E3 2008: Fable 2 Impressions
07.17.08 - 1:21 PM

As many of our readers know (and e-mailed me when the review was originally posted), I wasn't a huge fan of the original Fable. The game had fairly entertaining combat, but the RPG elements of the game were shallow. At this year's E3, we had a chance to check out Peter Molyneux's XBox 360 debut, which seems to be shaping up to trump its predecessor significantly.

While Fable 2's core content is complete, the E3 demo was created specifically focused around the combat present in the title, which is far deeper than that of the original. The character in the demo was armed with a sword, rifle, and magic, all of which could easily be used with a tap of one of the face buttons. As well, holding any of the related buttons, X for melee attacks, Y for ranged attacks, and B for magic attacks, evoked more powerful abilities and, in the case of the rifle, the ability to aim your shot. It was fairly easy to combine different types and strength of attacks, making combat quite a bit more dynamic.

While we didn't get to explore many of the RPG elements in the game, do know that collecting experience orbs is similar in style, as holding down the right trigger will give the player different experience orbs that relate to the types of attacks used to defeat opponents. When I inquired about the length of the title, which was one of my major gripes with the original title, a Microsoft representative informed me that the game was designed to be "completable" by the average person and that the story would be similar in length to the first title. He did add, however, that there would be quite a bit more in the way of sidequests and alternate activities to do, which would boost length significantly for those who chose to explore them.

Will it be better than the first game? Undoubtedly, as Fable 2 is nothing if not an entertaining hack-and-slash based on the demo. Will it be a good RPG? That's a question that will be answered when Fable 2 launches in October.


John McCarroll