9

An excellent sequel to the original, with addictive gameplay that keeps you coming back for more.

Fable 2 is an RPG that takes a lot of its cultural setting from Britain.

First off there was the addition of a Dog. The Dog is really useful in 3 ways. It can look for Dig Spots, Find Treasure and Attack enemies that have been knocked to the floor. While it may seem to be a minor addition to the game it actually is encorperated quite well. The dog however is required for some quests and while occasionally it can be an annoyance as it disappears every now it is a feature that must be used.

The economy had a completely overhaul. You can now buy virtually every building in the game. Some have quests attached to them and others have secrets buried within them for you too find. There are 2 types of bullding's that can be bought and those are Shop's and Houses. the shops you buy give you some income every 5 minutes and provide you with a discount. With houses you can either live in them yourself, many provide bonues for living in them such as higher health. Or you can rent them out to increase your income. The economy itself now goes through Boom and Bust. Doing Jobs and buying things from towns boost the economy while commiting crime lower's the economy in the area. However I feel making money is challanging at first but after a couple of hours I had an income that meant I was able to buy a new building every half hour which added to my income speeding up the process.

The storyline is set 500 years after Fable 1 and many things have now changed and the most obvious one is the introduction of fire arms to the world of Albion. They are not the most advanced fire arms in existance but they are not too much stronger than Bows and Crossbows in Fable 1. The storyline has 5 main characters all of who I felt had strong personalities and excellent voice actor's. There are also 2 time skips where the game advances 10 years which I felt was done well. Especially when you saw the changes that had happened to the world in your absence. However the ending had much to be desired. There were 3 endings and only one of them left you in a position where if you hadn't already you could finish all the sidequests and really the game is broken unless you chose the right option.

The sidequests themselves are well designed and some are challanging although some are quite easy. They are all well written and many of them are quite humerous. The NPC's are quite diverse and I believe the voice acting here was excellent quality. Also you can chose you have a Wife and Child. I personally felt the additoin of a family underwhelming. There was really no value added with this feature at all. The Map however I felt was too small and you sometimes get lost at times with the lack of a mini-map if you are playing a more sandbox game without the quest indicator.

And there was alignment. Good-Evil. Pure-Corrupt Attractive-Ugly. All 3 are affected by your choices. The clothes you wear, some of the jobs you take part in and some of the decisions of your quests. As they all move they affect the looks of your character with additions such as a Halo, Horns or pale skin. How you look also affects all the people around you. They can fear you, hate you or love you depending on these 3 alignments. However I felt the system was exactly the same as the original and wasn't truely changed enough to take it past it's predeccesor.

And lastly there was the Co-op. There are 2 types of co-op. Couch Co-op or Live co-op. Couch is 2 players from the same console and Live is 2 players across Xbox Live. They both work almost exactly the same. One player is there chosen hero while the other is a generic henchmen with little customisation options. The host chooses how Experience and Gold is shared. There is only one camera instead of 2. For Live there really should be 2 camera's but instead there isn't which can lead to your view being blocked and overall have less freedom as with a one player game. There are still many bugs such as character wipes happening. I felt the online really was a huge disappointment. It feels tacted on above all and I really felt in the end it added absolutely nothing to the gameplay experience.

However despite it's many faults the outstanding gameplay really pulls you in and you can quickly start playing at 5pm and look to see it at 2am. The addictive gameplay above all is really what sets it apart as it has taken most of the idea's of Fable 1 and vastly improved them and added many new idea's that work perfectly. I feel an expansion pack similar to Fable:The Lost Chapters is a must as there are many improvements that could yet be added. Also the Island to the west in the original game is unaccesible and that needs changing.

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