|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Lionhead Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
July 20, 2007 - With E3 dishing out preview after preview, Lionhead studios Peter Molyneux spoke about the sequel to the short but innovative game known as Fable. Fable II takes place in a now 500 year old town of Bowerstone. Peter also stated that the age of heroes is long over, and the town has now taken on a darker feel. Muskets, trench coats, and swords are what all the cool people are into in Fable II. Lionhead, being skeptical of making a sequel, did more than just add more of the same but added some quirky new innovations and modifications.
One feature Molyneux seemed very passionate about was the new sidekick you have, which is a canine companion. This canine isn't just a mere extension of your mindless inventory though, as Lionhead truly made the canine a living, thinking creature. You don't directly have control over the canine, but he acts as a very faithful and reliable entity of his own. Having the canine companion opens the doors of many awesome features that Molyneux was happy to explain. For starters, unlike most A.I. accompanied sidekicks, your canine will walk in front of you instead of behind. This way, you can use the canine as your map and guide instead of an actual map that discourages you from exploring the massive town. The canine will dig up interesting items, point out interesting areas, and assist you in combat. When actually in combat, the dog will attack in a manner which best aids you.
For example, if you draw your sword towards an enemy, the dog will attack the biggest threat, and if you draw your gun, the dog will distract them. If your dog is injured during a battle, he will show signs of injury and will drag behind you slowly. Given the freedom of Fable II, you can walk away and never look back from you faithful companion. Yet, amazingly enough the canine will literally follow you to the ends of the earth even after you've vanished from his sight hours ago! With such a faithful ally you'll find yourself gladly healing it after every battle. You can interact with the dog through pressure sensitive commands, meaning you can issue a light, medium, or heavy yes or no expression and the dog will respond accordingly. Incidentally, passing gas will cause the canine to cover its head, and who could blame him?
The city is larger than ever before, and Fable II carries many traits from its predecessor while adding much more. As you walk through the living city, it is divided into three districts: lower, middle, and high class. A press of the left trigger will allow you to use the new "lookout" feature which shows you the most interesting thing happening in your vicinity. Combat is controlled by three buttons: one each for melee, ranged, and magic. Tapping the button does a melee attack, holding the button does a block, and releasing the button after blocking does a special attack. How hard and how long you press the button and also which weapon you use dictates the attack. Sometimes "flourishes" are shown, which are cinematic style shooting of the attack your performing. You know, Matrix-like stuff!
With all this talk about combat, it is only inevitable that you're going to die at some point, right? Yet, you will not actually kick the bucket after a tough fight in Fable II. No, you'll only receive battle scars that will constantly be a reminder of your failure, and some deformities may get you shunned by the community. The points you gain from your adventures can also be used for a form cosmetic surgery to remove your scars. With this being only a few additions to the new Fable II, I can't wait to see what else is in store. Cheat Code Central will keep you posted in the meantime.
CCC Freelance Writer