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Fable II by Lionhead Studios

Title Fable II
Director Lionhead Studios
Producer Microsoft Game Studios
System Xbox 360
Year 2008

Teaser In order to save Albion, a hero must decide whether he or she is going to use his or her powers for good or evil. Gather the other heroes together and save the world from chaos and destruction.

Plot Summary The sequel to the hit game Fable (2004), Fable II takes place five-hundred (500) years later in the land of Albion (modeled after the Enlightenment period) ruled by Lord Lucien. Sparrow – the main character – though a street waif in the beginning of the game, is revealed to be a descendant of heroic origins. He or she (depending upon the player's decision) is charged with the quest of gathering three heroes in order to defeat Lord Lucien and stop him from completing the rebuilding of the Tattered Spire – a massive tower capable of granting the master of the structure a great power. The player's choices and actions while recruiting Hammer, the Hero of Strength; Garth, the Hero of Will; and Reaver, the Hero of Skill determine whether the character is good or evil, moral or unjust all the while his or her appearance shifts to reflect these directions, shaping the actions and reactions of the other characters. It is up to the player to decide where to take this game.

Critical Evaluation This game was a much anticipated release in its time for good reason. As a sequel to a hit game, it had big shoes to fill, and it managed to surpass the quality of the original. The customizable character with the sliding moral and goodness scale as well as the appearance change were fantastic ideas and keep players entertained throughout. Players also greatly enjoy the dog companion whose connection to Sparrow allowed for similar reflective changes. It is the simple details such as these that truly set the game apart. Also of note is the concept of greater interaction with the people around the towns. Instead of set scripts, players have a wide range of options from adoring to terrorizing the secondary characters which makes for more customizable game play. There are two downsides to this game as a whole, however. First, the graphics, while decent, were not spectacular and could have used more work. Second, the game needs more direction within the game play. Should a player put the game down for a while and forget what he or she was doing, the player must run around trying to remember what he or she was working on instead of opening a game log as is the case in other games.

About the Director Lionhead Studios is a British computer and video game company founded in 1997. It started as a breakaway company from the British company Bullfrog Productions (founded 1987) but was bought by Microsoft Game Studios in 2006. Peter Molyneux is currently the head of the Surrey based company.

The company's first game was released in 2001, titled Black & White. After enjoying mediocre success from that, Lionhead Studios released the ground-breaking Fable (2004) which drew the attention of Microsoft Company and led to the purchase of the company. They have since produced Fable II (2008) and Fable III (2010) and are currently working on a new game titled Milo and Kate for the new Xbox Kinect sensor device controller.

Primary Genre Adventure

Secondary Genres Action/Fantasy/History

Curriculum Ties History

Booktalking Ideas

1) How does the ever changing appearance of the character reflect the actions he or she takes?

2) Do the moral decisions of the character reflect what you would actually do or are they done more for fun?

Interest Age 15+

Challenge Issues Non-graphic sex, Homosexuality

1) Become familiar with the context of the sexual situations.
2) Become familiar with similar games and their content levels and situations.
3) Get reviews from teenagers and adults familiar with the game.

Why is it included? This is a classic game for the Xbox 360 and is considered a favorite by teenagers.