Review by vindicatedfoul
"The framework for a good game is there"
but it doesn't live up to expectations.
The story, while not particularly flawed, is predictable and shallow. C+ material at best. You never feel very connected to your character as they have no dialogue of their own. No unpredictable plot twists, no 'water-cooler' moments. [Taken from WAR developers talking about water-cooler quests, quests so cool you had to talk about them to other people]
Sound is one of Fable 2's main achievements. Beautifully orchestrated background music and excellent voice acting, coupled with the music generally fitting the mood of what's going on. However, the music can often be overwhelming and drown out other things that are going on.
The CGI sequences, while amazing, are rare. Once out of the pre-rendered videos, you're left with less than stellar graphics for this generation. Clothing in this game is much more sparse than I'd hoped for, with relatively few outfits that go well together and armor no longer exists. Several pieces make your character look obese, even if you are very skinny (See: Ranger Set). Animations aren't as smooth as they were in Fable, and pixelation is a problem with objects as they become see through to give you clear vision. Being able to dye armor is nice though.
Sadly, it seems that all Fable 2 has is the shell of a good game design. Gone are the days of hulking plate mail clad warriors having higher damage mitigation than puny robe bearing magi, it's a sad day indeed. Not to mention problems with flesh twisting if you're shirtless, and other annoyances. Skill list has not been expanded since Fable, but rather it has shrunk. The small set of skills confines your character to a generic build. Co-op is like a half-assed after thought. Do you like to use items to stay alive in combat? Oh, well sorry, but Fable 2 removed the handy ability to bind items to your d pad that Fable had, making using items painfully slow and unintuitive.
Fable 2 is the skeleton of a good game, and it hit me while playing this game yesterday what it needs to be. A MMORPG. With the expansion of the skill set to several hundred abilities, and the addition of hundreds to thousands of quests, and thousands of players this game would be a great MMORPG. It has combat that's more fluid than any MMO, and beautiful environments.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/08
Game Release: Fable II (US, 10/21/08)
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