flufflogic's Knothole Island (Xbox 360) review

If it ain't broke, why break it?

I am amazed this made it through testing. Honestly, I wasn't ready for this to be so... shambolic. So, so much is wrong with this, I'll have to section it all up.

Issue 1: bugs!

Now, my Fable 2 experience, compared to many other people, was pretty much bug-free. Not so this DLC. Opening the clothes/dyes menu now nigh-on crashes the game every time, I get terrible slowdown in any area that's populated by non-combatants, certain people have begun to become invisible (if I stand near where they should be, it brings up the option of pressing A to interact, but they have no aura or body at all) and worst of all people flee in terror when I enter an area, despite having a 0% agressiveness rating for clothes/tattoos/makeup, 100% attractiveness, 100% good and 100% pure. It's made playing uncomfy at best, and downright irritating at worst.

Issue 2: achievements

Oh Molyneux, you spoil us with these 3 achievements totalling 100 GSP. No, wait, actually - that sucks. All 3 are easy to get (one's completing the only quest added for a crazy 50 GSP, another collecting the oddly placed 10 books for 25 GSP, and the last for the utterly pointless fetchy-carry mystery store items for 25 GSP), and feel cheap. I mean, 50 GSP for a SINGLE QUEST? Before DLC, the 50 GSP achievements were Completionist (all tricks/emotes/abilities), Celebrity (50k Renown) and New Hero (complete Act 1). They take a lot more work. The 25s feel about right, as they are just gathering miniquests. It just feels unbalanced compared to the first 1k.

Issue 3: the quest(s)

Wow, how... short. It takes a very small amount of time to do all the Shrines, the books pretty much throw themselves at you (bar book 2, which is slightly hidden), and the mystery shop only takes a while due to the rather irritating nature of the shopkeepers. I mean, it was a gripe with the main game; in Fable, stores had many, many items, often in large multiples. You could often, say, buy 20 Crunchy Chicks from a single vendor. In the sequel, however, finding a seller with even 2 of the same item is difficult (unless it's booze), making finding 3 of the same item a pain. It's artificial lengthening for this rather pointless (let's face it, none of the gifts is any good if you've finished the main game) sidequest, and indeed for the DLC. 

It took me 2 hours tops to do everything, and a lot of that time was spent dyeing my clothes and switching them about to vainly try stop people fleeing (oddly, one outfit worked; instead of fleeing, they laughed at me...) or sleeping to restock stores. For 800MSP, you expect better really.

Issue 4: Knothole Island as setting

I can't help but feel it's only there to show off what the weather system was SUPPOSED to do for the entire gameworld. It's not very big, there isn't anything massively unique about it (apart from the sub) and a lot of the stuff there's useless; for instance, the Resurrection Shrine, which is only of any use if you let the dog die. There's only about 5 buyable properties (can't buy chieftan's house, mystery shop and most other buildings in fact), the areas can only be explored in certain seasons (due to ice/water level), and there's very little to encourage exploration anyway (the books should be, but the area's so small they practically leap in your hands). Even the new items are pretty poor; the mystery shop unlocks are all pretty rubbish and mainly gimmicks (Hal's Rifle, Greaser gear, Lute Axe weapon), there's a few new dyes (oh, woo) and pretty much nothing else. Oh, and why the HELL don't the Knothole History books go under Books in the inventory?

Overall, I'm massively underwhelmed. It just seems hashed together, like the content that came with the limited edition. It actually made the game more broken for me, and that's pretty unforgivable.  

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