I was a little bit giddy when unwrapping my copy of Fable 2 for the Xbox 360. This is the follow up to the insanely ambitious fantasy action adventure role-playing game Fable for the Xbox. This game is set five hundred years after the world of Fable and the fantasy European world of Albion has evolved in complexity and detail in every measure of the word.
If you ignore the previous game and look at Fable 2 on it’s own you will see an wholly successful action adventure game that can stand on it’s own merits. This builds on and expands on the conventions of Fable crafted by Lionhead games. That is a phrase that really applied to Fable 2; handcrafted. You can tell that this game was a labor of love by Sir Peter Molyneux. You know it is going to be good when it is a game designed by a knight of both England and France. The first game is not a prerequisite but if you liked the first game than you are going to eat this game up. It is going to be yummy.
The world of Fable 2 comes off incredibly European but better than a trip to the renaissance faire while it manages to be medieval but not a not wholly Tolkien rip-off.
The game is structured around the concept of choices and consequences. You are quietly presented with choices of morality that are not quite so clear and how you choose affects the total outcome of your standing in the world. Unlike Grand Theft Auto that is willing to dispense forgiveness by a simple trip to the Pay-N-Spray the moral choices you make in Fable 2 have lasting serious consequences. Choices of right and wrong are balanced with the quest for power and fame. Sure this game is rated M for Mature but since it presents moral consequences for your actions I would have no problem having the kids that I know enjoy this game.
This game is not just about going on quests and little bad guys but a simulation of social human interactions is a central concept of the game. This is as much The Sims as it is Lord of the Rings. Unlike the first Fable game you can choose either a male or female hero and over the course of the game you can engage in straight or queer romantic relationships. you can get married, buy property, have children along side your quest to save the world.