I woke up today thinking about Fable II for some reason. I remember when this game came out and everyone lost their minds over it. I was still in school at the time and although I only got it a few years after its release (I still remember that day as on the way home I was caught in a bad hail storm)I must have read the booklet that came with the game (remember those!) a dozen times over. The world of Albion was exciting, the way you could integrate yourself into society, albeit lightly, was a unique dynamic. Fable II may have had extremely simple combat and a loose storyline, but one thing it did right was deliver its charm. Walking down the street and seeing the characters in the town square of Bowerstone either scoff at you (because you are evil or own every shop and raised taxes to an obscene amount) or greet you (because you are a swell guy or gal) really pulled me into the world more and made me think about what I was doing. Combat and levelling was simple enough. Many complained it was too simple and as I grew older, I realised this too. But I am still drawn to the world of Fable II.
With Fable IV on the horizon, I’m excited. I am a tad cautious because it is being done by a new team, Playground Games, who have never done a game like this before so it will be interesting to see how a team that makes good car games adapts to an open world RPG which can be slower paced at times. Also, Fable’s humour was very dry and crude back in the day, I can’t help but wonder how that may be watered down in today’s climate. Personally, I hope it isn’t as a part of Fable’s charm was that dry tongue-in-cheek humour.
Fable II is by no means perfect, but it still stands as one of my favourite games from the Xbox 360 era.