My Fable II First Impressions

SUMMARY: This was an excellent purchase.

Fable II to me feels like what we all expected the original Fable to be like. Everything you do in the game has an effect on the world, and both you and the world around you morphs to reflect that. The scope of the game is huge, you are able to move through the world much more openly this time around, and there are SO many things to do that I’m not sure I’ll ever finish it.

First, the story. Most reviews have said the story is the “same old, same old” of RPG’s. While I haven’t gotten far enough to know whether that’s true or not, I happen to be enjoying it. The end of the intro is a pretty good setup for the rest of the game, and each quest I’m sent on seems to flow nicely from one to the other. I do think it’s stupid that the old guide lady (won’t say her name for spoilerific reasons) can talk to me telepathically, yet requires me to visit her to get a new quest every time. That seems a bit pointless. But there’s enough distractions on the way to keep me happy.

One review I read pointed out that having a glowing trail leading you to your next objective actually encourages exploration, and I agree. I’m not afraid that I’ll never find my way back, so I’m constantly leaving the path in order to see if my dog sniffs anything out or I find some secrets. The trail does get annoying in that it’s constantly bouncing around in different directions, it seems to get really confused when I leave the path. It also occasionally can’t load ahead of time fast enough, so I find myself reaching the end of it and waiting for more of it to load. Because of this, also, the game disc is ALWAYS whirring. I think I may experiment with installing the game to my hard drive when the NXE is released, to see if it makes it any better (it’ll at least be quieter).

So far, I’ve gotten married, had a kid (more specifically, it was an “oops” baby), almost perfected my craft of blacksmithing, bought a shop and two houses, and gotten a chicken suit. There’s so much to do, yet there’s always the nagging feeling in my mind that I should be continuing the quest, which is cool. My dog is cute. While I don’t feel the love that Peter Molyneux wanted us to feel, I definitely gasped when a bandit came up and kicked my dog early in the game. He shouldn’t have done that.

Turning on everyone’s orbs in the game is cool, it makes the game feel much more MMO-like. Last night I was doing a quest in a cave, and there happened to be two other people there doing it too. While I couldn’t see them actually doing it, they were clearly following the same paths as I was, and were doing the same parts of the quest at the same time, so it was fun to play and chat with them while I went. I haven’t tried out co-op yet, but as soon as certain friends of mine purchase a copy, I’ll definitely check it out.

Also, the achievements are great. They’re very varied between storyline ones and miscellaneous ones, and I spent last night grabbing as many as I could. It’s also cool that you can earn lots just by watching a friend do it. That saves me the trouble of doing evil stuff.

Lastly, the main reason I love this game is because there was an Anchorman reference in it. “60% of the time, it works every time.” Two thumbs up.

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