By: Fred Bloss
“Fable 2” is a game that everyone who played the first “Fable” waited for. A lot of promises were made, the game was supposed to be a follow-up to the first one; a massive world where your choices can change the world. And it is, but when one looks at the features of this game on paper, it seems like it is perfect. The game play has been vastly improved since the first. The combat is frantic and intuitive, and the new spell system adds new levels of customization to the game. Mechanically, this game is perfect, there are choices that can have far reaching effects, such as turning a poor district into a renewed one, or turning a temple of light into a guild of assassins, and the game play is fluid and intuitive.
There is one quality that “Fable” had that its sequel lacks, however, which makes all the difference. This quality is an epic storyline. The story in “Fable 2” starts out promising, but soon fizzles out as you are introduced to some of the most annoying, unlikable and cardboard cut-out characters that have ever been in a video game. ]
The characters in the first “Fable” were well thought out and interesting. The best character was the main villain, Jack of Blades, a person so irreprehensible that even if players made the most evil character that they could have made, they would still find motivation to fight and destroy him. This is in contrast to the villain of “Fable 2” who, while interesting, does not illicit quite the same feeling of fear and dread that Jack did.
This point leads to a discussion of the ending. The ending to “Fable 2” is one of the most dissatisfying experiences that a gamer can have. The whole end section of the game positively reeks of being rushed in order to meet a Draconian deadline. It would be like if Frodo from Lord of the Rings found his way to Mordor, only to see an escalator to Mt. Doom with Sauron as a decrepit corpse propped up in a pointless attempt to stop him. The last enemy you fight in the game are beetles, and there is no real “final boss” fight.
At the end of “Fable,” you are given an apocalyptic choice involving a weapon of great power. The way in which this fatal choice was portrayed almost allowed the player to feel the weight of it. The final choice of “Fable 2” absolutely pales in comparison. When one compares it to the final choice of the first, it is like choosing which jam to put on one’s toast.
The story is not the most pressing issue of “Fable 2;” it was obviously rushed. This can be seen in the amount of game breaking bugs that are present in the retail version. These aren’t your typical “foot getting stuck in a rock” glitches, but glitches that can ruin your save file by making the main quest unplayable. This reviewer has personal experience with one of these game breaking bugs, it involved time not passing naturally. This made it impossible to do the quests involving the Temple of Light or the Temple of Shadows.
Anyone who wishes to buy this game should just wait for “Fable 2: Lost Chapters” where they’re going to put in all the content that they should have included in the first place, just like they did with “Fable: Lost Chapters.”