A tale of swords and souls, eternally retold.

Fable 2 probably has a fantastic story, but I wouldn’t know because I still haven’t managed to venture much further than Bowerstone Market, the central town location that you first encounter once you’ve passed the introductory child stage of the game. For why? Because the game feels so much like a world, in a way that I wish MMOs could but which they never do, that I haven’t felt compelled yet to follow the instructions given to me by the mysterious woman with the delicious sultry voice of Zoë Wanamaker, to go and be a hero. I’m happy being an ordinary citizen.

Well, I say ‘ordinary’…

Admittedly, my game so far wouldn’t make for much of a re-telling as a tale of yore, unless you like hearing about the deeds of a heroine who spends her entire time in a small market town making swords so that she can buy hot pants, a corset and a wizard hat to wear. The story continues with our heroine seducing and then marrying a vastly be-bosomed member of the same sex and setting her up in their home, which is a small gypsy caravan just outside town. Whereupon our heroine then attempts to make vast amounts of money by crafting yet more sword blades (not sure that the corset and wizard hat are really smithy-suitable clothing, although at least the hot pants are aptly named), only taking time out from behind the forge to travel back to her caravan – with minor diversions along the road to dig up condoms found by her faithful canine companion Vendingmachine – in order to bed her spouse who seems rather demanding when it comes to the amount of time required to be spent scissor fighting in the bedroom.

So basically what I’m saying is that, so far, Fable 2 has been like playing through the first few chapters of some of the more lurid fantasy fanfic to be found on the Internet.

As such I’ll leave the fact that our heroine is known throughout the land by the title ‘Dog Lover’, yelled by town criers wherever she goes, to your own imaginations.

I’m still not certain as to whether any of this is

a) A reflection on the game.
b) A reflection on me.
c) A Good Thing.
d) All of the above, but mainly b).

Suffice it to say that I keep returning to play the game, so it can’t be all bad, but perhaps at some point I should venture out and try to advance the plot of the story, such that mine is a tale that veers slightly more towards the epic and less towards the pornographic.

4 thoughts on “A tale of swords and souls, eternally retold.

  1. DM Osbon

    Should be getting a 360 very soon, does Fable 2 do the system proud? Do you think it’s only the ‘living world’ feel that MMOs could emulate or are there other areas of the game that devs should take heed of(what with console MMOs likely to appear next year)?

  2. Melmoth

    From a graphical standpoint I find it to be very ‘World of Warcraft’, the graphics are not the stunning high def extrrrrrravaganza that I’ve witnessed in other games, but the art style and direction are first class, which to be honest is often far more important to realising a world than being able to count the individual eyelashes on your character.

    It’s hard to really explain the ‘living world’ feeling I get from Fable 2, or at least it’s difficult to quantify it, and perhaps that’s what makes it so good: it’s hard to break it down into numbers of X and Y with regards to AI, travel times, mini games and such. It’s perhaps one of those ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ situations, and it’s very hard to see why. It just is. Or maybe some clever MMO developer will be able to see why, in which case good on them, and that would be the reason they’re a game developer and I’m an armchair designer.

    I think MMO developers should definitely look closely at Fable 2, because it’s clear that the game has borrowed from MMOs in many ways, and I think it would be remiss or even negligent of MMO developers to not try to work out why Fable 2 succeeds in feeling more like a real world. As for other things in Fable 2 that could be emulated by MMOs, well, the gaining of experience is actually made fun, or at least made into a visceral thing, something that is so simple and yet makes me tingle with joy when I use it, but maybe that’s just me; combining this experience ‘gathering’ with the fact that the experience to be had depends on how you to choose to fight – such that if you prefer melee you will gain more melee experience to spend on improving your melee skills – is empowering the player to be who they want to be in the world, which I think is something that many, many MMO players deeply desire.

    In the end, though, it may simply be that the game is the reduced sauce of MMOs, i.e. by being able to remove all the extraneous cruft that is required for a world that has to support many hundreds of real players, you get something that is essentially the same as the original, just a thicker, richer experience.

  3. Melmoth

    I do indeed have Dragonchasers on the ol’ RSS feed, and enjoyed the post a lot. He comes up with some good points, and I find it very interesting that he also hasn’t experienced much of the story because he is so busy being distracted by the immersion of the world.

    Thanks for the link though, I’m always interested to see which blogs other people are reading, in case I’ve missed them in my web-based travels.

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