Fable II Preview
Fable II box art
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

March 16, 2007 - Have you always wanted a dog? I am not talking about the little Chihuahua you have now. Yeah, I'm talking to you. So you have always wanted a real dog but your parents or significant other won't let you have one. Well, the folks at Lionhead want to help you out, or at least that seems to be the plan. How might they help, you ask? With the latest installment into the Fable series, beautifully titled Fable II. Some of you might remember the ambiguous hopes for Fable. This time around is no different.

Fable II screenshot

The main story of the game has yet to be detailed, although the opening and the basic idea of the game have recently been brought to light. The opening begins the same as any conventional RPG with beautiful landscapes and a bird. You follow the bird all the way, until it takes a crap, literally. Then we follow the bird crap until it lands on a kid. That kid is us. From that one bird induced moment, we are shown exactly how much we matter in a game were we are supposed to be the "hero." If the opening described is any indication as to what to expect, then we are in for a wild, albeit bashing of traditional RPGs, ride. Fable II will take place in Albion, 500 years after the original title, and the times have changed. It appears that the medieval times of Fable have passed. Now the people and buildings appear colonial. This point is driven home specifically with the wardrobes of the characters and the appearance of early-period firearms. Further information about the story is a bit sketchy. The only other tidbit about the main story is that the antagonist, Lucien, who is cruel, not evil, cruel, is building a tower. The tower is called Spire and eventually will reach five miles high. Much like the first, where your choices shaped the outcome of the game, the decisions you make will determine what you do with this tower. It all begins with the decision of your gender, and once you have selected to be a boy or a girl, you will watch yourself mature depending on your experience earned.

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Instead of using the good and evil mechanics of the first game, your choices will range along the blurred line of kindness and cruelty. This decision is due to the result of over 70% of players of the first game generally choosing to be good. Lionhead felt that it was unnecessary this time around for the player to be evil incarnate. In addition to this particular tweak, now your action will affect those around you. For instance, your kids (yes, you will be able to experience to joys of rearing a child in the digital sense whether you are male or female) will be affected by the choices you make through the course of the game. The only side effect to being a female in the game is that once pregnant, you will have to take time off from your adventures. Much like real life, the attributes of the parent sway the behavior of the child, and as your appearance changes, so does that of your children.

Fable II screenshot

Along with the new unconditional love of your family, you will receive the loyalist display of unconditional love through your dog. The pup starts out all good and wholesome, but much like your family, sway too far to cruelty and your pup will become a Doberman. On the opposite end, being too nice will cause you pup to grow into an overly lovable Sheep dog. Your dog will never leave your side either, unlike the pooches of country songs, and it will be up to you to feed the dog. Over-feeding it will cause it to become fat, which in turn could be a good thing, since you will not have to constantly provide snacks for it while on a quest. The dog will act like a sidekick, but with its own mind. Using the dynamic desire mapping technology, the dog will attack the strongest enemies, depending on your weaknesses, all on its own. To go hand in hand with your quests, the pups will have their own mini-games to complete. The dog will also replace the mini-map in the game, by leading you through Albion.

Fable II screenshot

Another revealed aspect of the game is the broadening of the kind and cruel alignment system. Being rich or poverty-stricken will impact the story as well. Though this has not been fully disclosed yet, it has been revealed that gold will be sparse in comparison with the first title. Having a lot of gold will become very important to you as you progress in the game, especially if you like owning real estate. Reports indicate that every building can be bought, even the castles, just as long as you have the money for it. Aside from just saying you own the buildings, each will have at least one quest, thus increasing the gameplay depending on your monetary achievements. One of the ways that you can obtain that castle is through a job. There will be several jobs available for you to choose from, including a bartender or farmer.

Fable II screenshot

Truth be told, Fable II is shaping up to be a true sequel that may surpass the original. Branching out the choices to cover what appears to be every decision you would ever have to make in your life could bring that coveted sense of realism to the game. There will undoubtedly be more information flowing about the game once an actual release date is given. Until then, we can only imagine how the gameplay mechanics will work out. With a supposed 2008 release far off, maybe we can convince our parents or spouses to get that dog we have always wanted in order to train for the game. Till then, keep checking back here for new updates as they happen.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Project Coordinator

Features:

  • Choose to be either kind or cruel in the world of Albion set 500 years in the future from the first game.
  • Have your own kids to shape, mold, and distort into your own image.
  • Raise the family dog who will act as your sidekick, as well as your map to Albion.
  • Explore the real estate market by buying all of the buildings in the game, including the castles.
  • Earn that extra bit of gold you need by holding down a job.
  • Decide your fate. Every achievement you make is a result of the decisions you have made.

  • Screenshots / Images
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