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Fable 2 was one of the most anticipated games of 2008, and one that I really enjoyed playing. For anyone not familiar with the game, it promises to let you be the character you want to be in an open world brimming with adventure. You can become a property magnate, a treasure hunter, the greatest hero Albion has ever seen, or even all three.
However, Fable 2 failed to live up to my expectations. Sure, it was great, but I wanted it to be so much more. The free roaming world turned out to have barriers, the choices you could make turned out to be limited and of limited consequences, and there were plenty of little problems that changed the game from ‘excellent' down to ‘very good'. It's still a brilliant game though - when I picked it up to start playing Knothole Island I had to drag myself away from expanding my property empire or finding someone's lost son.
So how does the expansion fit in with the rest of the game? Well, ‘very good' would describe this as well. It provides more of the same glorious adventure and more wacky costumes for your character, but it doesn't improve on the main game.
When I picked it up to start playing Knothole Island I had to drag myself away from expanding my property empire or finding someone's lost son.
After downloading the content, and starting up Fable 2, a new quest will be available from your log. Some guy wants to speak to you down at the harbour, and if you accept his quest he'll take you to Knothole Island in his funny barrel submarine. Once the long loading screen is over, you'll be treated to your first sight of something that has been improved - the weather effects. The storyline of the island is very weather based, with the hero having to change the weather to suit the mayor of Knothole Island's needs. When you first arrive, everything is covered in a blanket of snow, and it the graphics are looking good. It's obvious a lot of effort has gone into the different weather effects.
I really loved the way you could progress through the island. After you finish the fist quest, the snow will disappear and the island will be wrapped in a blazing heat wave. This means that lakes that were frozen over will now evaporate, which unlocks areas that were previously at the bottom of a lake. However, this stops you from being able to across some gaps, so you can't head back to some areas. Next up is rain, which will of course fill up those lakes once again, making areas below the water level inaccessible.
I tried to play co-op with a friend over Xbox live, but nothing has been done to fix the glaring flaws that make multiplayer unplayable. The fixed camera is still there, and it just doesn't work.
Although I did enjoy playing it, the shortness and lack of improvement spoil what could have been a really good expansion.
Knothole Island is very similar to Fable 2 - great fun, but not as good as you expect it to be. All the flaws are still there, and nothing really new has been added. So if you loved Fable 2, chances are you'll love this. I did enjoy some of the new outfits that are available, although the biker gang set made me look even more rotund than I am, despite a few too many pies.
I also think that the game is too short for 800 points. The main quests will be finished in an hour or two. If you compare that to the original Fable, which can be picked up for roughly £10, it seems as though this doesn't offer good value for money. On top of that, Fable 2 did have quite a lot of optional content end-game content, so paying for some more if you haven't finished the rest seems silly. I can only recommend this for big Fable fans. Although I did enjoy playing it, the shortness and lack of improvement spoil what could have been a really good expansion.
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