Since its release, Peter Molyneux's morality based RPG has remained a highly popular game and it is unusual to see it dip below the £10 mark. It's a shame that its not the Game of the Year edition but that offered fairly slim pickings in terms of extras. Knothole Island is worth a try but See the Future is little more than a trailer for Fable III rather than proper DLC. And if you feel like you can't live without the former then it still works out cheaper to buy the original game and get the add on through XBox Live. Tesco's excellent price gives you a £6 saving compared to HMV, the closest competitor.
Fable II takes you back to Albion, 500 years after the first game, in a time of Highwaymen, colonialism and high romance. The Heroes Guild has been disbanded and it's a hard time for our protagonist; Little Sparrow. A penniless orphan, "Sparrow" lives with his/her sister in the shadow of Castle Fairfax, owned by the mysterious Lord Lucien. One day destiny splices your fate with that of Lord Lucien and changes the life of Little Sparrow and the world of Albion forever.
Albion itself is one of the most charming aspects of the game. A living and breathing world, it is crammed with pleasing touches and bawdy British humour. It is a joy to explore and the lovely visuals bring it to life in a way that is always pleasing, occasionally breathtaking. The sound is also impressive, with beautiful music and some great voice acting. It is also bursting with side quests, meaning there is plenty to do besides admiring the scenery.
The combat system is simple but effective and a whole lot of fun. You can pick between melee, magic and ranged attacks but battles are far more enjoyable if you learn to effectively mix and match all three. Utilise your skills well with a good range of moves and you'll be rewarded with satisfying and engaging fights.
The main problem that I found with Fable II was that my affection for Albion far overshadowed any connection I felt to either my character of any of the residents of the world. My Little Sparrow suddenly became a strutting, womanising, rotund peacock of a land baron, without my really having a clue how it happened. It was hard to feel anything but disdain for this buffoon who felt more like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast than a scrappy diamond in the rough. All the fawning admirers that followed my character around seemed one dimensional and the communication tool, which at first seemed such fun, quickly grew tiresome. I felt no attachment to anyone really and longed for some meaningful interaction.
To my chagrin I found the drawbacks too infuriating and so completed the game, however I have since met so many people that swear by it that, once Mass Effect 2 is dispensed with of course, I will probably have to give it another chance.
Thanks to whizzkid at Hotukdeals!