Xbox 360 REVIEW: Fable II

The highly anticipated Fable II is finally here. It is, of course, the sequel to the original Fable which came out on the first Xbox, which is backwards compatible on the Xbox 360 for any of you who wish to try the first one as well.

Much like it’s predecessor, it follows the life, from childhood on, of a hero. The story begins five hundred years after Fable, in the town of Barstow. This time around, you have the option of playing as a female or male character. Also, you have the option of using guns, which the first one did not have. Do not be fooled though, these are not intricate weapons in any way. I personally prefer the archer route due to quicker reload times.

The thing that draws most people to Fable II is the amount of freedom you have in the game. With every action you make, there is a consequence. You can rank up your evil points by scaring villagers, showing no mercy during quests, or even just going town to town giving people the bird. On the other hand, you can play as a good character, helping people and trying to make the world of Albion a little better, one good deed at a time. In fact, the decisions you make towards the beginning of the game will greatly affect the way your hometown of Barstow will look when you are older. If you are good, it will be a prosperous happy town, but on the other hand, if you are evil it will be a dark and grimy sess pool filled with prostitutes and bad men.

Also, your decisions will affect the way your hero and your pet dog look. It is not as exaggerated as the first game, but over time you will be able to see a clear distinction. Your appearance can change depending on your fighting style as well. Using Will creates blue lines on your body, using Skill will make you taller, and Strength will make you buff.

One of the best features Fable II has to offer is the co-op. A friend can join in at anytime during the story. If you are having trouble battling a troll or getting through the arena just have a buddy join and take it on together. You can set the game to give your buddy a portion of the gold and experience you earn during co-op or just keep it all for yourself. To get the online co-op, you will need to download a free patch from Xbox Live.

The only down side to the co-op feature is that the camera is no longer manually controlled. This can get annoying when you are surrounded by bandits and can not see what you are supposed to be shooting at.

Fable II is easily one of the best game this year and lives up to its hype. I recommend this title to anyone who enjoys action RPGs. It is highly addicting, but if you just follow the main quest through it should only take about 10 to 15 hours of game play.

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