The Final Say!
Review Date: October 2004
There's always a game on a particular
console that makes it stand above everything else on the market and
Microsoft's Fable will probably become the definitive RPG game for
the XBox. By looking at the development company behind Fable
(Populus & Dungeon Keeper), it's no wonder why this game is so damn
From beginning to
finish, Fable offers gamers one of the most enriching RPG
experiences of all time and rather than creating your own character,
the player's character is automatically created and you start in the
gaming world as a child. The beauty of Fable is that every action
you make in the game goes a long way in determining your future gaming
The game starts off in
the peaceful town of Oakvale, a small town in the outskirts of
Albion. Unfortunately for your character, your life is soon thrown
into turmoil when a gang of ruthless bandits lay waste to the town
of Oakvale. Although "everyone" in the town is now dead, your
character somehow survived this disaster and you are soon found by
Maze, a member of the hero's guild. The storyline revolves around a
variety of mini-quests that ultimately lead you to find your long
lost mother. Whether you are good or evil, this is still the main
quest of the entire game.
Although the control
system of Fable is rather complex at first, the initial part of the
game (from childhood to young adulthood) serves as a tutorial for the
player. Whether it's kicking chickens or beating up your best
friend, all the actions you engage in this title make a huge
difference to the way the storyline plays out.
For instance, if you
become evil in Fable, characters in towns will be extremely wary of
your character and they will cower, hide or even run away from you.
However, if you act heroic, the characters will basically think that
Michael Jordan has come to town and treat you like a demigod.
Your character isn't
also limited to just one character class but the games developers
have taken on an eclectic approach in that your character has access
to melee attacks, archery and magic. Fortunately these skills are
slowly introduced into the game and by the end of the game, you will
be heavily relying on magic to get you through.
The combat system of
Fable uses a real-time fighting system that allows your character to
lock onto an enemy, switch between weapons or magic and basically
beat your enemy to a bloody pulp. This is easily the most impressive
feature of the game because you can virtually attack a character
with a sword than unleash a plethora of spells on the next victim.
As per usual, Fable uses
an XP system of experience that basically awards your character for
completing quests or killing monsters. This also allows you to
increase your strength, will power and skill points. You can even
focus your points on magic or if you prefer, your melee fighting.
The gaming world of
Albion is also quite huge and your character can virtually do just
about anything from "dropping his guts", marrying or even buying
that small farmhouse that you've been dreaming about. Your character
also changes quite dramatically throughout the game, from getting
tattoos or changing your hairstyle, this game has it all.
Graphically, Fable is a
very impressive game on the XBox and is easily one of the most
graphic intensive RPG title out there. All the characters in the
game contain a fairly high polygon count for that extra realism and
match that with some high quality textures and you could be forgiven
in thinking that you are watching the next Lord of the Rings movie.
As this game is considered a real-time RPG, your character even ages
as the game slowly progresses. Another impressive feature of the
title are the amazing spell effects that range from stunning to
The musical score of
Fable has also been majestically created and perfectly suits the RPG
genre of this game. The character voices in the game have also been
professionally done and nothing sounds too contrived or forced. Add
in a few special effects such as background noises (cities and
forests), the sounds of battle and of course the powerful sounds of
magic and you have one pumping sounding title. The title also supports
in-game Dolby Digital.
In conclusion, Lionhead
Studios have really created an amazing XBox game that contains every
element of the RPG genre with a few new twists. If you are looking
for a well written and graphically impressive game with awesome
playability than I would highly recommend Fable to anyone. Be a
hero... or be a villain... just play the game already!
- Andrew B Copyright ©2004 www.impulsegamer.com