Fable 2

Ah Fable, the game that promises too much, and can never deliver on such grand claims. The first Fable just seemed like it was incomplete, it fell so short of the game that was promised, but it had a charm about it and you could see the potential was there.

Enter Fable 2 and while this game is clearly a more polished, finished product, its inability to truly be the game that it sets out to be illustrates the fact that its ambitions are perhaps too great.

I sunk a lot of hours into this game, and I got a lot of good gameplay out of it, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit let down by it. It’s a little unfair perhaps – I did enjoy playing it, but I’m left feeling, just like the first Fable that it could’ve been so much more. I’m a little torn as to how I should rate it, a very good game, but disappointing at the same time.

Four stars, but I liked the original better because it was fresh and I felt that I could forgive it for its over ambitious concept, this time, less so.

Gears of War 2

I burned through Gears of War 2 in a short space of time, and was left wondering if the game was too short, or actually just right and all other games were too long.

When you consider that video games can cost over $100 I suppose you really want to be able to get your money’s worth. The problem I have is that often games feel like they’re being padded with repetitive gameplay in order to eek out a few extra hours from you.

Gears of War 2 is lean, you get through the campaign quickly and it feels satisfying without ever being close to tedious. The added advantage is that it has a rich multi-player element which means that once you’ve finished with the campaign (which was at best 8-10 hours) there’s still plenty more to play for.

Gears 2 is pretty much an upgrade of the original – it has all the things that made the first game great and has tried to build upon it. Larger scale battles, sharper graphics, and a few extra combat features. Haven’t touched the multiplayer yet, but the new Horde mode looks promising.

It seems there’s a solid focus on the multi-player aspect, which explains the short single player campaign, and in turn accounts for the majority of the achievements, which meant that after finishing the game I had barely made a dent in the available achievement points – oh well, I’ll just have to jump on Xbox Live and endure getting pWned by some obnoxious 10 year old kids from Nebraska.

Four stars.

Gears of War

Just finished Gears of War, and I can understand all the fuss. Beautiful graphics, fast, frenetic and fun gameplay – ¬†what other game offers a machine gun with a chain saw bayonet?? Addicitive from start to finish. No wonder so many games are copying the “duck and cover” mechanics. This game rocks. The final boss battle was surprisinglyeasy, but that may have also been because I had a bit of help playing online co-op with my mate Jeff.

Four stars.