Fable 2 has got some funny ideas when it comes to innovation. A few months ago, when creator Peter Molyneux introduced the concept of love and attachment in a videogame, we were disappointed to discover he was only referring to a dog. But then he explained how the player's personal attachment to a pet could be manipulated in order to create genuine emotion... and we started to believe.
The newest gameplay revelation also left us scratching our heads at first. In an effort to make Fable 2's combat as simple as possible - so intuitive that "anyone can play" - the developers have mapped all punching, kicking, brawling and sword fighting to a single button. You can and will fight entire battles, against massive groups of enemies no less, with nothing more than the X button.
We already know what you're thinking, because we were thinking the exact same thing - button masher. No matter how many jaw-dropping kills the onscreen hero pulled off or how many stylish slow motion close-ups the camera cut to, all Molyneux appeared to be doing was tapping the same blue button over and over. Sure, stabbing a guy behind you without even looking is cool, but how can we be immersed in that moment if we don't feel we're the ones creating it? Will Fable 2's combat play out more like a movie than a videogame?
Not necessarily. Molyneux and crew have worked hard to squeeze as much variety into that one button as possible. The moves you perform aren't random at all, in fact, but heavily dependent on factors such as timing, environment and weapon selection. Factors that are all within your control. Tapping X in a regular combat situation, for example, might result in an ordinary sword slash. Tapping it in extremely close proximity to a foe, on the other hand, could produce a nasty head butt. Press the button near a bottle on the ground and your hero will pick it up and throw it; press the button near a wall and your hero will smash his opponent up against it.