GameSpite Quarterly #1 extra: Fable II

Fable II
I thought the original Fable was quite good, but ultimately not inspiring enough for me to seek out the sequel. Mr. Hoeger’s article here has made me reconsider that stance, because apparently hidden beneath those dreary, lumpy visuals is a breezy game centered around having a damn good time. As it so happens, that’s my favorite kind of game.

8 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly #1 extra: Fable II

  1. Couldn’t agree more. I actually had several issues with the original, and actively avoided the sequel…until a friend forcibly lent it to me. It ended up being my favorite game of last year (the sole exception being Valkyria). It’s one of the few games in recent memory I can say actively pursued being FUN at all times.

  2. Funny — I’m playing Fable 2 right now, and have actually written a bit about the experience over at 1up (was thinking of doing one of those play-through things over here at the Frog).

    I don’t entirely agree about the combat — that is, I think it’s too easy, and not always for the best reasons. Fable 2, despite being only a semi-open world game, suffers from the major flaw of most open world games (for me), which is the that the AI can’t cope with all the options available to it. What do I mean?

    Arbitrarily, my first spell was Raise Dead. I was also proficient with the rifle. When I summon my ghouls, the AI characters ONLY target the raised dead about 99% of the time, meaning I never take damage. And, if it’s not my dead, it’s a rock, or a weird hill or something, that’s catching the AI up. Oftentimes, they just stand there, frozen in place.

    Then the really big encounters — the trolls, for example — are shockingly un-scary and easy. The trolls don’t move, for one, and it isn’t at all hard to knock out their weak spots with auto targeting. I’m quite far along and nothing has posed a challenge (using a variety of strategies).

    I still like the game a lot. The combat is still fun on some level. But I really, really wish it were harder, so that my accomplishments and equipment had some heft. It all feels kinda pointless, as things stand.

    I do see your point about Ninja Gaiden, but at least there the enemies felt intelligent (even if it wasn’t real AI, but the odds stacked against you — that’s fine by me). Fable 2 is just too damned glitchy, and purposefully easy.

  3. My first spell was Force Push, followed by Fireball. I wonder how much that may have affected our respective play experiences, superflat. I hardly ever used Raise Dead, myself, and couldn’t figure out a use for Chaos or Vortex. But I had a lot of fun blasting crowds with concentric waves of flame.

  4. Sarcasmorator — I’m actually on to a combo of raise dead, fireball, and slow time (I’m mentioning this just for kicks).

    I think my problem, though, is more general — it’s painful for me with the AI is so visibly inept. And actually, Fable 2 has a lot of glitches, due, I suspect, to the visual sophistication of the world. I often find characters (or am partnered with characters) stuck on endless vocal loops until the next even triggers. All of this kind of thing really takes me out of the world.

    My last qualm (again, I do generally like the game) is that Molyneux made some really poor decisions when it comes to immersion. For example, I’ve had a couple of characters make a comment to the effect, “You’re a quiet one, aren’t you.” The thing is, I’m a talkative person (in real life), and of course am silent in Fable 2 due to the game design — this quality shouldn’t be ascribed to my character. Likewise, it’s pretty easy to accidentally whip out a gun or spell in town and have everyone run away terrified. I like that you’re able to do this, but maybe the “safety” should be a bit harder to override (I mean, if I’m playing the lovable good guy, this kinda ruins the mood).

    Anyway, Fable 2 is definitely one of those flawed masterpieces.

  5. They won’t call you a quiet one if you use your expressions more, I believe. I never heard that past the first hour or two of the game.

    And you’re right, the combat is stupid easy, but for once it didn’t bother me. I have yet to figure out why, but I think I was more into exploring and becoming a property baron than I was fighting stuff.

  6. Mate – You’re right about the expressions — it was just a couple of scripted events I was referring to.

    Anyway, I think this entire discussion can be circumvented by the following principle: difficulty levels are a good thing.

  7. I’d just like to say that the Jennifer Lopez reference in the original Fable article was almost certainly Parish’s idea.

  8. Ah, Fable 2. The only game I’m familiar with in which you can become a big, burly demon with giant horns, evil eyes, and skin that looks like it’s about to erupt lava, and then stick him in way too short shorts and a corset. Then give him pigtails.

    All pink, of course.


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