| Fable II|
|Type||Action Role Playing Game|
|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release Date|| NA: 21 October 2008|
AUS: 23 October 2008
EU: 24 October 2008
Fable II was developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It is the sequel of Fable and Fable: The Lost Chapters. It was released in North America on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 and in the United Kingdom on Friday, 24th October, 2008.
Announced in 2006, the game takes place once again in Fable's setting of Albion, though 500 years after the final defeat of Jack under the Hero of Oakvale. It is in a colonial era resembling the time of highwaymen or the Enlightenment; guns are still primitive, and large castles and cities have developed in the place of towns. Unlike the original, the player may choose to be either male or female.
Lead designer Peter Molyneux has played a major role in presenting this game to the public, as he did in the lead up to the release of the original Fable.
The game was awarded gold master status on September 22, 2008.
The game became available on Games on Demand (in Xbox Live) for US$19.99 (1600 MS Points) as of April 6th, 2010.
WARNING: This section or article may contain spoilers!
Announced at E3 2007, all melee combat takes place on the X button. All ranged combat runs on the Y button and magic or will abilities on the B button. Flourishes will be shown in a different perspective and time will slow down to show finishing moves. Moves done in melee combat are also dependent on where the player is located. For example, if a player is on top of a tower, pressing the X button may cause the player to throw a certain enemy off of the tower rather than attack with a weapon. Also, in the Xbox 360 edition of the combat with a not yet ready combat engine shows you can use the environment which leads on to different combat reaches. The character can get into a bar fight shown in the combat demo (the first tested engine).
There are multiple different weapon types: Clockwork, Turret, and Flintlock Pistols and Rifles, Cleavers, Axes, Longswords, Hammers, Cutlasses, Katanas and Maces. Crossbows were confirmed in the IGN.com video, posted October 9, 2008, showing all the types of weapons. It was been confirmed recently on the Lionhead blogs that the Longbows would not be in Fable II due to the appearance of guns in Albion. Although bows were no longer available, crossbows were upgraded to keep up with the firearms.
All spells available in the game have a targeted and area effect version. To target, the player simply points the left thumbstick toward their desired target then releases their spell. Most spells do noticeably higher damage or have a much longer duration when targeted. When higher ranks of spells are learned, they must be charged for a certain amount of time (depending on the rank) before being released.
In Fable and Fable: The Lost Chapters, the Hero wandered Albion alone and saving all the people, with help sometimes. But Fable II brings a new ally on the scene, Man's Best Friend. Molyneux announced that the Hero of Fable II shall have a dog to look after, as well as himself.
The player will encounter this dog early in the game, and it will stay with the player 'til the end. Every dog in the game will be unique and will morph depending on the alignment of the character. The dog has also been said to alert the player to threats, while not showing the player to the threat itself making for a stealthy kill. It is also replaced the radar seen in the original Fable by telling the player where he/she should be going. It will also attack the enemies that have an advantage over the player; for example, if the hero had a melee weapon drawn, it would attack the enemy with the Ranged weapon, though in reality the dog will only attack enemies that the player has knocked down. In a recent interview and game demonstration, Molyneux showed some of the interactions players can have with their dog, including buying treats, playing fetch and rewarding or punishing their dogs for their behaviour.
The dog has been given advanced AI. The dog isn't controllable directly, but the actions of the player will control the dog. If the player goes to attack, the dog will attack as well, if the player starts to run, the dog will run as well. The dog's behavior is context specific, and when in towns, or if the player is injured, the dog will stay closer. If the player goes in a shop, the dog will wait outside the door, and go back to the player when that person walks out. Also, the dog can be trainable by expressions. Molyneux also revealed that if the player does not want a dog, then he/she will have to run away and escape from it (preferably when it is injured), although the dog will track down the player, requiring him or her to run away again. One example given is if the dog is injured and the player leaves and goes to the pub, later there will be a scratching at the door. Someone will open the door for it and observers will react negatively; however, this event isn't able to be recreated.
The dog itself can be taught to do tricks using books, raise the level of its fighting abilities and treasure hunting by also reading a book, and even renamed using a collar. Learning the new expressions and teaching the dog to find treasure is as easy as reading a book. These books can be found throughout Albion as treasures, or by buying the books at the Bowerstone Book Shop.
On July 14th 2008 at E3 2008, lead designer Peter Molyneux demonstrated "Albion Orbs". These orbs show where other players are in their respective worlds and allow you to, at the press of a button, bring them into your world to co-op with. The actions of visiting players are permanent in the game, unless the safety feature is activated. Players will be able to give items to visitors. The players' dogs will not accompany them into another player's game.
The mode of co-op is somewhat similar to that of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game; in that players will be able to drop in and out of other player's games at will. The host player can set certain rules; eg. how loot gained is split between the players and if friendly fire is active or not.
The online co-op patch was made available on October 21 at 12:00am for midnight launches. Online co-op is available to anyone who bought the game, has a high speed internet connection and Xbox Live gold membership.
While on the same console, a second player with their own account can drop in and out as a "henchman" to the first player. If the second player on the same console does not have an account of their own, the henchman is made in a brief create screen that pauses the game. Henchmen created this way are not saved into the main player's game. The first player also decides how much bounty the henchman will obtain, e.g. gold and renown. The second player will also be able to port any experience, renown and gold to their own Fable II game via a memory card if they have imported their character and not created the henchmen from scratch.
As in the original Fable, you have the ability to fall in love, and get married. In Fable II, the idea of family has been changed so it fits more in with the theme of emotion. Additionally, same-sex marriage is possible. Children will stay at home, either with the mother or the father while the hero goes out to do heroic deeds. The hero's alignment dictates the child's alignment.
To have children, the player must ask his/her spouse to follow to the bed, activate the bed, and select Unprotected Sex. Selecting Protected Sex will keep you from catching STD's or having unwanted children, but the option is only available if you have a condom on your person. Condoms can be bought from general stores found around Albion, and by digging up treasure/leafing through a treasure chest. At the beginning of the game, you will only be able to have one child, which remains a baby until you finish the Spire quest, after which the child will have grown to a nine year old. Any children you have after that will take about an in-game day to mature.
Originally, if the hero/heroine had died, the character would remain dead, but a child of theirs would become playable to replace them. This led to playtesters having more children than they ordinarily would have, in an attempt to farm extra lives.
Then the thought came along of the player's character not dying upon defeat. Rather, he or she would fall unconscious once he/she loses all of his/her health. The enemies would then injure the character while unconscious by beating, kicking or stabbing which would leave permanent and humiliating scars. Falling unconscious could be avoided with one of three sacrifices: gold, reputation, or experience gained.
At the Game Developers Conference in 2008, Molyneux indicated in interviews that the design for death had changed due to player feedback during play testing when it was found that players would rather turn off their console than subject their character to permanent disfigurement.
In the new design, upon losing all health, a hero falls and loses a certain amount of experience which is uncollected at the time. This experience is exchanged for a "burst" of energy, allowing one last "Heroic Struggle" in which the player rises to their feet and knocks all enemies away. This would leave the player momentarily safe from harm, though the Hero will also receive a scar for each time. Resurrection Phials prevent loss of Experience Points upon death, and in so doing, prevent the character from getting scarred. Certain augments can also prevent scarring, or even just make it worse.
Unlike the original Fable and Fable: The Lost Chapters, there are now other alignments apart from good and evil. Lionhead decided to add more choices concerning how you customize your player such as purity, corruption, attractive or scary. These alignments can be changed depending on common factors such as laziness and eating fresh foods from a produce stall.
See List of Fable II Achievements for the complete list.
Like in Fable, there are many expressions that can be used by the player in order to communicate with other people, including dancing, laughing, taunting, belching, etc. This feature has been improved as shown in E3 2008; the player can use a button to access the expression menu at any time, which is a circular set of buttons that each lead to a different category. In order to find out information about an NPC's attitude toward the hero, you target the NPC using the left trigger, then press the Y button to view their opinion of you. For example, if the player can get an NPC to like you, the NPC will give the player a reward. Similarly, if the player can make an NPC love the player, the NPC may marry the player (If you offer the ring). These scenarios can only be achieved through the use of expressions, sometimes through an extended expression mini-game. Some expressions have been taken to yet a further level of depth. In an interview with Game Informer Magazine, it was revealed that the player can even adjust the duration and tone of belches and farts.
A number of expressions including belch, fart, dance, laugh and whistle can be held for longer, using a status bar similar to the one used in jobs, so try and get it inside the bar. Holding an expression increases its effect, but if you fail to finish the expression properly, you will mess up the expression and alter the resulting attitude change of nearby NPCs. One such example is failing a fart, which results in your hero releasing his bowels in his pants, and while performing the belch expression if failed the hero will double over and hold their stomach and mouth, accompanied by the sound of vomiting.
After learning them, your dog can also make expressions and these are tied to your own actions. For example after learning "Hide snout," when you fart or belch your dog will bury its nose in the ground, covering it with its paws.
According to an IGN preview, Albion will be about ten times the size it was in the previous Fable title. While Molyneux has stated that the player can complete the main story in 12 hours if they rush through it, it would take 100+ hours to complete everything in the game. Molyneux has stated that it will cost about 100 million gold to buy every item in the game.
There are both interactive and a few non-interactive cutscenes in the game. According to Lionhead, the non-interactive cutscenes consume less than five minutes of game time.
In the fully interactive cutscenes a player can use their expressions during the dialogue or even run away from the scene, thus skipping it, afterwards the player can return to the cutscene location to start it again.
If the player runs away from a cutscene which contained important information, the character will come and find you later on.
Dynamic World Edit
The world in Fable II is fully dynamic, interactive and free roaming with no set quest path to take and includes all 4 seasons.
Since the game will take place over a hero's lifetime, many things will change; Molyneux gave an example of a trade camp that the player could either help or destroy. Trading in such camps would increase their profit, resulting in a small town growing around them, while stealing from the camp or massacring the camp will result in the abandonment of the area.
Additionally, every accessible property in the world can be purchased, and ownership often unlocks further quests. When stores, or property is owned you will earn Gold every 5 minutes of play time. Players can furnish the houses with furniture and other items available for sale. In addition, titles will be awarded for buying property; if one were to buy every building and piece of land in a town he may become the mayor of that town; owning more land leads to higher titles such as king of the entire land of Albion.
The environment in Fable II will feature trees with branches and leaves that are individually animated according to their own physics, each tree having roughly 120,000 leaves. There are also around 15 million poppies in Albion.
Peter Molyneux also has revealed the "bread crumb" trail, a feature that shows glowing sparkles in a line in front of you to guide you back to the main story line. Molyneux also said players are free to turn off this feature at any time and venture on their own path to that quest, or just completely ignore the quest and explore more of Albion or partake in a side quest.
In Fable II Pub Games, an unlockable concept art shows a map of a coastline unlike the one from the original game. Whether this is a new area or a revamp of the original is unknown.
Pre-release Marketing Edit
Tales of Albion Edit
Lionhead Studios released a section on their website entitled "Tales of Albion", which provides a back-story to Fable, Fable: The Lost Chapters, and Fable II. In "Fragments of the Old Kingdom", it details how the Archon came to power in Albion, and how the Heroes' Guild was founded. "Tales" also chronicles the ruin of the Guild in "Fall of the Heroes", and will describe Albion in Fable II with "Travels in Today's Albion".
Online Competitions Edit
Just as Lionhead has done with The Movies, online competitions were made available through Lionhead's forums. One such competition was naming a title to be used in the game, similar to the first game wherein a character was addressed by various titles that the character purchased from a "Title Vendor" Lionhead has stated these titles will be bought but they have to be earned first. They are bought from a town crier in Fable II; the winning title was Lionheart. On May 30th, Lionhead held a competition for artwork that would be used in the game.
Video Diaries Edit
-- On May 24, 2007, Episode One of The Lionhead Diaries, examining the love and emotion aspect of Fable II was released.
-- On July 30, 2007, Episode Two was released, highlighting the one-button combat system, and featured the Lionhead staff playing a game of football against fellow Microsoft satellite Rare and winning. It also included a professional combat specialist instructing the animation staff.
-- On October 8th, 2007, Episode Three was released, going in depth about the Central Technology Group, and featured Lionhead's 10 year Anniversary.
-- On January 11th, 2008, Episode Four was released, focusing on how the graphics department made the world of Albion.
-- On March 18th, 2008, Episode Five was released, looking at magic, GDC 2008 and co-op.
-- On June 24th, 2008, Episode Six "Art and the Hero" was released.
-- On October 2nd, 2008, Episode Seven "Music and Audio" was released.
-- On January 8th, 2009, Episode Eight "Finishing Fable II & Creating Knothole Island" was released.
-- In May of 2009, Episode Nine "See The Future" was released.
The graphics engine is written in-house, but middleware is integrated for several other parts of the game: Havok is used for a physics engine and Kynapse is used for some AI. Alienbrain 8 is used to track assets such as 3D Models, files, and art.
Collector's Edition Edit
- Main article: Fable II Limited Collectors Edition
A Collector's Edition was also released, and included a bonus DVD with videos (including a Making-of feature) and concept art, a redemption card allowing the download of exclusive in-game content, and an XBox LIVE trial membership (also a redemption card).
The in-game content is referred to as the "Otherworldly Content" package, and includes "The Wreckager" (a Legendary Cutlass weapon), the "Hall of the Dead" (a dungeon) and items modeled on the Spartan Armour and Energy Sword used by the character Master Chief in Halo.
Originally the Collector's Edition was to be packaged in a premium box and include physical items: a collectible Hobbe figure and five different fate cards. These items were cancelled and never released.
Game of the Year Edition Edit
- Main article: Fable II Game of the Year Edition
A newer version of Fable II called Game of the Year Edition was released in 2009. This was released after both the Knothole Island and See The Future DLCs came out, and has them both fully downloaded onto the disc - so there is no need to buy the features from Xbox Live. The game of the year edition featured a green tint to the cover art and can also be found with the usual red tint to the game cover art. The easiest way to identify the copy you are buying is the game of the year edition and not the regular version of the game is to look for the game of the year sticker in the top right corner of the cover art which reads "Extra Content! More Quests, More Locations, More Choices!".
- This may not apply to used copies of the game purchased from retailers such as Gamestop, as the case on the shelf may not correspond to the disc you receive when checking out.
- BAFTA GAME AWARDS - Best Action & Adventure
- Gamespot - E3 2008 Game of the Show
- GamePro - Best of E3 2008 Silver
- PlanetXbox360 – Best RPG at E3 2008
- Edge-online.com – Best Games of E3 2008
- 1UP.com – Best of E3 2008 RPG runner-up
- MovieTome – Best of show
- TeamXbox – Editor's Choice
- IGN.com – Editor's Choice Award
- GamesXtreme.com – Editor's Choice Award
- G4TV.com – Game of the Year in the X-play Awards
- PETA.com – Most Animal-Friendly Video Game
- ABC World News Webcast: IGN'S Top 5 Videogames of 2008
- Associated Press: Favorite Games of 2008, #7
- Birmingham News: 2008 Video Game of the Year
- CheatCodeCentral's Cody Awards 2008: Nominated, Best Game of 2008
- CheatCodeCentral's Cody Awards 2008: Nominated, Best Sound
- CheatCodeCentral's Cody Awards 2008: Nominated. Best New Character (The Dog)
- CheatCodeCentral's Cody Awards 2009: Nominated, Best RPG
- Chicago Sun-Times Best of 2008: Best of the Rest, XBOX 360
- Edge Awards 2008: Nominated, Best Game
- Edge Online: The Top 25 Game Industry Heroes for 2008, Louise Copley, #6
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Game of the Year
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Nominated, Best Art Direction
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Nominated, Best New Character (The Dog)
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Nominated, Best RPG
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Nominated, Best Sound Design
- G4TV X-Play's Best of 2008 Awards: Nominated, Best Writing
- Gamasutra's Best of 2008: Staff Picks- Simon Carless
- Game Guy Awards: Nominated, Best RPG
- GamePro The Best (and Worst) of 08: Nominated, Best RPG
- GameZone: Best Role-Playing Game of 2008
- Giant Bombcast: Game of the Year 2008, #10
- IGN Best of 2008: Best Original Score
- IGN Best of 2008: Nominated, Best RPG 2008
- IGN Best of 2008: Nominated, Best Voice Acting 2008
- JournalStar.com: Best of 2008: Xbox 360
- JournalStar.com: Top 10 Videogames of 2008 #9
- Joystiq: Top 10 of 2008 #1
- Kotaku Best of 2008: Nominated, Game of the Year
- Kotaku GOTY Awards 2008: Nominated, Best Story
- MTV Multiplayer - My 10 Favorite Gaming Moments of 2008: A Dream Of An End - Experiencing The Bravura Finale
- New York Daily News Top 10 Video Games of 2008 #1
- Paste Magazine Signs of Life 2008: Best Games #3
- PETA's 6th Annual Proggy Awards: Most Animal-Friendly Video Game
- Ripten Readers' Choice: Nominated, Game of the Year
- Spike TV 2008 Video Game Awards: Nominated, Best Graphics
- Spike TV 2008 Video Game Awards: Nominated, Best Xbox 360 Game
- Stars and Stripes: Best fantasy game
- The New York Times: Best Vindication
- Variety.com - The Cut Scene: 10 Best Videogames of 2008 - Ben Fritz #3
- Variety.com - The Cut Scene: 10 Best Videogames of 2008 - Chris Dahlen #10
- VentureBeat: Dean's top ten games of 2008, #10
- WIRED Game|Life Best of 2008: Top 5 Xbox 360 Games, #1
- X360A's 2008 Game of the Year Awards: Runner-Up, Soundtrack of the Year
- Yahoo! Games - Game of the Year 2008: Nominated, Best Role-Playing Game
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Consol 90/100 Magazine
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Videogamer 9/10 http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/fable_2...
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GameReactor DK 9/10 http://gamereactor.dk/anmeldelser/71468/Fable+2/
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GamePro 88/100 http://www.gamepro.de/test/spiele/xbox360/...
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Game Revolution B+ (85%) http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/fable_2
Gamespot 8.5/10 http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/fable2/...
OXM UK 8/10 http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=6641
GameReactor Sweden 8/10 http://www.gamereactor.se/recensioner/...
Eurogamer.net 10/10 http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/fable-ii...
OzBoxLive 9.2/10 http://www.ozboxlive.com/archives/267