Life and Times in Albion: Fable 2 Impressions

Well, after a couple of days of moderately heavy gameplay in Fable 2, I have come to the assumption that Peter Molyneux has delivered on a smashingly cool game this time around, something that many supposed wasn’t quite the case with the first game. I wasn’t able to play the original Fable, and I’m not inclined to- I’ve having a wonderful time in Albion just the way it is right now.

Comparisons to another epic, open-world, create-your-own-hero-and-destiny RPG are inevitable. There are so many things in Fable 2 that brought to mind my times in Oblivion: The Elder Scolls IV. But this is a good thing- amazingly detailed and wonderfully deep games like Oblivion and Fable 2 aren’t exactly falling from the sky, so whenever they appear, it’s a time of rejoicing. The main differences, aside from the obvious gameplay aspects, are of course the tone and style- Oblivion is more realistic and serious, in everything from visuals to the lines of dialogue, and set in a midieval, sword-and-shields world, while Fable 2 is rife with wry (and sometimes dry) British wit and humor, set in a world where gunpowder exists alongside spellcraft. It’s like living in a Terry Pratchett novel.

And so I spent the first couple of days adventuring with my created Hero- a fetching lass (I prefer my in-game avatars to be someone I want to look at for hours on end) who has a fondness for dark-hued clothing, goth-style makeup and tattoos. I have to say, even with an intriguing quest based on revenge, I have spent an inordinate amount of time just wandering aimlessly, earning money through fun (albeit repetitive) mini-game ‘jobs’ that range from bartender to blacksmith, buying property (to earn me a steady flow of cash) and finding clothing to make my heroine all the more goth-like and sexy. Combat is easy and deceptively simple, but darn- it’s FUN and makes you feel like a total bad-ass. Plowing through peons with your sword or dispatching enemies with a well-placed pistol shot is damn satisfying.

So far I have little to complain about in Fable 2- except perhaps for the somewhat difficult way to find specific places (the map isn’t as detailed as I’d want, even with a handy quick-travel feature). The best thing about Fable 2 is the immersion of the world, the myriad choices you can do, and how it really makes you feel like a hero trying to find his/her path in a gorgeous fantasy realm. Awesome stuff! A full review to come soon. For now, gotta get me back into Albion and serve some more drinks…

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