Thursday, March 5, 2009

Game of the Week: Fable 2 - Why Our Very Own Sonic Hates Peter Molyneux (Part II)

continued from Part I

So, I got it, took it home and booted it up – and proceeded not to sleep for about 2 weeks. Within 5 hours of game time, I’d downloaded the expansion to the game, knowing that, even though I was nowhere near done, I needed more, just to know there would be more was ok …

I hadn’t played a fantasy RPG in a very long time, and wasn’t looking forward to an extremely convoluted interface – my roommate started playing Fallout 3 around the same time, and the game just looked so epic in scope – both in gameplay and in mechanics – that I found it to be a bit daunting. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find Fable 2’s mechanics almost too easy to navigate. One button for melee attacks, one for magic, one for ranged weaponry – all color coded to the buttons on the controller. The control scheme worked perfectly, providing easy access for people new to the genre, and plenty of depth for those looking for more.

The story was extremely engaging, to the point where I found myself not even wanting to complete the main quests because there were plenty of character building menial side tasks to undertake. I don’t want to give too much of the story away here – basically, you start as a kid, and this royal jerk tries to kill you. Luckily, he’s too arrogant to make sure you’re dead, and you are nursed back to health by an ancient mystic who reveals to you that you are of heroic heritage. And so, you quest to bring together a group that will help you take revenge on this royal jerk. But … there’s just so much more.

Each town you visit has its own working economy, which you affect with your actions. If you run around stealing things from people, the economy (rents, prices, etc) plummet. If you buy properties and lower rents, and spend money in the shops and bars, the economy shoots skyward. And you will spend money in the bars –

How about this for an achievement list? Get five people drunk in under 3 minutes. Marry one person while already married to another. Participate in an orgy. Kick a chicken a “respectable” distance. Commit an act of public indecency. Actually, that was the first one I got, pretty much – not liking the clothing I started in, I immediately took them all off, and when I went over to a guy and used an expression he found too suggestive … The achievements drove me more than they have in any other game I’ve ever played. I’m not 100% done with them yet, but I’m close and I won’t stop until I’m there.

The visuals in the game were really great. While obviously not overly “realistic” looking, the aesthetic used was a very colorful one (when appropriate – at times it was very dark, but it always seemed to be perfectly what it needed to be). And the inclusion of starting a family, having kids, and having townspeople the entire world over react to your every choice in the game really did something for the feel of travelling around. That, coupled with your faithful dog following you everywhere and showing you where to dig for treasures, and helping attack downed enemies really made the experience of playing through a solo game as one where you weren’t actually alone. I know a lot has been said about Fallout 3, and I’ve only watched (about 30 hours of) it so far and not actually played it, but I do like the feeling in Fable 2 better, than the empty lonely wastelands of post-apocalyptic D.C.

All in all, I truly believe Fable 2 to be one of the better rpg’s I’ve ever played. If I had just gone through the main story quest, the game probably would have only been at most 10 hours long. But as it stands, I’m not done with my first play through yet and I’m over 40 hours in – which is why Sonic, the editor here, is probably mad at Peter Molyneux. I’ve been playing so much that I haven’t been writing enough! I may have gotten a great deal on it, but this game is well worth the money at any price.

+ Game of the Week: Fable 2 - Why Our Very Own Sonic Hates Peter Molyneux (Part I)

+ Fable II [IGN]

- Goodchild

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