Preview: Fable 2

Good, bad. Gay, straight. Male, female. The choice is yours in Fable 2.

Fable 2 is the follow up to the oft maligned Xbox game, Fable. In Fable 2, players take control of a hero and is set loose in a world chock full of people and various adventures to pursue. You can choose to play the game however you like, but your actions will have consequences and will ultimately alter your entire persona.

Fable 2 is gearing up to be one of the premier titles for the Xbox 360 this holiday season. Peter Molyneux and his Lionhead Studios team have taken everything that was great about the original Fable and expanded on it to create an even more immersive experience for the player. We got a chance to check out some of the cooperative play during a Microsoft Fable 2 party and found that it was as much fun as the single player experience if not more so.

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Kill or be killed, the choice is yours. But beware, every action has a consequence.

A (not so) auspicious beginning

Every adventure has to start somewhere and Fable 2 is no different. It begins with the christening of bird crap atop your character's head, letting you know exactly where you stand in this new world of Albion. It's been over 500 years since the events of the original Fable and things have certainly changed. The graphical treatment of the city and its entire surroundings are absolutely stunning and the character models are much improved and yet still retain the flavor that Lionhead is famous for. A new menu system has been introduced that allows you more interaction with NPCs and tells you a little bit about their character: their sex, sexual preference, general attitude, etc. This is a welcome addition and really adds to the immersive quality of the game.

Bring a buddy

One of the most intriguing new features of Fable 2 is the inclusion of two player cooperative play both online and off. GamePro Previews Editor Travis and I took the controls to test it out and were quite pleased with the joint experience. The controls were easy to pick up and intuitive, allowing newer players to play along with Fable aficionados without much effort. We immediately went to work taking out a band of enemies and made short work of them with melee combos and gunshots. A trail of gold sparkles showed us the way we needed to go to complete the quest but thanks to the "open world" style of the game we were allowed to go off the main trail and into other areas. Don't worry if you get separated from your buddy, a simple button press will teleport the second player instantly to where the first player is. The second player essentially becomes your assistant or minion and even takes on some of the characteristics of the main character.

Co-op play can also be done through Xbox Live and has an interesting manifestation within the game. While traversing the world you will occasionally come upon a glowing orb that represents another player playing online. You can access the orbs at any time and decide how to interact with the other player. You can invite them in to your game or even give them a gift.

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Use an array of weapons and magic powers to fight your enemies.

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Flynn De Marco

GamePro (online)
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