Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Real Step Towards Human Emotion

It seems pretentious to say a game made five years ago can surpass a game made one year ago. Visually and aesthetically, the argument is unfounded. Fable 2 looks and sounds vastly superior then its predecessor. With a new age in HD graphics, the beautiful world is brought to life right before your eyes. With full support for Dolby Digital Surround Sound, the sound is marvelous. Delivering you the breath of life to the fantastical world of Albion. There is almost no deterrent to your overall experience on a technical level whatsoever. This is perhaps the only revolutionary step for the genre to be found in your ten hour experience in Fable 2.
To further add to the overall experience, the way your quest starts out and the general structure of the game are very similar. First and foremost, the two games are very similar to one another. You can find many of the same wonderfully orchestrated scores entwined in the same places. Whether you are shopping, visiting a temple or fighting bandits, the music is virtually identical in both games. Who cares? So I've just stated that a sequel is similar to the original game. Wheres the validity in stating that?

Well, despite having so many features in common, the "newer" Fable lacks emotional depth. Yes, Peter Moloneux has stated often before this game's release that he wanted real human emotion in his game. Like many developers before him, his intention was to include an outlet to further validate your choices as a good and evil character. By giving the player more attachments, the developer can weigh your morality choices in a more profound manner. As a result, you are given a dog and a family that morphs into your morality alignment. Be it good or evil, the "world" changes based on your actions and decisions. Its been done multiple times before and often times its done with shallow panache. This time it seemed that Peter Moloneux would succeed, thus driving forth a revolutionary new concept in the RPG genre.

It however did not accomplish or fill any of these lofty expectations. Instead, the player is forced to care for an annoying furry animal. Yes, it saves you in the very beginning of the game and it adds nostalgic value, but that is the extent of its usefulness. It exists as nothing more then a glorified item finder, and as such is a very detached character from the overall game play. Even your family exists as nothing more then a virtual high five. They applaud your good deeds and condemn your evil actions. How am I supposed to pour care and devotion to something that feels so cold and robotic?
The first game does away with these superfluous concepts. It offers an often times cliched childhood story of revenge but it does so with emotional weight. (to be continued)

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