Monday, March 20, 2006

Review: Fable

Platform: Xbox
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Big Blue Box
Release Date: September 2004
Genre: Action RPG

If you can get past some broken promises and massive amount of hype this game has received,
then you'll be able to enjoy one of the most captivating and compelling games the Xbox has seen in its lifetime.


What thoughts come to mind when someone mentions the word ‘Fable’? For many gamers it may be ‘A disappointing Xbox title’ or ‘Peter Molyneux making promises and not delivering them’. For many the fact that Fable has not lived up the hype has ruined their ability to simply enjoy a terrific action-RPG. However, if you can get past some broken promises and the massive hype this game has received, then you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most captivating and compelling games the Xbox has seen in its lifetime.

You begin the game as a young child, and as you progress throughout the game, you grow older and how you look and how NPCs react to you is based on the choices you make in the game. Fable’s moral system, one of the key selling points of the game, works well here, and is a refreshing change of pace compared to the norm. It gives the game a special flavor and makes the experience more intriguing, and you’ll probably want to play thorough the game more than once just to see what could have been done if you performed a task the good way or the evil way.

The combat system in Fable is deep and highly-satisfying, and I would love to see an online hack ‘n slash title use this system in the future as its core gameplay element, even though lag might prevent this from happening any time soon. Every time you kill someone or something, good or evil, innocent or not, you get green orbs, which are basically experience points. You can cash in on these points by buying new abilities, as some of the new things you can buy with these points (such as magic abilities) are a feast to behold.

The absorbing soundtrack in Fable is beautifully orchestrated and fits in great with the games
visionary world an environments. Hearing the games music may send a chill down your spine in certain moments of the game. The characters dialogue is well-done and is fully British. Many of the things that come out of the character’s mouths are humorous, even though the dialogue is repetitive if you interact with the same characters over and over again.

For a game that was supposed to be open-ended and gigantic in size, however, Fable falls a bit short. Despite the original claims by the main developer, Fable has somewhat straight-forward, linear game design and the world in which you play in is not nearly as large in size as I had hoped it would be. As long as this game took to come out, I still think that a few more months in development could have produced a more worth while game that was larger in scale.

Even with Fable’s nuisances, the experience around it is worthwhile enough for you to overlook them, and you might not be surprised if you end up playing this game through a couple of times just because its such as satisfying experience overall. Fable could have been much more, and it does not live up to the hype, but for what it is it is a great title, and will be remembered as one of the most memorable experiences of last generation.

Rating: 9.2 (out of 10)

8 Comments:

At 1:00 PM, Blogger gnome said...

Sounds like an amazing game, and I hope it might be better (gfx-wise at least) on the PC...

Great review too.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Ross said...

Thanks!

Alot of people were let-down by the hype, but I really enjoyed it.

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger gnome said...

So, I guess I should try it too...

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Ender said...

Yea, I really love this game. I know it was touted to be the "best RPG ever" by ol' Petey, and it totally was not. However, it was really good and unique, and I enjoyed it. The big downside is that, later in the game, you can go to a certain place that will let you make your good/evil alignment neutral again, there negating all the choices you made along the way. Cheap as hell...

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger Tomleecee said...

A top drawer review. I've only played it briefly on my PC - I never get the time to continue the quest

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous PsyClerk said...

Spot on review. Fable was a great game. I had no interest in the game while it was in development, so I avoided the sting of the hype bug. It's odd how anything can be so much better when you approach it with no expectations.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Son_et_lumiere said...

That is a ridiculous score. Fable deserves maybe a 7, ifyou're feeling generous.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Fable is an awesome game and has raised the bar of future RPG's to come , sure it was hyped to the max but apart from a few short comings it does round up to a great experiance

 

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