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Saturday, December 6, 2008

NanoGeekTech Fable II Review

Developer: Lionhead Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Designer: Peter Molyneux
Composer: Russell Shaw
Graphics Engine Proprietary
Havok (physics)
Kynapse (pathfinding)
Alienbrain 8 (asset tracking)
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) NA October 21, 2008
EU October 24, 2008
AU October 23, 2008
Genre: Action RPG, Sandbox
Mode: Single player, Cooperative gameplay, Xbox Live
Rating: BBFC: 15
ESRB: Mature (M)
PEGI: 16+
Media DVD-DL
Input methods Gamepad

Fable II is Xbox360 highly anticipated western style RPG from famed Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux. Fable II follows the same path as the original with a more in-depth morality system. Fable II gives you moral choices to be good, evil or somewhere in-between. For the most part I played Fable II choosing the route of Good versus Evil.

Fable II introduces the player to a new fury four legged companion that's tags along for the ride through most of your quest. Your new four legged friend becomes an asset more than a one trick pony. Your dog will have it's own AI and can be upgraded with books you will find throughout Albion. As you collect different books in and around Albion your dog will gain better abilities to search for new treasures, new quest and fight along side of you. Peter Molyneux decide to add our four legged friend to add a sense of attachment to our virtual hero. Did it work? well no, not for me. The dog did its job for the most part, but I felt if the dog was not there the pace of the game or feel of the game would of stayed the same. One thing bothered me about the "dog" it cannot die no matter what, kinda reminds me of Cujo with out the killer instincts. Speaking of killer instinct my dog did not do a great job fighting for me even though he was at a level five.

Combat in Fable II is in real time and at times can be great fun but still felt like it was missing something. As a hero of Albion you will be able to use a variety of weapons, magic and brute force to make Albion heaven on earth. You will be able to carry a gun(long range), swords/axe/etc(melee) and magic(will). Each attack is assign to a face button so in theory you can string combos together. When you string a combo together in certain circumstances the game will slow down and the camera will switch to show off a style kill. This slow down is at time annoying because, one its not really cool and when the game's frame rate slows down in heavy combat the slow motion makes things a little chaotic. You will be able to upgrade each weapon through augments(which enhances your current weapon)or by trading/selling them for new and more powerful weapons. Your magic will be upgraded by experience orbs that you will gain when you kill the many foes in and around Albion. When you kill someone you are treated to a rainbow of orbs that you can collect which would allow you to upgrade your magic, accuracy, dexterity, and physique.

There is not too much in terms of variety in enemies they are the Bandits, some Undead guys, Banshee, Trolls(probable the best but you only fight about 4 or so?)and the Hobbes if I am correct. There is no challenge in the combat in Fable II if you can press buttons you can beat anyone anytime. There is also no way you can get lost, Fable II has a ancient form of GPS it is also known as the breadcrumb trail. No matter where you go, there is a gold sparkling trail that guides you to your next mission. The bread crumb trail makes diverting from your main quest easy so it gives you the ability to finish or look for new quests without getting lost. One thing about breadcrumb trail is at times it would just disappear and I would be wondering around for a good 1/2 hour trying to figure out what to do. This only happen a few times and should not be a deal killer.

Graphic in Fable II could be very good at times and very average also at the same time. At certain points in the game you can experience frame rate issues when things get too crowded. There is also pop up, I could be running along with Fido and you can see the grass and ground literally generating in front of you as you run. I notices this more when I run around versus when walking. When you run its feels alittle awkward to control your virtual hero. When running at times, you can easily run into a tree, rock or off to the wrong path. None of these issues really hurts Fable II overall appeal but these are things that should have been fixed. The Xbox 360 has been out long enough for developers to be very proficient in programming for Microsoft Xbox 360.

Fable II could have been a lot more, it is very short you can breeze through Fable II in a few days. It took me almost 20 days to beat Fable II with 20 gargoyles collected, 25+ silver keys collected and 10 side quest left to be finished. There is a lot of replay value built into Fable II because after you finished the very disappointed ending there is still a whole virtual counrty to rule/buy and many more wives/prostitutes to marry. Microsoft is in the process of releasing DLC for Fable II. This is where I think people may get slighted. I believe that all the content is locked in the game already and you are paying to unlock additional content that should have been unlocked in the first place to added more depth to the game.

Replay Value:A+
Fun Factor: C+
NanoGeekTech Overall Score: B

Should you buy Fable II or rent it: This is a tough one I got everything I wanted out of Fable II with a rental. I will have to say for some people Fable II may be worth the purchase because of the DLC, Co-op and shear amount of things that you can do that is not related to any of the main quest.

Things that Bored me with Fable II: Combat, story, parlor games, jobs and the ending was very disappointed( I still hope that was not the end of the game).


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