When most people think of games that defined the Xbox console, many will gravitate towards the Halo or Gears of War series. While those options make sense and are undoubtedly true, the Fable series is typically never mentioned. This is a crime on the gaming community’s part, as Fable helped to redefine the RPG genre and produced some of the best games ever released for the Xbox. Whilst some editions of Fable left a lot to be desired by its loyal fanbase, the second instalment of the series, Fable 2, is arguably the pinnacle of the series and one of the finest games to have been released for the Xbox.
For the uninitiated, the Fable series is a collection of medieval fantasy RPG’s that give the player control of a Hero with who they can traverse the world with. The reason why Fable is so special is that it was set in Old Britain, which makes sense given that Lionhead Studios are British developers. This allowed the game to stand apart from other giants in the RPG genre such as The Elder Scrolls or Final Fantasy series, which typically have respective noticeable American and Japanese influences. For those who live in the UK, Fable presented a wonderful look into British life, albeit that of medieval British life.
The Fable series can be characterised by its wit and emphasis on clever, humorous writing that keeps players engaged and always wanting to go that bit further. Fable 2 had this quality in droves, and all the other aspects one would expect from an RPG game. Players could unlock new skills, purchase homes, create families. Something unique to the game though was the renown system, where the exploits of the Hero would be added to a running total throughout the game. If the player decides to be a good Hero and do honourable actions, then they will develop angelic-like features and most people in the world will react positively to them. On the other hand, if the player decides to be a bad hero, they will grow devil-like horns and will be hated by the residents of Albion.
It was innovations like the renown system that led to Fable 2 becoming such an acclaimed game, both commercially and critically. The coming-of-age story of revenge was gritty and did not shy away from illustrating the most complex of themes. Considering the game was released in 2008, the size and depth of the world were brilliant and rivalled some other games that were released around the same time including the popular The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. One standout feature was the ability to play ‘pub games’, mini-games that resembled those that can be played at online casinos, find some at casinogenie.org, and shows how dedicated the developers were to providing their players with hours of content to work through.
Fable 2 has a loving fan base, and it was widely accepted that it is a game of quality, but it was overshadowed by other giants in the industry. It must be said how
revolutionary the game was though, and it paved the path for many other RPGs
that would release in later years, such as the bestseller The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. "