Microsoft Fable II
The original Fable promised gamers the world but upon its release many players lamented the unexplained absence of many promised features.
- Large number and variety of activities, lots of world and character customisation, stunning storybook graphics, flexible and enjoyable combat
- Unsatisfying main campaign, enemies present little challenge, dog isn't terribly interesting, some irritating questing quirks
Lots of games claim you can go anywhere and do anything inside their worlds. The trouble is, once you've eluded the cops for the umpteenth time, the whole exercise starts to feel hollow when your actions leave no lasting impact. What makes Fable II so thoroughly absorbing, despite a few notable shortcomings, is the heady illusion that every choice you make sends ripples through the world, its people, and your own simulated heart.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
The original Fable promised gamers the world but upon its release many players lamented the unexplained absence of many promised features. Even though it ultimately turned out to be an exceptionally enjoyable game, and acclaimed designer Peter Molyneux apologised to his fans, the whole affair left a bitter taste in many mouths.
It's now four years later and it seems as if everyone involved has learned their lesson. As a result, the superior sequel, Fable II, is landing on store shelves with far more realistic expectations. What's most surprising isn't that the game exceeds those tempered expectations in almost every way that matters, but how well the many disparate activities come together to create a beautifully coherent whole.
Yes, you've been burned before when you bought into the fantastical promises that Peter Molyneux made but he's learned his lesson and so have you: the hype has been kept to a minimum and our expectations have been kept in check, which is a good thing for everyone involved. The developers can release a game to realistic expectations and gamers aren't left disappointed because they didn't get 'teh best game evar!!!!1111!!1!' But guess what: Fable II is pretty damn good, so you can safely let your expectations climb high, because chances are this full featured and wonderfully complex game will meet them.
Winds of Change
With the discovery of gunpowder, the realm has forgotten all about magic, and seems on the cusp of a new age that you're destined to help define. Our story begins on the mean streets of a Bowerstone slum, where a mysterious blind sage is encouraging two streetwise orphans to acquire a supposedly magical music box. From the moment a passing sparrow drops a nasty present on my young protagonist's head, I'm presented with quests that end with decisions instead of predetermined outcomes. Do I kill the beetles that infest a merchant's warehouse, or destroy the inventory for a local troublemaker instead? Once I've gathered a guard's lost warrants, do I return them in the interest of law and order, or sell them to a local thug? A fleeting choice determines whether this district becomes a thriving and law-abiding neighbourhood or an anarchic slum filled with wreckage and makeshift shacks. It's enough to make any city planner seethe with jealousy.
The main quest excursions that followed were a different matter, and led me to experience some disappointment in the early hours of play. As I journeyed through the towns, forests, and caves of Albion digging up information on an evildoer named Lucien, the decision-making punch of the introductory sequence and its profoundly tangible consequences went missing. My behaviour only affected how my motivations were presented, never the path I walked. Worse, I'd sometimes find an interesting hole to explore, only to be told that entering it would cause my game to "revert to a previous state and location." Huh? However, the moment I took a break to explore the multitude of quirky side quests and optional activities, the sense that my actions had a tangible impact on everything around me returned, and my experience changed drastically for the better.
City of Industry
Whether you're male or female, good or bad, there's an astonishing amount to do, and your deeds directly affect the list of available opportunities. As a good guy, I rescue slaves, hand out autograph cards, and pound an anvil for gold. As a villain, I assassinate strangers, slap anybody who looks at me sideways, and rob everyone blind. I gamble at surprisingly involved games of chance, sire and serenade offspring, garner titles from "Chicken Chaser" to "Chosen One," terrorise rich and poor alike, and make amends with community service. From moment to moment I could be a bounty hunter, a bartender, a real estate magnate, and more.
The diversions aren't simply idle timewasters, either. Act like a pillar of the community, and entire towns fall in love with you, merchants grant discounts, and you develop a bit of a halo. Make like the town psychopath, and crowds run scared, property values drop, and you take on a more sinister appearance. Even your expressions change: the twisted learn to extort, while the righteous learn to apologise. Every interaction and animation is informed by a distinctly British sense of humour, but the tone of the world changes to reflect your defining characteristics. As a result, the longer I spent in Albion, the more it felt like a real place. While the ridiculously overhyped dog does little beyond perform simple tricks, growl at and attack nearby monsters, and alert you to treasure locations, the deep, living world delivers a robust sense of connection. My only quibble is with a surprisingly minimal mapping system that offers little help with finding particular shops.
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Xbox One X
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSERVICE DESK - ENTRY LEVELSA
- FTICT Systems Support OfficerQLD
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerNSW
- FTIT Manager Desktop OperationsOther
- TPSAP Migration Module LeadNSW
- FTDesktop TechnicianSA
- FTNetwork and Telecommunications ArchitectOther
- FTProject Manager - Australian Citizens onlyOther
- FTService Manager - Solution ArchitectOther
- FTSenior IT Business AnalystOther
- TPFull Stack Developer - AWSNSW
- TPSupport Java RoleNSW
- TPInfrastructural DesignerNSW
- FTScrum MasterOther
- CCTest Analyst - BrisbaneACT
- CCIteration Manager - Insurance BackgroundQLD
- FTApplication Support Team Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- CCSystems / Storage EngineerWA
- FTSenior Java and AEM DeveloperOther
- CCWintel Engineer - BrisbaneNSW
- CCVirtualisation Network EngineerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service Desk AnalystOther
- FT0365 Consultant - Large Scale O365 ImplementationVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD