score: 7.5/10
Worth the Wait???: Simply put- it will depend. For the mainstream this is likely to be a disappointment and either a rental or a used copy but. For me however, I got what I wanted out of it and am continuing to play it on my profile now. Over all Fable will be a very fun game for its target audience, but have little long lasting appeal to the mainstream. I would highly recommend at least experiencing it, if nothing else.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/23/08
Game Release: Fable II (US, 10/21/08)
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