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Family Guide Gamer (360)
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Crafting a believable world that holds the essence of folklore at its heart or is rich with perpetual fragments of mythology is a difficult task to undertake. It only takes a strange character, an unbelievable plot point or out of place dialogue to throw everything. I find games that fall into that trap soon lose my interest and I stop playing them. Those problems boiled up all over the first Fable but in this sequel I can't help but be entranced by the world of Albion and the story that unfolds.
What gives the game such a hold over me is its unique Britishness. Every character has his or her unique voice with some lovely regional variety thrown in for good measure. This might be a minor point to some but it makes all the difference when I'm going to spend a good 20 hours in its world.
Although it's a simple concept, the breadcrumb trail is exactly the sort of feature that brings people into the game that otherwise wouldn't even try.
Another nice touch not often seen is simply how accessible it is. This is actually one game I can give to my other half and find her not being overwhelmed with stats, dice rolls and quest logs like most other RPG's do. Although it's a simple concept, the breadcrumb trail is exactly the sort of feature that brings people into the game that otherwise wouldn't even try. Even as a veteran I've given up on games way too often because I've lost my way and given up.
But what tops my early experience off most of all is the dog. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of them in the real world, but this virtual canine has more charisma and personality than any I've met. The way he guides, protects and points items of interest out all the way along my journey makes it such a fulfilling experience. This feels to me more like the kind of co-op I'm after, rather than playing with another human. The dog gives Fable 2 its real heart and soul. The brief non-violent portion I let my son watch confirmed the dog's starring role - he instantly started calling it the 'dog walking game' - despite all else that was going on in the fantastical world all around.
The brief non-violent portion I let my son watch confirmed the dog's staring role - he instantly started calling it the 'dog walking game'
If I were to raise one criticism then it's the way I feel about playing through Albion again. I sort of feel like I've done all this already in the first game. Admittedly I played The Lost Chapters version on the PC which is as close to the full game as the developers intended. As I've only put in eight hours so far I can't really judge, but the first part of this game feel a little too similar for me to have the experience I really wanted to.
I'm going to keep playing Fable 2 for some time and will no doubt have more to say as the story unfolds. For now, there is more than a little potential for it to become a game I want to live with for a long time.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: