Thursday, 30 October 2008

So, I'll just bend over, and Peter Molyneux, if you'd like to just insert...

So, guess what I picked up 2 days ago? I'll give you a hint:


Yup, I got Fable 2! After well over a year of waiting I finally traded in half my 360 and PSP game collection to get the game of my dreams.

Now anyone who'd been following the progress of Fable 2 knows that Lion Head Studio has been dropping the ball on this one, and by dropping I mean throwing it down a well then squatting over the side and dropping a fresh crap on top of it...enjoy that image. There was the issue with the taking out of all the cool pre-order stuff, then the loss of the pre-order download stuff, then some freezing issues...this is where I come into it, and my wonderful tempting karma to kick my ass. I was reading Kotaku's story about the freezing issue a day before it hit the UK so I kinda took pleasure in the fact the US got the game before us but it was still buggy thinking they'd push to fix that before the European foolish of me. I ran home with my copy 2 days ago and put it into my Xbox, and so it began! I was as excited as a small child at Xmas as I sat though the opening video. The graphics although not of the quality of something like Gears of War or Mass Effect were still beautiful and as a change from every other next gen game, colourful! So I began the tutorial when suddenly 5 minutes in my game locked up. "Strange" I thought to myself but noticed the kitten behind the TV and kinda tried to convince myself it must have been him knocking a loose wire or something, so I restarted my Xbox and started playing again, this time the game carried on fine...for about 10 minutes before once again it locked up! The odd thing was that unlike most games when they freeze, Fable 2's snow was still falling, the lights still flickering, but no one could move and the menus were not opening and after a few steps even my character would get stuck in place. I was a bit panicky now so quickly I pulled a wire downstairs and hooked my Xbox up to live to patch, I had to download 2 patched within the first week of launch so I thought this MUST fix it, so I started again, at exactly the same point (when you first meet your dog) it would lock up! I tried literally another 4 times and each time the same bit would crash as the boy or the girl. At this point thinking "oh crap, oh crap, oh crap" I checked my CD but it was perfect. Trying one more time after cleaning the CD (even though it was perfectly clean) I noticed something odd. Remember the days of the PS1, when you took a CD out the game would still play till it needed to load from the CD again? That's what was happening to Fable 2! The CD would just stop in the drive and all would go silent, all the characters would stop moving, any audio files would loop, then I'd try walking a little too far and it would try to load from the CD and BAM! I'd lock up! I tried 4 other Xbox 360 games and 2 Xbox original titles to see if it was my Xbox but no other game ran into an issue. So, yesterday I took my game back to Game Station to get it changed. The second I handed over the case the woman said 'freezing on you?' as if she'd been creepily watching though my living-room window. Within 10 minutes of chatting to the staff I realised I was far from the only one with issues. Getting home with my new copy I quickly played though the beginning and once again, I'd meet the dog and lock up. Getting VERY annoyed I began to dig around the net, soon after I realised the scale of this issue, apparently hundreds of thousands of people have been searching up the locking issues, others have lost entire save files 15 hours into game play, some have serious graphical errors, lots of people had lost their husbands or wives without reason. The game has more bugs in it than an ant hill.

This is when something kind of depressing dawned on me. Think about PC gaming. With the invention of Internet gaming games are released now with glitches and issues patched out over time, Hell even Bejeweled needed a patch! We are starting to see this in gaming on consoles now. Quality control and player testing for Fable 2 must have been at their minimum for this scale of bugs to be left in and probably justified by "oh we'll let the community be the testers and we'll patch any issues their raise" which is a nice idea except I paid £40 for this fucking game so I expect £40 worth of quality! When they finally patch the game a lot of my enjoyments gonna be over clouded by the fear of it's next lock up or losing my files, the first 2 days have sown mistrust of the game which will never be undone and a company which I've hailed as the best game development company since Bullfrog I now have lost a LOT of respect for.

Needless to say tomorrow I'm taking my copy back and exchanging it for Fallout 3, let's hope they wont let me down too...

Peter Molyneux has lost a fan :-(

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