Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Developer: Lionhead Studios

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - Q1 2008

Intl - Q1 2008

Official Game Website

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Preview

E3 2007 Preview

Earlier this year at Game Developer’s Conference, game designer Peter Molyneux debuted his highly-anticipated sequel to the 2004 Xbox hit, Fable. In this appearance, he introduced some of the game’s new AI and companionship features, and showed how the gamer could forge a dynamic relationship with a dog within the game, which will act and react indirectly from your actions within the game.

At this year’s E3, Molyneux debuted a new element of Fable 2, the new combat system. He wants everyone who plays Fable 2 to finish it, but he feels that hardcore gamers should be able to create a truly super-charged hero. Therefore, the gameplay, including the combat system, will spread a very wide net, making an adaptable experience that anyone from any degree of gaming will be able to get into and play well.

Fable 2 Xbox 360 screenshots

Fable 2 will do this by mapping the melee combat exclusively to the X button. While button mashers will be comfortable in this route by simply pressing one button as much as they can, this might raise a big question mark for the hardcore gamers. However, Molyneux assures that they will find plenty to appreciate in the system.

Under the surface, Fable 2 will feature a countering system where pushing the X button at just the right moment will trigger a block or a counterattack, where you can stun your opponent and then quickly perform a death blow. You can also charge up attacks by holding down the button, and use environmental objects, anything from walls to bottles and rocks, in order to perform a crushing blow and finish the enemy off. Therefore, timing and location play a huge part in the combat mechanics, definitely appealing to gamers looking for a deeper experience.

Additionally, the course of the battle will affect the music itself. The soundtrack is dynamic, with drums growing more intense as more enemies appear and the battle really heats up and sound cues will play off of your attacks. The soundtrack will also change depending on whatever weapon you happen to be using.

The death mechanics have been changed substantially to. No longer will your player die when he is overcome by enemies, but rather get kicked to the ground and scarred up significantly. You’ll also have to barter with EXP or gold in order to get them back up off of the ground, adding a bigger incentive for the player to stay alive, more so than simply pressing a load button.

Fable 2 is becoming a very deep game, and those you found a problem with the previous game’s brevity will find a lot to love here. Look for it next year.

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The upcoming sequel to the smash hit action-RPG will offer a unique and widely accessible combat system.

Reviewer: Steven Hopper

Review Date: 07/13/2007


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