It could happen to you

Here is Seth Schiesel’s own experience. Thankfully, a fable is all it was:

I was an honorable man when I began my quest for ultimate power.

In my youth I was a hero. I put others’ needs before my own. I sacrificed my body to protect the innocent. Lionized far and wide, I returned home after years battling my nation’s enemies, a paragon of virtue.

Then I turned to politics. I married an aristocrat. I built a fortune in the beer business. And as my wealth grew, so did my quest for power. With the highest office in the land within my grasp, I was seduced into betraying my principles. I turned from the path of righteousness and fell into corruption. I sacrificed my honor in desperate lust to become king.

That’s how I have played Fable II, the delightful and provocative role-playing game from Microsoft for the Xbox 360. How you play is entirely up to you.

More Here: Date With Destiny of Your Choosing

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you what the game is really like (some critics say it is overated), but I found that one review, in and for itself, so delightful that I just had to post it here. The article was published several months ago already and so here is the rest of it, just in case the link disappears:

    Fable II is a thoroughly insightful piece of entertainment wrapped in a colorful, almost deceptively simple package. It engages in its second-by-second interaction, but more important, it also provides the broad capacity for players to explore the depths and limits of their own morality.

    Peter Molyneux, the game’s designer, has spent two decades examining the trade-offs between virtue and expedience and the relationship between rulers and ruled. Many games place the player in a position of virtual power, but Mr. Molyneux, perhaps alone among major designers, has focused on the consequences of how power is achieved and exercised.

    With his first hit, Populous (1989), he practically invented the “god game” genre, making the player a deity with power over a planet. His game Black & White, released in 2001, reprised that dynamic with more nuance, with the player as either a vengeful or beneficent Jehovah.

    But Black & White and the first Fable, released in 2004, felt a bit undercooked; their execution fell short of their ambition. In that sense, Fable II is a vindication for Mr. Molyneux. With this game he puts to rest the aura of overblown hype and perplexing disappointment that has surrounded him for all these years, even as he has been inducted into the Order of the British Empire and awarded a French Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. Fable II is his best work.

    And that is because, instead of the top-down approach of a game like Populous or Black & White, Fable II spins its magic from the beginning of life upward.

    In Fable II, the player begins as a penniless street urchin of perhaps 10 years old in the windswept gutters of an Enlightenment-era city. From the very beginning the player is presented with moral choices — say, whether or not to help a merchant save his warehouse or help bandits sabotage it. Years later, when you return to the city, your choices will have determined how your old neighborhood evolved.

    The basic mechanics of battling foes with spell and sword are fun and provide the requisite eye candy. But far more impressive is how Fable II’s land of Albion comes to feel like a real world where you, the player, can choose your own destiny, even in your personal life.

    There is no graphic intimacy, but Mr. Molyneux makes a brave statement by incorporating the very basic facts of life in Fable II. You can flirt, lead a willing partner to a bed and have sex (you hear some ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but the screen is black). You must choose between safe and unsafe sex (condoms can be bought at a general store). Unsafe sex can lead to a disease, pregnancy or both. If you’re female, the baby is yours. If you’re male, you can decide to get married or run off.

    Bigamy is an option (just hope you don’t get caught). Neglect your spouse and you’ll be divorced. Or pay attention and keep a mistress or boy toy on the side, if you like. There are lesbian, gay and bisexual characters.

    As for building your empire, almost every house and business in the game’s various cities and towns is for sale. Most games end when you defeat the big, bad evil guy, and that took about 15 hours in Fable II. It is a testament to the game that I was eager to put in another 10 hours amassing my holdings to become king. I married a rich wife with a big dowry, which I used to help buy up all the taverns and bars.

    And then I fell into temptation. I began to exploit the people who counted on me. Cynically, I spent money on clothes and houses that I hoped would convince the population of my good intent while I secretly began to assassinate my rivals. I entertained the masses lavishly in public, while at night I changed policies to extract maximum capital from peasants and workers.

    That’s my Fable II. Thankfully, a fable is all it is.