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Fable II Previews, Molyneux Opinions 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-good-to-have-options dept.
Fable II is due out next month, so it's been making the rounds for previews. So has its creator, Peter Molyneux. He talks with Joystiq about the game's Co-op feature, which allows players to drop into the games of others, getting a look at how it would have played out had they made different choices. Molyneux also offered a frank interview to CVG about flaws in the game, such as poor lip-syncing and the occasional "low-spot." (This comes two weeks after he unabashedly rated it as a 9/10 game.) Joystiq also got several hours to preview the game, and Gamespy gave it a test drive recently as well.
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Fable II Previews, Molyneux Opinions

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  • Vid (Score:4, Interesting)

    by religious freak (1005821) on Monday September 15, 2008 @10:54PM (#25020593)
    Looks cool...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i94LVacr8RE [youtube.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by narcberry (1328009)

      Games should have more innovation than a "co-op" feature. Unimpressed.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by pdusen (1146399)
        What do you want, flying robotic bananas with giant knives for legs?
      • No, games should be fun.

        You can take a few tried and tested ideas and put them together well. You can also take some amazing new ideas, but implement them poorly. Ultimately the only thing that matters is whether the game is enjoyable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 3.14159265 (644043)
      "CGI trailer with no in-game gfx that may very well not have anything to do with any real gameplay whatsoever. Looks cool..."

      There, seems more reasonable now, albeit longer :)
      Offtopic:
      I still remember those Trespasser "screenshots" and trailers, and look it that one turned out.
      Still, for the hw at the time they actually did a good job! It was just too overhyped.
  • That means rent it, don't buy it. Chances are it will suck, just like the first Fable.
    • by darkstar949 (697933) on Monday September 15, 2008 @11:13PM (#25020743)
      The first Fable wasn't bad, just over hyped. As far as RPGs go it was actually pretty good. There were some interesting ideas in it as well that just didn't see a proper execution. If Fable II is what the fist one was intended to be then it should be a pretty good game.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by beakerMeep (716990)
        This is what I have found with just about all his games, they are good -- but he is some kind of megalomaniac of the game world.
      • by morari (1080535) on Monday September 15, 2008 @11:27PM (#25020845) Journal

        As far as RPGs go it was horrid. It was really more of an action adventure game with hints of interactivity. It was definitely entertaining, but far too easy and way too linear. More than anything, it showed a lot of missed opportunity. It was well worth playing regardless, especially with the added content and superior controls on the PC. I can't wait to do LAN co-op when the PC version of the sequel eventually hits.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          That's really why I liked it. It reminded me a lot of Quest for Glory.

        • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @05:01AM (#25022671) Journal

          As far as RPGs go it was horrid. [...] It was definitely entertaining [...] It was well worth playing regardless [...]

          Well, stop right there. Do you even listen to yourself? If it was "definitely entertaining" and "well worth playing", then WTF _did_ you expect from a _game_, and how does it make it "horrid"?

          Now I'm not going to tell you what to like and what not to like. Had you said that it just wasn't fun, ok, I'm not going to tell you what to find fun. But if it _did_ entertain you, how the heck does it count as "horrid"?

          "Horrid" is when you get get bored out of your skull, or rubs you the awfully wrong way, or generally you'd rather be in a dentist's chair instead of playing it. "Horrid" is when you can't think of any good reason why you played it in the first place, or why would anyone (of similar tastes) even look twice at the box on the shelf. "Well worth playing" and "definitely entertaining" is the bloody polar opposite of "horrid".

          Here's a thought: the _only_ thing a game must do, is entertain you. If it did that, mission f-ing accomplished. It doesn't matter _how_ it did it. Maybe it was different, maybe it was easier, maybe it was more linear than a straight line, or the elder gods know in what other way it differed from your preconceived notions. It doesn't matter. What matters is if you were entertained or not. That's it.

          Putting any other preconceived notions about what a game should include, above that, is mistaking means and goal. The goal is to entertain you. Anything else is just means and props. If it used different means, but reached the goal, who the heck cares? Why _do_ you care?

          And yes, maybe it wasn't perfect, and maybe there would have been opportunities to be even better. Same as any other game ever released. That just makes it, at best, less than perfect, not "horrid". There is no perfection. The only threshold it must clear is that "well worth playing" line. If you don't regret the money or the time you blew on it, then it seems to me like it is well within the bullseye. Maybe it didn't hit the exact centre of the target, but it didn't fail either.

          Geeze, Ì swear that some people buy so much into the group-think of what they should and what they shouldn't like, that they don't even try to use their head.

          • by pdusen (1146399)
            Holy shit, way to blow a cork. The guy was just saying it wasn't much of an RPG, but it was pretty awesome as other games go.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Chrondeath (757612)

            As far as RPGs go it was horrid. [...] It was definitely entertaining [...] It was well worth playing regardless [...]

            Well, stop right there. Do you even listen to yourself? If it was "definitely entertaining" and "well worth playing", then WTF _did_ you expect from a _game_, and how does it make it "horrid"?

            He didn't say it was a horrid game, he said it was a horrid RPG. Tetris is definitely entertaining and worth playing, but you wouldn't describe it as a great FPS.

          • Now I'm ... going to tell you what to like and what not to like. ... I'm ... going to tell you what to find fun. ... i ... rub... you ... and ...i... entertain you.

            If it did that, mission f-ing accomplished. It doesn't matter _how_ it did it. Maybe it was different, maybe it was easier, maybe it ...differed from your preconceived notions. It doesn't matter. What matters is if you were entertained or not. That's it. ...The goal is to entertain you. Anything else is just means and props. If i... used different means, but reached the goal, who the heck cares? Why _do_ you care?

            And yes, maybe it wasn't perfect, and maybe there would have been opportunities to be even better. Same as any other ...release... . That just makes it, at best, less than perfect, not "horrid". There is no perfection. If you don't regret the money or the time you blew ... me .... Maybe it didn't hit the exact centre of the target, but it didn't fail either.

            Geeze, Ì swear that some people buy so much into the group-think of what they should and what they shouldn't like, that they don't even try ... head.

            Your post reminded me of just how much you can change the premise of someone's post through the use of selective editing. (I actually didn't intend for it to go that direction, but I had to work with what was given.

            Back on topic, the guy wasn't talking about a horrid game that he enjoyed, he was saying that as an RPG it was horrid, but as an adventure game, it was pretty enjoyable. Certainly nothing deserving the rant you gave him.

          • by lymond01 (314120)

            You can use HTML tags such as bold and italics instead of _do_, etc. I understand that Rogue/Nethack managed to do great things with just the available characters on your keyboard, but this is the 21st century...

    • Lionhead would be able to release good quality games without anyone complaining about missing features if someone would just shove a sock in Peter's Mouth. He's my favorite game developer of all time largely because he has such great ideas, he just can't help but mouth off about them and that's how people end up disappointed. Irregardless, I enjoyed the first and am looking forward to this game, having completely avoided Peter's ramblings.
  • "Despite the flaws, the outspoken game designer says he's "incredibly proud" of what his team at Lionhead has managed to create. "You can measure me by this game," he said."

    Sounds to me like they were just pushed to release it and he's frustrated over not being able to polish what he called, "sideline issues." For me at least, this is one of the few 360 games I'll be buying any time soon.
  • Alright guys, you know the drill.

    Step 1: Overstate features, generate massive hype
    Step 2: Run out of time, cut 50% of promised features, nerf remaining 50%
    Step 3: Profit because nobody learned from Black & White and Fable.

    The only decent game the guy's made in his life is Dungeon Keeper 1.
    • by RedWizzard (192002) on Monday September 15, 2008 @11:45PM (#25020971)

      The only decent game the guy's made in his life is Dungeon Keeper 1.

      Um, Populous [wikipedia.org]? Or is that before your time?

      • I'm afraid it is. I almost mentioned Populous: The Beginning as I did enjoy it... for all of a day.
        • by Threni (635302)

          Populous was over rated, and it became something of a template for all the other games he's responsible for. I remember seeing screenshots and thinking `wow - this looks great` but then playing it and thinking `uh...when does the fun start?`.

      • by ji777 (1107063)
        I loved Populous... and I actually really loved Theme Park and Theme Hospital too. I actually had no idea that Peter had made them, but now that it has been pointed out, I kind of see some tie in with Fable in terms of character/humor. Of course, I could just be imagining that now.
    • by zannox (173829)

      Not true....he was part of my 2 of my favs game series. Magic Carpet and (wish I could find a copy again) the Syndicate series.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ...and (wish I could find a copy again) the Syndicate series.

        Bittorrent is your friend [mininova.org]. I remember playing Syndicate briefly a long time ago, so I'm not sure whether that is the same game at all, but worth checking out if the game is a favorite if yours. :)

        • From the description, it looks like syndicate 1... But I _know_ it had sound (and I can never get it working). Perhaps I should try the iso...

          Syndicate was awesome, and even without sound, I enjoy it... I really should save my games though.

          and after you play syndicate, try chaos overlords... I liked it so much, I'm 1/2 way through writing a clone (truth be told, I'm 1/2 way through quite a few projects).

        • by jaminJay (1198469)
          GIYF2 [google.com].
      • by Haeleth (414428)

        Ugh. Syndicate was awesome, but Magic Carpet was another classic case of "great idea, disappointing implementation". The graphics were incredible for the time, but the gameplay was repetitive and quickly became tiresome. I don't know anyone who got past the first few levels.

        Then again, as there was allegedly a bug that made it impossible to finish the game, maybe that was a good thing...

        • by Xian97 (714198)
          I got up to above level 30 before giving it up. It wasn't the repetition, but the difficulty ramped up when you had several wizards competing for the same resources.
        • I preferred Magic Carpet 2, much better atmosphere :)

  • by radimvice (762083) on Monday September 15, 2008 @11:39PM (#25020937) Homepage

    If the God of Hype himself is hesitant to give his own latest and greatest game AT LEAST a 10/10, then this must truly be his worst game production of all time...After all, 90% is most definitely the WORST self-imposed rating he has ever given one of his own games. Remember, each and every one of his previous releases has been a genre-defining, breakthrough masterpiece that changed the landscape of computer games for the next 100 years to come.

    The only other possible alternative is that Sir Molyneux has gained just a shred of humility.

    ...impossible. The game must be god-awful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aztektum (170569)

      I played a demo they brought to PAX'08. The control mechanics were miles beyond Fable. Unfortunately there was only one level to run through on rails to the end fight. You could, however, pick from melee, ranged, or magic templates and hop right in.

      Can't tell you anythin' about the story, but I will say I am actually considering finally buying a X360 for this.

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @02:19AM (#25021937)

      Did Molyneux run over your dog? Why so angry?

      Personally, I really liked the first Fable. I think the fact that I didn't have an XBox, and only played it later on the XBox 360 helped. I avoided the hype and went in without any real expectations.

      So he overhyped the last one. Who cares? Only fools buy into hype anyway.

      • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:59AM (#25022431)

        I don't think you quite realize the extent of things.

        Peter is famous for both being someone who brought us amazing games back in the 'pre-history' of PC gaming, but for being one of the most renown over-promisers of features in the 'new world' of PC gaming.

        He was the co-founder of one of the most revered (and lamented) old school game company's out there, Bullfrog. Most of their games are classics:

                * Populous (1989)
                * Populous II (1991)
                * Powermonger (1992)
                * Syndicate (1993)
                * Magic Carpet (1994)
                * Theme Park (1994)
                * Syndicate: American Revolt (1994)
                * Tube (Game) (1994)
                * Hi-Octane (1995)
                * Magic Carpet 2 (1995)
                * Genewars (1996)
                * Syndicate Wars (1996)
                * Dungeon Keeper (1997)
                * Theme Hospital (1997)
                * Populous: The Beginning (1998)
                * Theme Park World (SimTheme Park in the US) (1999)
                * Dungeon Keeper 2 (1999)

        But he's also the founder of Lionhead, whose games are pretty much known for being the worst overhyped games out there:

                * 2001 - Black & White
                * 2002 - Black & White: Creature Isle
                * 2004 - Fable
                * 2005 - Fable: The Lost Chapters
                * 2005 - Black & White 2
                * 2005 - The Movies
                * 2006 - Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods
                * 2006 - The Movies: Stunts & Effects

        These weren't horrible games, but you'd be hard pressed to make the argument that even one of them delivered half of what Peter sold the game as.

        We are talking about someone who sells magic beans to little children. Only in our case, the beans never bother to sprout anything but beans.

        If you go in expecting just beans, it's OK. You paid for beans and you got beans. But a lot of people have been burnt getting excited over his promises on games like Black & White and Fable and that makes most people a bit skeptical.

        • by Rog7 (182880) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @06:32AM (#25023065)

          I enjoyed Black & White. Fable was okay.

          Populous, Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper-- these were all truly amazing games for their time, although if you speak with Peter Molyneux, he will say of his own games (these included) that he wished he could have made them more 'complete'.

          PowerMonger is easily on my list of best games of all time, although the versions many saw (Sega Genesis port? ugh) weren't as impressive as the Amiga original. I only wish it could be remade, since the low resolution it was locked into is hard to tolerate now.

          I've also spoken with Peter Molyneux directly on several occasions at E3. He's charming and charismatic, his love for games comes across strongly and it shows as he's quick to excitedly talking about them.

          Whatever people feel like complaining about as far as overhype is concerned, if people like Peter Molyneux didn't do what they did, we'd have a lot less exciting games in the first place and a lot more corporate-pushed boredom.

          But hey, this is the Slashdot crowd right? Always eager to roast someone.

        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @08:11AM (#25023571) Journal

          If you look at the games, then the first ones are "simple" straightforward games that do one thing and do them well.

          The second batch tries to do a lot, but then fail to actually deliver on any front instead becoming a confusing mix of micro-management and rigid gameplay.

          Black&White failed because it tried to marry a creature sim with a empire building game with some RTS elements. None of them felt connected and it all just became a matter of baby sitting your civilisation and constantly having to attend to their needs with no AI to take care of the most mundane task. The creature part wasn't as rich as promised and the micro-manangement needs of your tribe soon wore your down and stopped you from exploring wandering until you just told you tribe to go screw it self.

          Fable again, what was it? A hack&slash, an RPG, a empire-builder? You had lots of elements, but what were they together. There was a story, a path of good and evil but what did it all do. The story itself, was far to linear, good was just looking out for yourself and evil just being mean.

          All that supposed complexity came at a price of the most simplistic combat this side of a gameboy, all weapons hit the same, wielded the same so it was just a matter of picking the one with the higest stats. The AI was moronic, none of the battles challenging.

          The movies tried to marry a movie creation program with a management game. The movie creation element was okay and people still create movies with them but the management element was buggy as hell (after a certain point, right in the middle of the depression, NOBODY would be looking for a job) and again, way to mired in micro-management forcing you to handhold your employees through every stage rather then being allowed to just get on with it. People who play the game have modded it to remove almost all management elements from the 'game' and just use it is a movie-maker.

          That is really this guys problem, he needs to focus on ONE aspect of his game and then do that well. Not try to make the mother of all games, combining every feature. If Molynoux ran a F1 team, F1 cars would have winches because winches are useful. It would however be a winch with a 1 meter cable. The prize would be that the car could only drive in 1st gear. But hey, it is a F1 car with a winch, nobody has ever done that before.

          No indeed, nobody has ever done games the way Molyneux has done them. Perhaps that is a clue.

        • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @12:29PM (#25026777)

          We are talking about someone who sells magic beans to little children. Only in our case, the beans never bother to sprout anything but beans.

          I would disagree with that. He's done a lot of very revolutionary things, especially with Black and White. However, he never finishes. It's like making out with a girl in the back seat, hitting second base, and then she disappears. It's awesome, and there's definitely some promise, but in the end you're frustrated and unable to finish it. After a while, you may even look back and think, "that was a lot of fun, maybe I should go back and do it again."

          • by Chyeld (713439)

            I bow to your superior metaphor. ^_^

            And to be clear, I do like his games. It's just frustrating that as good as his games are, they would be 1000% better had they actually been what he said they would be.

            It seems obvious that he actually believes what he says, he just never seems to be able to deliver on the promises.

          • by steveo777 (183629)

            Wow, you've used a car metaphor and a girl metaphor. Bravo

        • Still waiting for a Hi-Octane sequel... awesome game!

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        The first Fable was okay--not great, not bad, just okay. But Molyneux, as a person, is one of the most arrogant, self-absorbed pricks in the business (and that says a LOT in a business notorious for people like John Romero). He may be the only modern game designer that can over-hype even Will Wright. We're talking a Mick Jagger level of cockiness. Listening to his build-up to Black & white and Fable, you would think that they would change the ways games are made (and cause players to spontaneously orgas

        • Knowing the man's tendency to overstate, why listen to him? I've thoroughly enjoyed many of his games and would ordinarily lap up every nugget of press coverage I could find, but I go out of my way to avoid coverage because I know it will add to my enjoyment of the game later. I did the same with Spore. I think it's better to play a game without knowing what was omitted.

          Molyneux is a worldsmith. He makes lush universes that you can lose yourself in. He adds tons of personality (art style, voice acti
    • by Joker1980 (891225)

      The only other possible alternative is that Sir Molyneux has gained just a shred of humility.

      Now thats a real fable

  • by FishAdmin (1288708) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @07:17AM (#25023289)
    Let's see if you can get your combat multiplier *even higher!*
  • Yahtzee already did the first one before he got his gig...
    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=jYQLR7dE5k4 [youtube.com]

    I can't wait to see if his new review is simply a rehash of this or if he just plays it again and adds 2 to every mention of fable.

  • Shouldn't these "other game" post just stop? W.o.W. Dot needs to focus on W.o.W..

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