Fable

Reviewed by Tap on May 09, 2012
Rating
m
3/5
(Good.)
Game Overview
Publisher:
Microsoft Game Studios
Developer:
Lionhead
Release Date:
October 14, 2004
Platform Reviewed:
Xbox
Platforms Available:
Xbox
Features:
Single-Player

Fable was originally released only on Xbox. Later, a new edition was created for both Xbox and PC. The original version is much shorter and has less distractions from the main story. The gameplay, however, is mostly the same experience.

The visuals are vibrant and animated. The character models are fairly detailed but stylized in a big-footed, big-handed way, similar to a Disney cartoon but more serious. The overall theme is coherent and works well.

The music is beautifully orchestrated and always fits the mood. The tunes are extremely catchy. To this day, the music sticks in my head. The character voices are very memorable, but a few characters can easily annoy you. Many voices repeat the same dialogue over and over, while other voices just make annoying noises. Overall, the audio experience is enjoyable.

The gameplay consists of running - never jumping - through mostly linear paths to fight enemies and gain experience points. The experience points are like a second currency in the game, and you use that currency specifically to gain skills and abilities. The skills are things like strength and stealth. Your skills affect your appearance in various ways as well as your combat capabilities. The abilities are things like offensive and defensive spells and combat maneuvers. My favorite ability is the "slow time" spell, which slows down time for everyone except yourself. These skills and abilities are very fun to experiment with and obviously are the focus of the game.

Unlike its sequels, Fable has armor which actually matters. The armor increases how much damage you can absorb. However, the armor cannot completely protect you from harm, and you may find that some light armor helps you sneak around. Also, the armor sets look very cool.

The player character can act as a bad guy, but the main quest line is about being a good guy. If you are bad, you lose morality. The lower your morality goes, the more evil you will look. Get bad enough and you grow demonic horns. Likewise, if your morality gets high, ethereal butterflies fly around you, and a halo hovers over your head when you stand still. The color of your aura also reflects your morality. Red means bad, blue means good. Simple.

You can get married, buy houses, rent the houses out, and even break windows and doors. The AI is very dumb and does not react at all to a dead body, so the stealth elements in the game are not even close to the quality of Splinter Cell or even Metal Gear Solid. However, there is plenty of fun to be had, and you will feel like a god amongst men. It is up to you whether you want to be an evil god or a righteous one.

Fable was a very enjoyable game. However, it had a lot of hype to live up to, and it did not come close to accomplishing the goals the fans expected. Though the game is a disappointment, I would say it is still a very nice experience and worth having. If you decide to get this game, get the newer "The Lost Chapters" edition. I will review that version shortly.

Fun Fact:
I marked this as a tycoon game because you can buy a lot of the houses and businesses in the game world and earn profits from them. This method of making money is extremely easy, but it starts very slow. Once you own half the game world, the endless income makes the currency of the game seem pointless.
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