Fable 2

The Great Fable 2 Achievement Conspiracy

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It is with great regret that I write this news story; especially after things started so positively for Fable 2 and its hugely original achievement list. Let me first point out that in no way shape or form does this affect Fable 2 as a game, because in the end it’s still an amazing experience that I recommend to everyone.

Let me start off by making everyone aware of Microsoft’s achievement policy, as posted by the Gamerscore Blog team themselves and I'd like to bring your attention to the first rule:

All regular disc-based games MUST have 1,000 Gamerscore in the base game. This means that any consumer who buys a retail game will have the opportunity to unlock the full 1,000 Gamerscore without having to pay for any add-on content. Note that a publisher may decide to deliver a portion of this Gamerscore via add-on content, but the add-on content will always be free to the consumer.

This is a pretty much accepted policy across the board ... or so I thought.

Now, having put over 50 hours in to Fable 2 already, along with plenty of other forumites who were in my boat, it appears that Lionhead must not have got this Microsoft memo. Even worse is, that it managed to get through the final stages of testing and certification without it being noticed.

The achievement under the limelight here is the aptly named “Completionist” achievement whereby it requires gamers to max out all their abilities and gain all their hero’s and dog’s expressions. Fair enough you think? Well, the fact that two of these expressions (one for the dog and one for your hero (Hat, Hairband, Moustache and the dog’s Backflip) can only be unlocked by playing the Xbox Live Arcade Pub Games title is enough to make Fable 2 a violation of Microsoft’s own rule.

However, before being hasty and posting this, I checked every inch of the Albion; unlocking all the Demon Doors and buying every piece of property ... Still nothing.  Even the Brady Games Guide says that you need to unlock them via the Xbox Live Arcade title. However, the optimist inside of me, still screamed, “don’t jump to conclusions” ... So I didn’t.

The next logical step was to speak to Lionhead themselves and what better than on their forums where they recently commented that they “might be silent on these boards, but we are watching and listening to you, the community, and are looking into all serious issues that are bought to our attention.” After little attention or response by anyone to my thread, I PM’ed the link to Lionhead’s Community Manager, Sam Van Tilburgh and to my amazement, the thread was deleted a day or so later without any word of warning.

However, you must love the beauty of cache in this day and age because Google managed to keep my thread safe and sound which you can view in image format here. I'm sure many of you will agree that I raise a valid point in a polite and constructive manner which should not warrant a delete.

So I put these questions to you ... Why did Lionhead delete our thread without response if they didn’t have something to hide? Why of all games, did Microsoft’s beloved Fable 2 get away with breaking the achievement policy? What do they intend to do about this?

And before someone raises the “see another Hero do so” issue; someone must have had to buy it originally to spread the achievement. If that surely is the reason, then it seems a weak way of upholding the rules by allowing for different loopholes to play out. Oh, and before I get the “you’re bitter because you haven’t got it yourself”, I was lucky to get in as a friend achieved it very recently.
This isn't the first time we've had the unusual bending of the achievement policies; with The Orange Box getting above the original 99 achievements with some upcoming DLC and Halo 3 getting a mind boggling 1750 points, the road points to uncertainty for the system. Even the recent Rock Band stuff is making the system a bit of a mockery. What is the point in having rules and policies in place if they are going to be broken so regularly?

Our main concern however is that this doesn't open the floodgates and encourage other developers and publishers to start making this a common occurrence. It needs to be stomped before it can escalate.

In the meantime, we've gone to Microsoft for an answer and we'll update you when/ if they get back to us. If people want to voice their disgust, head on over to the Lionhead forums, but please do it in a constructive and polite fashion.
Thoughts, questions, outrage ... Whack it all in the comments.


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Game Info
Lionhead Studios


US October 21, 2008
Europe October 24, 2008

Backward compatible on Xbox One: Yes
Price: $19.99USD
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