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Fable II review



  • Editors choice
Fable II


Our Score


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Platform: Xbox 360

When Lionhead's Peter Molyneux was promoting the original Fable, he often described the aim of the game as to make you feel like a hero. He didn't mean by this that you would feel like someone else's idea of a hero, but like your own idea. You would create the character and forge his destiny. You would decide whether to be good or evil, and your choices would change the world for better or worse. As you adventured the world would also leave its mark on you, aging you, scarring you, the goodness or darkness within you echoed in your face and body. We would all start Fable with the same small boy, but would end with several million very different heroes, each reflecting who we were and how we played.

Maybe the concepts weren't solid enough, maybe the technology wasn't ready, but Fable only half delivered on that ideal. For all that it was an enjoyable, accessible action RPG, brimming with neat features, it felt too small, the consequences of your actions too obvious or limited, to truly make you feel like a hero who could shape a world. Such was the fuss made about the loss of relatively minor features, like the ability to plant acorns and watch them grow into mighty oaks, that Peter Molyneux has seemed uncharacteristically shy about the accomplishments of this Xbox 360 sequel. Perhaps he needn't have been. Fable 2 is everything Fable should have been, and arguably more.

It's not as radical a reworking as you might think. Fable felt rooted in a tradition of British folk tale and legend rather than the Tolkien-esque high fantasy adopted by so many RPGs, and Fable 2 follows along the same lines. While the kingdom of Albion has its share of misty mountains and gothic ruins, the scenery is dominated by the kind of woodland, town and farmland that fits into a very British rustic idyll. Nor is this necessarily a grimmer, darker tale. Yes, the setting has moved forward 300 odd years and there's a touch of Dickens around the prologue, but the gentle, genre-mocking wit and toilet humour that made the original so unique hasn't disappeared. While Fable 2 has a stronger plot than its forebear and a slightly deeper, more emotional tone, if you want to play the kind of hero who finds breaking wind at a funeral hilarious, then the game will be all too pleased to accommodate you.

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October 26, 2008, 11:23 am

10/10? its like a 10 years old kid made this Review(fanboy too)

i have this game and ill have to say this game has some issues,

1. The story is nothing special.(weak story)

2. Story and characters lack depth plus The main quest is short.

3. Making money is way too easy.

4. Good and evil paths don’t seem well-balanced.

5. the load time are WAY to long(snore).

don't get me wrong, i like this game, but giving it a perfect score is unprofessional.

ill give it a 9.

and MR.Stuart Andrews here, is a smart fanboy (the game is made by some UK Devs, his also from UK so lets give it a 10, a and of course its only on the Xbox360)

enough with fanboy Reviews, your pathetic.


October 26, 2008, 3:12 pm


Lets get something straight, Reviews and ratings are people's opinions of a product or service. It doesnt have to coincide with what you think of the product. If you are not happy with it then the best way to voice that out is to give your own critique and not use small tactics such as attacking the reviewer for being bias because he/she is from the same country of the product's creator(s). If that was the case, so much can be said for all the games made by other western developers that achieved high ratings in sites that correspond to the location of the developers.

You are so quick to call someone unprofessional for giving a perfect score to a game and supporting that argument by calling him a fanboy. Honestly you need to sit back and evaluate the way you think because the only 10year old kid i can see here is you.

(by the way i do not own an xbox360 but a ps3)


October 26, 2008, 3:25 pm

@ ahlanalo

i can see what you're saying, but seriously, is it just me or did you just copy the "cons" section out of the Gamespot review in order to justify your opinion? I think this guy is spot on, reviews arent supposed to be like "oh no a glitch, that minus 5% to this game's score" its about the experience you have with the game. personally i love this game and i think it deserves 10/10, ive become so absorbed in Albion that ive barely scratched the surface of the plot!


October 26, 2008, 4:54 pm

Last line was a bit harsh there son, its only a game. Calling someone pathetic because of his opinion is a bit steap.

I mean i do agree with some of your points, the game is good but far from a 10/10, you do have to wonder why the game got a perfect score especially when you look at all the other major reviews sites, giving Fable 2 nowhere near such a perfect score.

Having played the game fable 2 for a good few hours now, its definitely not in the same league as a game such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which you gave only a 9/10.

Now come on Andrew your telling me you think Fable is a 10/10 and the epic Oblivion is only a 9/10, which was the score oblivion got on this very site. Obviously 95% of the other game review websites do not agree with you Andrew.

Trusted reviews is one of my favourite sites for reviews and gadget news and i generally find the reviews fair but in this case its not the case.

Anyways thats my opinion, keep up the good work trustedreviews.

Oh any idea when you peeps will be reviewing the Xperia x1? :)


October 26, 2008, 6:04 pm


It's like a 10 year old wrote that comment. I'll respect your opinion once you have mastered the art of grammar.


October 26, 2008, 6:29 pm

Strong words ahlanalo. From my reading of the review, it just seemed that Stuart loved the game. There's nothing wrong with that. Plus, there's nothing wrong with you not agreeing with his score.

In the end, all reviews are just that - personal opinions. I suppose you also don't agree with the other places that have given this game a ten like Eurogamer? In the end, I thought this review was excellent, and it made me want to buy the game - pity it's not out on PC yet :)


October 26, 2008, 7:31 pm

Well i bought fable 2 on friday and i have to agree with everything in the review :) i really disliked the first fable but i just cant put this one down, dead space hasnt had a look in :) the graphics are gorgeous, the game is really funny in parts and so far the main quest is great and between that, pulling pints and setting up my real estate empire I have had alot to do :)


October 26, 2008, 7:31 pm

@ahlanalo: Dude! Seriously? As far as I am aware, Mr andrews is nowhere near being a fanboy. He has a very open mind about various games and express his opinion of those games through his reviews. Sure, we, as individuals may not agree with his review or reviews. However this does not give you the rights to insult him for his opinions.

Back to Fable 2, I personally thought the game was really well designed and very engaging but it also drags along a fair amount of flaws spoiling the gameplay. 10/10 would be right if you overlooked the technical issues of this game, a 9/10 would be much fairer. I agree with azza21 here, Oblivion is by far better than Fable 2 on every levels, personally rating Fable 2 higher than Oblivion is not really fair.


October 26, 2008, 8:02 pm

@ahlanalo - interesting argument you have there, Stuart is British, Lionhead is British, so he has to give Fable II a good review. Did you think of that all by yourself? I'm just curious, because there is no shortage of game developers based in the UK, but strangely Stu doesn't score their games 10 just by virtue of their geographic location.

But that aside, just like many so called gamers, you're forgetting the fact that games are supposed to be about having fun. As the review states, Stu has had a huge amount of fun playing Fable II. If you didn't have as much fun playing the game, that's fair enough, but that's no reason to call Stu "pathetic" just for having a different opinion to yours.

I've known and worked with Stu for over ten years, and I've not met anyone with a greater depth of knowledge on video games, Like myself, Stu has had owned every single game console since their inception, as well as sinking a worrying amount of cash into PC gaming hardware. I'm therefore very happy to trust Stu's opinion, and would have been playing Fable II myself by now, had Hugo not half inched my copy of the game while I wasn't looking :)

A quick look at Game Rankings, shows that the majority of reviewers have rated Fable II at 90% or above, and that last point generally comes down to how much you, personally, have enjoyed a game. Which is why we've given so few 10 ratings for games over the years.

@LastDay - you've hit the nail right on the head. There is always something wrong with any product, whether that be a game, a camera or a TV, but if you insist on dropping overall points off for every little niggle, then nothing can ever get a top mark.


October 26, 2008, 8:09 pm

@azza21 and Wilfried - I appreciate your point about Oblivion, but I do feel that you need to be a far more serious gamer to get the best out of Obvlivion - it's a massive game that takes a fair amount of commitment to even scratch the surface. The point that Stuart made in the Fable II review is that it's ludicrously accessible, despite having depth of gameplay.


October 26, 2008, 9:03 pm

@Riyad - Sorry buddy I do not agree with you on this one. Oblivion sure is a massive game but the only adds to the the experience. You do not have to be a serious gamer to enjoy oblivion and its wonderful world at all.

Your right Fable 2 is fun and easier to pick up/understand, ludicrously accessible as you call it but that's not a good enough reason to class fable 2 above oblivion in anyway.

You ask any reviewer that question what game is better and although you would get a few variation, I think you know a a massive percentage would say Oblivion wins hands down.

I do respect the fact that it is Andrew opinion, I just do not in anyway see how Fable 2 gets a better score then Oblivion, its not even close.


October 26, 2008, 10:15 pm

*sigh* Guys, what I said was "Oblivion is by far better than Fable 2 on every levels". I do not disagree with Stu's review, in fact I found it to be a great review. Oblivion delivers so much more depth than Fable 2, that is my opinion. Based on that, and the technical glitches of Fable 2, I personally believe than Fable 2 should not be rated higher than Oblivion.


October 27, 2008, 1:49 am

azza, I am a serious gamer and I couldn't stand Oblivion. I found it frankly uninviting and uncompelling. The only thing I found at all entertaining about the game was Patrick Stewart's short roll.

Fable 2 is far and away the best game I have played for a long time - probably since Portal, HL2 Ep 2 and Bioshock almost a year ago now.


October 27, 2008, 4:37 pm

I'm a serious gamer too and as much as I like Oblivion (I really do) it is a MASSIVE game and that could well put a lot of people off. I do also think that Oblivion is so big it can get a bit boring, as (as a player) you can lose focus.


October 27, 2008, 5:27 pm

Spot on Stu. A wonderful game that deserves praise for it's bold design.


October 27, 2008, 6:55 pm

I'm with Hugo on this, I though Oblivion was a huge let down. The 3rd person view was shoddy, unwieldy, seemed like an after thought and frankly would have been more at home in games of the 90s, and the first person view didn't feel fantastic either. It lacked polish.

But that's my opinion.


October 27, 2008, 7:27 pm

I loved Oblivion, and I love Fable II - I thought I would get that point out the way straight away. I remember pre-ordering Oblivion - and once past the opening credits and first scene, being incredibly irritated by long, long, long load times (sometimes as much as 10-15 minutes when going from from exterior to interior or vice-versa). This was fixed in an update, so it became the game we know (and the game I love lol). Fable II has it's own quirks (no on-screen map or even compass, for instance - which in part is mitigated by the breadcrumb-trail) - but at the end of the day, reviews are down to one person's opinion. You may disagree with the review, which is why there are these comment facilities. But when disagreeing, it would be useful to be constructive as to *why* you're disagreeing with the body of the review. Just shouting "FANBOI!!" and posting a troll is no way to encourage someone. Just my two'pennorth.


October 27, 2008, 9:52 pm

I have not yet played Fable II - something I'm seeking to rectify in the very near future :D - but must say that I (as a faithful and longtime gamer) was also quite disappointed with Oblivion. I far preferred some of the earlier versions, and became so bored I actually stopped playing halfway through (perhaps due to many hours of exploration before getting onto the main stroyline).


October 28, 2008, 1:19 pm

I played a bit of Fable, and I found it to be too awkward and annoying. I seemed to have trouble controlling the character - he wouldn't face the way I wanted to when talking to people. It could be a great game, but I couldn't get into it.

I found Oblivion the same, funnily enough, but for different reasons. I managed to get through the first dungeon and then got completely bewildered as to what I was supposed to do or where to go, and by that stage the combat was driving me nuts. I messed about for a bit then switched it off and went back to playing my DS or something.

I suppose the point I'm making here is that I don't think you can say Fable shouldn't be rated higher than Oblivion, as if Oblivion was some perfect ideal of gaming. Obviously you played it and loved it, but if it was that good, everyone else would love it as well - which isn't the case. Best you can do is agree to disagree, just like I am - I mean, I think they're both crappy games, but that's because I had no fun playing either. I'll happily accept that other people played them both and had fun, and I don't feel the need to push my opinion as fact.

Matthew Bunton

November 10, 2008, 12:48 pm

I was hugely disappointed with this game it just felt like a dumbed down RPG why don't we get games like Gothic 3 on the 360?

I actually preffered the first Fable probably because back then it was very fresh whereas the sequel hasn't improved enough for me and has lost some of its charm.

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